When choosing an event, keep a few things in mind -- what sort of event will your congregation be enthusiastic about? Will the event draw people from beyond your congregation from the community at large? What time of year will you be hosting your event? Summer is great for car washes and other outdoor activities, while winter is a good time for things like book sales, giving people something to read on long chilly nights. What sort of budget do you have for advertising and refreshments for patrons and volunteers? Whatever event you choose, the following information will help make sure your day is a resounding success.
For people to come to an event, they need to know about it! When making up a newsletter or flyer, be sure to include answers to the five questions people will ask about your event -- WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, and HOW.
- Who is welcome to the event?
- What is the purpose?
- Where will it be held?
- When does it take place?
- How much is your church trying to raise?
There are many ways to advertise - depending upon your budget, you may consider using local radio station community spots, community papers, school and church newsletters, local TV, posters, and flyers.
Location, Location, Location!
Pick a spot for your event that everyone in your town or neighborhood knows by name. Research shows that just listing an address is not as effective in bringing people to your fundraiser. Also, try to choose a place that can handle the number of people you expect to attend, and then a little more. If your location is outside, do you have an indoor spot or a rain date picked out in case of inclement weather?
Saturdays are often the best day for fundraisers. Most people are not working and have fewer obligations to take them away from your event. Consider coordinating your event with another large event in town - often it's possible to pick up the foot traffic of a nearby gathering, especially on a weekend.
The volunteers you select for your fundraiser are the backbone of the project. Clearly express expectations of duties and responsibilities well before the event begins, and encourage your helpers to ask questions if they have them. During the event, things can get hectic -- during spare moments, take the time to ask volunteers how they're doing, whether they've run into any problems, and if they're having a good time. After all, part of what makes events such great fundraising option is the opportunity for all of us to work together and have fun.
Keeping advertising, location, day of the week, and the number of volunteers available in mind will help you to pick the right fundraiser for your church or religious group, and will also help to make sure that event is a resounding success!