Building a sustainable annual fundraising event requires a personal yet unified investment in the ‘Why’ behind the vision. In his Ted Talk Simon Sinek discusses the importance of answering the ‘Why’ that embeds the foundation of well established companies and is worthy of consideration in fundraising. Answering the ‘Why’ serves as a type of individual and organizational GPS needed to navigate and persevere throughout the planning, roadblocks, detours and momentary breakdowns in pursuing overall fundraising goals. A positive approach, commitment to the unified purpose or ‘Why’ plays a vital role in the planning and implementation of a successful fundraising event.
Successful events follow the why and plan themselves around it. These events won’t happen overnight but will require a significant amount of time be invested to ensure that you are moving toward the why at all times.. Considerations in planning include: Who are the individuals committed to the vision for the fundraising event? Is there a representation of the culturally inclusive and diverse community representing men and women, various age groups, socioeconomic status and abilities who can provide greater insight to the community needs and resources? What strengths do the individuals have that can be utilized to support the vision for fundraising? Facilitation, fundraising, organizing, finances, creativity, marketing, inclusivity and hospitality provide examples of individual strengths vital to successful events, but having a cohesive vision will help you ensure that every dollar and minute is spent with purpose and intent.
Additional considerations include: What start-up funds are needed to support the heartbeat or vision of the fundraising event? Is the vision compelling enough to bring in the funds that you need? Where is the best location to host the event where people may want to return to on an annual basis? What time of the year may be best for hosting the event that does not overlap with other large community events? Following the event spend time reflecting on and truly celebrating what went well upon completion of the fundraising event. Use input from the community participants and the planning team to make adjustments for future events.
But all of that is after you’ve decided your why. So...think about it. What are you going to put in place to make sure that your event matches the vision that first started it. If you’re able to make the two line up, you’ll be surprised at how effective it all turns out to be.