Fundraising Tools by Rudy Rosen, Ph.D.
Is there help available for fundraising event planners who wish to host a fundraiser?
Yes, services are available. Fundraising event service providers can provide help with specific needs, such as planning and negotiating catering, or providers can supply complete fundraising and event services.
Using service providers and negotiating services are topics covered in several chapters of my book, Money for the Cause: A Complete Guide to Event Fundraising.
The best time for professional fundraising event help is at the early planning stage. At that point, groundwork for an effective fundraising event can be laid, with expert advice. The planning team can then move forward with confidence. Should questions arise, the professional can be asked questions or regularly scheduled meetings can be held as a check on progress. An organization can also employ an event-management service to professionally manage the event, from A to Z. But full professional management of an event creates significant expense to the host organization. It also deprives the organization of the contributions of volunteers, but it may be the only alternative for some organizations if volunteer help is unavailable or unreliable.
Where volunteers are committed to the organization and willing to learn, the most effective fundraising in terms of excitement and net return comes with all planning and event management done by volunteers. There are some exceptions, for example, a professional auctioneer should be employed for major live auctions, regardless of the skills of volunteers and staff.
The volunteer-driven event model is what I emphasize to maximize net revenue.
This has been an effective model, where an event is planned over time, jobs are assigned and completed, preparations are made, and people who have worked together in planning assemble on-site for the big event with a well-understood game plan and a familiarity with each other as a result of months of working together. In the book I provide many guides, examples, and templates for success.
Over time I hope to list a few of these in this blog. Links to a few aids are provided below.