Does your event goal have you thinking…ugh? | npENGAGE

Does your event goal have you thinking…ugh?

By on Apr 13, 2012

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If so, no worries, we’ve all felt that the feeling of “ugh… followed by one question… how am I ever going to raise that?”

Here’s my trick.  Forgot about the overall fundraising goal and instead create monthly goals for yourself. Fundraising is a lot like weight loss. Trying to lose 20 pounds can be overwhelming and frustrating.  Nutritionists and trainers will always tell you to stop focusing on your total goal and focus on weekly goals.  Stop thinking about 20 pounds and focus on losing 2 pounds, with the right plan 2 pounds will become 20.

Fundraising works the same way.  Instead of focusing on your $100,000 event goal, ask yourself what do I need to raise this month to eventually reach my goal?

A good way to answer this question is to look at last year’s revenue report.  You’ll notice several revenue peaks and valleys.  For example if you’re event is Oct 1st, then August and September are your most profitable pre-event months.  And, maybe you ran fundraising contest in May, which makes May another peak month. Below is a sample breakdown of last year’s event revenue.  I’ve included the month, event activity and amount raised.

April May June July August September October
Event Reg Opens Fundraising contest Fundraising
contest
Fundraising
contest
EVENT!
$2,000 $10,000 $5,000 $5,000 $20,000 $25,000 $33,000

 

Now that you have a breakdown of what you raised per-month last year, you can use this as a guide for this year.  The bulk of the revenue is going to be raised in the last few months leading up to the event. Instead of just waiting around till August for the dollars to roll in, begin brainstorming ideas for increasing April-July revenue.  What activities or contests can you run in the early months to encourage fundraising?

Maybe have a team captain only event at your office, make it exclusive so team captains feel special and appreciated.  At the event, spend time teaching team captains about team building and motivating team members to fundraise. Or, how about a special Early Bird fundraising contest?  Create a 4 week contest and at the end of the contest, raffle off a big prize.  Usually big prizes are given away closer to the event, but make your Early Birds feel special by offering them exclusive opportunities.

Tip: It’s often not what you’re giving away that will get an individual excited, but it’s how you market the giveaway.  Whether we want to admit it or not, we all want that exclusive invite or that special prize.  It’s human nature. Use this to your advantage when creating text for your website, emails and social network posts.

If your team recruitment goals have you stressed.  Use this same method for team recruitment.  Breaking down large numbers into more manageable goals can help alleviate some of the stress that comes with fundraising.

This trick always helped me.  Once I was able to stop stressing about my revenue goals, I was able to get creative and have fun.  We spend a ton of time at work, so make it fun.  I would not only create contests for my participants, but for myself as well.  Maybe I’ll share those on another post.

Morale of the post is: don’t stess.  It doesn’t help anyone.  Instead of stressing about your goals, focus on creating a plan to achieve your goals.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Amy Braiterman, principal strategy consultant at Blackbaud, supports customers with their peer-to-peer fundraising events with a process she refers to as “data-driven strategy.” Amy’s data driven strategy analyzes how effective event participants are using online fundraising tools and takes those results to develop an event fundraising plan. Prior to joining Blackbaud, Amy earned her fundraising stripes managing events for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Alzheimer’s Association and Share Our Strength. She shares her fundraising know how here on npENGAGE, by hosting educational webinars and speaking at customer conferences

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