7 Tips To Running A Stellar Fundraising Event in Boston


7 Tips To Running A Stellar Fundraising Event in Boston

Posted February 21, 2014

In general, fundraising events in the non-profit sector are a great way of raising money to promote a worthy cause. In fact, a few weeks ago, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay celebrated their 15th Annual Big Night , at The House of Blues in Boston featuring performances by The Black Crowes and Fitz and The Tantrums. The fundraising event raised over $2 million dollars for the kids in the Greater Boston Area. After 15 years of throwing some of the biggest fundraising events in Boston, the Special Events Team at BBBSMB is clearly doing something right… and in order to spread the fundraising love, we asked our experts for some tips! Check out their 7 Tips to Running a Steller Fundraising Event in Boston.


1) Don’t lose sight of your goals-No matter what type of fundraising event you are hosting, the main goal should always be to raise more money to support your mission.Take advantage of the people in your “inner circle” and don’t be afraid to sit down with the team to brainstorm ideas for reaching goals.  Also, reaching out to similar organizations, in the community or in other cities can provide some great ideas and insight.  Most importantly, don’t be afraid to make adjustments to the goals as you go so that you have something to reach for, but not a goal that is un-attainable.  Never meeting your overly lofty goals can be a spirit crusher and people need to feel that what they are doing has a positive outcome and impact to stay engaged.

2) Stellar volunteers make ALL the difference!-Volunteers that support your mission as well as understand the importance of their role in the event can make a BIG difference when striving to reach your goal. They can be your biggest asset and advocates during the event, making the experience for attendees that much more special. 0112-6666-resized-600

3) Spend time working through your event timeline-Though it can seem like you are over analyzing things, it is important to work through the logistics of the event moment to moment.  It is much better to identify a conflict in the planning phase then waiting to find out the timing doesn’t work at the event.

4) Spend the time on a GREAT Mission Moment-This is your chance to connect with your donors and help them understand why their donation makes a difference! A well thought-out and heart-warming Mission Moment is always worth the time, energey and even money! Check out this year’s emotional Big Night Mission moment from Big Brother Chris; get the tissues ready!

5) Start early, the old adage “never put it off till tomorrow…”-As the event approaches a hundred little things you don’t expect will pop up that require your attention. Get as much done as possible as early as possible, so that you have time to deal with the last minute issues that arise. Worst case scenario, you end up with enough time to actually eat lunch the days leading up to the event rather than running around like a maniac!

6) Dont muddy the waters –Choose a singular direction and focus your energy towards that. Don’t muddy the waters by trying to tackle too many different goals during one event. Keep the message clean and people will respond. For Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay, we actively make the goal of Big Night to be about fundraising. We could easily also recruit for Bigs (and we do in a minimalistic way, but not actively) at the event, but it would take away from the importance of the main goal; to fundraise!

7) Be prepared with extra supplies on hand-What the BBBSMB Special Event Team calls a “Nerd box,” I have always called an “Ops bin.” Regardless of what you call it, this includes everything from extra copies of the time line/run of show, speaking notes, contact lists, etc. as well as items that might be needed during the prep or at the event, i.e. duct tape, sharpies, highlighters, stapler, etc. Depending on the event, you might need different things. Having these items at hand eliminates the urgency on-site if and when these items are needed(and something always is…).

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