natural alternative to cytotec rogaine 5 preis mevacor 20 mg side effects dramamine 50 mg side effects celebrex def 50 pletal preisvergleich myambutol 500 zetia 10 mg elavil 50 mg for sleep cefixime 100 mg itu obat apa floxin 200 mg tablet femalefil (cialis für frauen) casodex preis kamagra gold 100mg opinie citalopram alternative names triamterene alternatives elavil 10mg side effects kamagra 100mg für frauen adalat retard kaufen aspirin 500 mg bayer alternative januvia alternative promethazine fluoxetine 500mg doxycycline preisvergleich augmentin 500 caverta 50 mg kopen finax 50 ponstan 500 acido mefenamico aspirin alternative drugs diclofenac alternatives generika keppra liv 52 alternative cytotec 50 mcg penegra fortiza 100 lithium polymer akku kaufen what is voveran 50 ge alternative zu trental ranitidine 50 mg drug study fosamax preisvergleich dulcolax preis österreich alternative to doxycycline for lyme disease premarin 250 propecia generika rezeptfrei fucidin preis thuoc ofloxacin 200mg urispas 200 dosage propecia kaufen ohne rezept lioresal 10 mg ampicillin 250 mg vial clomiphene citrate 50 mg x50 parlodel 10 mg cordarone 200 mg tabletas metoclopramide 10 mg espanol depakote 1000 pulmicort topinasal ohne rezept günstige alternative propecia bystolic alternative drugs cialis wirkung bei frauen actonel 500mg aciclovir tabletten online kaufen zetia 10 milligrams relafen 1500 mg alternative medicines to methotrexate alternative to evista caverta 50 mg kopen diclofenac xr 100mg side effects of starlix 120 mg l tryptophan kaufen glycomet 500 sr side effects dramamine 50 mg side effects otc clomid alternative imitrex 50 mg tablets ventolin kaufen online trazodone alternatives insomnia motilium alternativen preis acai berry thin januvia 50 mg cost lotensin 10 mg unisom 50 mg side effects aricept 10 mg preis propecia generika kaufen voltaren preis schweiz alternative januvia what is zenegra 100 micardis 20 mg price alternativen zu atacand what is ciplox 500mg used for urispas 200 dosage nolvadex 10mg pct zyrtec tropfen preis vermox online kaufen seroquel alternatives for sleep Have Your Special Events Earned the Right to Exist? - Collins Group
Skagit Valley Hospital

Have Your Special Events Earned the Right to Exist?



Unless you’ve done your homework, the answer to that question will either be “I don’t know” or “maybe.” 

Fundraising events are part of the revenue mix for virtually every nonprofit, no matter how large or small the budget.  They are often one of the first strategies undertaken by a nonprofit, and the last to be relinquished.  Why is this so?  Because event fundraising is “easy” in many people’s minds: it doesn’t involve having to actually ask someone face-to-face for money; the work is accomplished by staff and a committee over several months and is therefore relatively invisible; and everyone enjoys the party.  Bottom line: events are the epitome of transactional fundraising for most organizations, and they rarely rise above it even when they can.

First, how do you know if your event has earned the right to exist? By having goals beyond dollars raised or attendance.  Who is your target constituency for the event?  Are they showing up?  Are they returning year after year?  Are you trying to cultivate new leadership?  New major donors?  Build awareness?  Thank your supporters?  All or some of these can be and should be stated outcomes of your event.  The point: events should be about more than the dollars raised.  Events are simply too high cost to do them otherwise.

Second, have you created specific strategies to meet those goals?  For example, if one goal of your auction is to cultivate specific major donors that night, what is your plan for doing so?  Inviting them to the event is not enough; a set of actions needs to happen at the auction for it to advance a potential donor’s relationship with your organization.  Do you prep the CEO with a short list of specific donors to meet that night—as well as topics to cover?  Have you strategically placed the right people at tables with senior leadership or board members?  Is this the night to introduce a potential benefactor to one of your program managers?  

If the answer to some of these questions is yes, then what is your follow up strategy?  What do you do after the CEO’s conversation with Major Prospect A?  How do you capture the information gained from the conversation that your top physician had with the head of a major family foundation at the event?  And what are the next steps for the relationship based on that conversation?  The points: don’t assume that if people attend an event, you have strengthened their connection to your organization, and don’t forget to follow through once the event is over; otherwise you’re wasting all the good strategies you set in motion that night.

Third, events earn the right to exist if the return on investment meets an identified target.  How much do your events cost you?  Do you know what the true ROI is?  Have you included the cost of staff and/or volunteer time needed to stage the event in your calculations?  Could your staff time and the organization’s money be better spent on other strategies with better rates of return?  Our clients are often astonished at how lousy a return on investment their events represent after staff—and even volunteer—time is factored in to the equation.  One of your event goals should be to drive down ROI year over year until you achieve a number you and the board can live with.  The point: only by knowing how much your events are truly costing your organization in time and money can you begin to realistically assess whether they are worth it.

There is a place for special events in the fundraising mix, as long as they help organizations grow in strategic ways. Take the time this year to think through and set non-fundraising goals for your events and they will begin to earn the right to your time and attention.

Have your events earned the right to exist?  Do you have examples of non-fundraising event goals to share?  What defines a successful event at your organization?


Like this post? Why not share it?


About the Author

Kristin Barsness CFRE

Vice President

With a researcher’s eye for the important details, Kristin understands the intricacies of building strong donor relationships to meet your fundraising goals.


Leave a Reply