6 Keys For Highly Successful Fundraising Events

Posted by Don Carmichael on 3/27/17 5:30 AM

So you’re looking for a major fundraiser that can raise more than $5,000 or $10,000 for your school.  In fact, you’re probably wondering what are the best fundraising options available, which ones work best in schools, and how much can your school actually raise.

The following shares information on the top three major fundraising events for schools – and just about any nonprofit organization for that matter.  What works… what doesn’t… and how your organization can effectively conduct one of these top three major fundraising events.


How Much Money Can They Raise

The first question most schools ask is, “How much money can we raise in one event?”  When done right, each of the following fundraising events can raise $50,000 to $100,000 for your school – and your school doesn’t even have to be very big. We’ve had Christian and private schools of less than 100 students raise these amounts and more in a single event.  The keys we’ve discovered to conducting highly successful fundraising events are below.


Keys For Highly Successful Fundraising Events

  1. Anyone Can Participate. In order to engage as many families as possible, choose an event type that allows everyone to participate.  Don’t choose events that require special skills (golf, basketball, 5K races) unless you can create a role for people without those skills to still participate. 
  1. Needs to Be Interesting. Create an event that has unique or intriguing aspects to it that make people want to be part of it.  Avoid events that are bland (like walkathons) unless you can dress it up with interesting elements that create appeal. 
  1. Needs to Be Fun. Life is too busy to expect people to participate in events that are dull.  Make it fun so people want to participate.  Create a clever event name, use fun or creative incentives, offer exciting prizes, have your participants do things that are truly fun! 
  1. Needs to Add New Donors. A key principle in fundraising is that new donors are the lifeblood of every nonprofit organization.  Adding new donors to your school provides additional revenue streams and connects more people to your cause.  The best method of driving new donors is in the actual fundraising model of your event – instead of charging your participants an event fee, is asking them to fundraise through personal friends and family sponsors (like a walkathon).  As your participants raise money through these networks, new donors are generated and new relationships are formed. 
  1. People Want to Be Part of It. Choose a type of event that people want to be part of.  Pertinent aspects of creating highly attractive events include the event type, venue, date, name, activities, prizes, etc.
  1. Choose a Smart Fundraising Model. How will your event actually raise money?  Ticket sales?  Entry fees?  Actually, the most effective fundraising model involves participants’ personal fundraising.  Instead of a participant buying a $25 ticket or paying a $100 entry fee, ask your participants to raise $500… or even $2,500 through personal sponsors.  You will raise far more money with this method than ticket sales or entry fee methods.  In addition to participant fundraising, you can also generate money through corporate sponsors and underwriters.


Major fundraising events offer an exciting way to energize and engage your families in a fundraising process that can raise significant money for your school.  Keep in mind the tips above as you are planning an event and make sure your event fits the overall parent-interests and culture of your school.  Hope your next event is wildly successful!


Looking to boost your fundraising potential? Contact us today for a free analysis of whether your school or organization is ready for a one day major funding event.


Topics: donors, events