June 19, 2017
The importance of community events
Spring is here and so is the event fundraising season! Events that raise money for causes and nonprofits can take many forms from 5k runs and walk-a-thons to endurance bike rides. In recent years, nonprofits have expanded these activities to include mud runs, polar plunges, even head-shaving! But just like any large undertaking, planning a fundraising event has its benefits and challenges. They can bring in a lot of revenue for the organization, but can also put tremendous strain on a nonprofit’s resources. The operations and logistics can test your organization’s limits; however, the reward can certainly outweigh the risk if executed correctly.
One of the other big benefits to organizing a fundraising event is brand awareness. This awareness is two-fold. First is the online reach. The participants who fundraise will be sharing your event and brand far and wide. Fundraisers will send out emails with your logo and messaging to thousands of friends, families and colleagues.
The second type of brand awareness is at the local level. Organizing an event gives you much deeper roots in your community. Local volunteers and participants will interact with your staff and board in a way that you’d never be able to replicate sitting in the office or at a standard, programmed event. Operating an event is dynamic. The fluid nature of the logistics will force individuals to collaborate and work together in many ways. Lastly, it can be a TON OF FUN!
I have been asked many times if my professional fundraising services include putting on events which I answer like this: Although I’m not an event planner, I have people in my network I know that are well skilled in this area. I help find sponsors and participants for events so that the money it costs a nonprofit organization to put on an event, will be covered by the sponsors and participants and with hopefully have some more money left over to go to the nonprofit; in addition, any additional money raised through entry fees, selling of merchandise etc. will all be over and above any costs to the nonprofit and thus retained earnings for the organization to use on it’s important programs and services.
The cost to raise a dollar for Events and Benefits is approximately $.50 cents on the dollar. What this means is that to calculate the cost to raise money, the formula is “FC=E/GR” (which is “Fundraising Cost equals expenses divided by gross revenue”). For example, if you spent $5000 and generated gross revenues of $10,000, your Fundraising Cost would be $.50 for every dollar raised. So, although the cost to raise a dollar for putting on an event is more than in requesting a Major or Planned Gift, the exposure of the event is difficult to quantify but hugely important for the success of most nonprofits.
A past colleague of mine, Cal Schuler, puts on an event each year at Calgary Rotary Challenger Park. This event holds their annual Family Fun Day for all their past and present members in addition to the community at large. This exciting event will be held Saturday June 24th, 2017 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Calgary Rotary Challenger Park (3688 48 Ave NE). The Annual Family Fun Day is in its eleventh year, and has been a huge success in terms of providing opportunities to increase the public’s understanding of individuals living with disabilities through participation in individual and team sports and recreational activities and Much, Much, More!
This event is a day of activities brimming with incomparable FREE programming. Amongst the great family fun there will be a complimentary barbeque, outdoor games and activities, face painting, bouncing tent, arts and crafts, mascots, petting zoo, musicians, Star Wars Characters, CP Rail Puffer Belly Mini-Train, Calgary Stampede Promotions committee, Calgary Police Service, HAWC’s, Calgary Fire Department, Pacific Assistance Dogs, hayride, hip hop/native dancers, Calgary Grizzlies and Rollers Wheelchair Basketball Club. There is sure to be something for everyone. Please go out and enjoy all the free activities and for more information regarding this event please contact Cal at 403-720-8211.
If you would like to learn more about how my experience and skills may be able to help benefit your nonprofit, or a nonprofit you may be associated with, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me as I would be pleased to meet and discuss the opportunity of working together.
I hope you enjoy my postings and find this information useful. Please follow the link at: http://raveresults.ca/blog/ as I welcome your comments on my Blog.
Mitchell Ravvin, BComm, PFPC, CFRE
Rave Results Inc.
7436 21A Street SE
Calgary, AB T2C 0V9
Rave Results Inc. is a professional fundraising service specializing in assisting mid-size nonprofit organizations. Areas of expertise include: Donor Development, Major Gift Fundraising, Sponsorship, Planned Giving, and both Annual and Capital Campaigns.