How to Fundraise with a Tight Budget

4 May

Event fundraising can be challenging, especially when working with a tight budget. It’s easy to fall into a large startup cost for entertainment and attractions, venues, and other expenses that go into organizing an event. To make a return on the investment, you’ll need to careful plan your budget and know where you can cut on costs.

For organizations where its larger fundraising programs are seasonal like schools and sport clubs, knowing how to be conservative with your startup costs can make all the difference from year-to-year. To help you organize your fundraiser, here are 5 suggestions to consider for cutting costs during harder times.

  1. Move Promotions Online

Mailing customized letters, hanging posters, offering free swag, and other promotional efforts can be expensive. While it’s ideal to have a mix of both traditional and online promotion, take into consideration how deeply you invest in both. Most online channels like social media, blogging and newsletters are relatively cheap and effective ways to get the word out about your event. If you’re going to pull back on traditional promotions, invest more time on your online channels to ensure that you’re sustaining the reach you need.

  1. Reuse Materials

This may sound obvious, but it’s always good to be intentional about buying materials that you can reuse multiple times. Materials like tables and chairs, lights, paint, stereo equipment, costumes and props retain their value overtime. Keep track of all fundraising materials with an inventory log for future events. Using an inventory log will give you greater perspective on the materials you currently have, helping you plan for future events.

  1. Invest in Multi-Purpose Events

There are some events that can occur multiple times throughout the year without a problem. Look for events that can be held both indoors and outdoors, and is free from any relation to seasons or holidays. Events like prize raffles, dance marathons and trivia nights are adaptable and retain their interest throughout the year.

  1. Host a BYO– Events

“Bring Your Own— “events have grown tremendously over the past few years. In a “Bring Your Own— “event, participants are asked to contribute to the event. For example, a potluck fundraising event is a classic event that gets a lot of attention around close communities. Fundraisers can charge a small entrance fee at the door and participants are able to share their favorite foods. With creativity, there are endless possibilities with a “Bring your own– “fundraising event.

  1. Collaborate with Other Events

You can greatly cut the cost of hosting a large fundraiser by collaborating with another fundraiser. Keep in mind, that collaborative events will also split the funding raised, as well as the expense of hosting the event. To make the most of your efforts, consider how your existing fundraising campaign can grow through a partnership with another fundraiser. By focusing on event growth, both fundraisers are enabled to raise more funding than they could separately.

Thinking conservatively about the startup costs of a fundraising event is crucial to the success of a campaign. It’s a great best practice to keep in mind as you organize your next fundraising plan, keeping your fundraiser going throughout the year.

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