Ideas to Help Inspire Your Fundraising Efforts

By: Danielle Jessup, CMP

Annual convention’s and fundraising go together like peanut butter and jelly. Whether you are fundraising for your association’s foundation or maybe you are raising money for a charity,   you are probably asking your attendees to donate, donate, donate.

At one of our client’s most recent Annual Convention and Trade Show, we incorporated the following activities and increased our fundraising revenue.


Big name speaker –
We have all tried a big name speaker at a closing banquet, but have you thought of adding a VIP reception with this individual? Before the closing banquet, hold a 30 minute reception where attendees can purchase a separate ticket to personally meet the guest speaker, have a photo opportunity and receive an autograph.

IMG_6604How we did it – We held a reception for all attendees in the foyer prior to the banquet dinner. Running concurrently was a VIP reception in a draped off area for those 40 attendees who had purchased a VIP ticket.  They had two minutes to personally meet with Coach Bobby Bowden, receive a signed autograph and take a photo.  The reception included a bar and cocktail tables so attendees could spend the entire time in the VIP area. Tickets were $50 each and with a sold out VIP reception, we raised an additional $2,000.

IMG_6406.JPG
Banner printed by Fastsigns.

Charity golf tournament – Consider changing your annual golf tournament to one that benefits a charity. Find a cause that the members and other professionals in the industry would support. Promote sponsorship opportunities by having someone in the industry that is well known call on the members for donations.

How we did it – Our Annual Golf Tournament this year benefited Lung Force. We increased our total revenue from $2,000 to $17,000, surpassing our goal of $10,000 for the charity. Members and others in the industry personally know an individual positively impacted by the charity, thereby making it that much more important to donate.

apparelPersonalized apparel – Work with a local vendor to get personalized apparel for your event. It would be wise to request a variation of shirts in different colors. Also, consider creating an online store for easy ordering.  Mark-up the shirts by $20 each and instruct the vendor to provide the additional revenue to you as a donation to the charity.

How we did it – We created an online store with Full Press Apparel and made it available to our board members, leadership and staff.  We asked everyone to consider purchasing at least one shirt to wear during the convention.  We then had additional shirts made for display accompanied by an order information card in which individuals interested in using the online store could make a purchase.

We all know it is a tough job asking for donations, especially to those individuals and companies who may support the association time and time again. Hopefully the ideas above will help make it an easier ask and help increase your fundraising!  Happy fundraising!

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