Are you in the first stages of planning a fundraising event? In addition to defining your cause, finding a venue, and establishing a theme for the campaign, you will also need to create a guest list that leads to a successful turnout. Planning and managing an invitation list for fundraisers is no small feat. After all, your charity or non-profit organization knows that fundraising is key to generating donations as well as a community of supporters. In this guide, we provide several tips to help you make the process of managing the guest list and invitations for your event.
Who is your target audience?
The success of any fundraising event relies on its guests, who may very well turn into prospective donors. However, you must be able to pinpoint who that target audience is before you can aggressively market your event. Is this fundraising event open to the public or is it geared toward a specific group of people, such as business owners, parents, or young professionals? With a robust contact database at your disposal, the process will be much easier overall.
Invitation List for Fundraisers
- Establish a guest list strategy. Before you begin working on your invitee list, you must identify how the fundraising event relates to your organization’s objectives. Once you have realized the strategic intent of your event, you need to think about your audience in terms of their needs and concerns. It can be very helpful to map past attendee demographics in order to determine who is most likely to RSVP. From there, you can determine who to invite as well as where to find them. Remember to be specific and realistic. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from colleagues.
- Look beyond the usual suspects. It may be tempting to stick with a reliable list of personas who have attended your fundraising events in the past, but you can leverage online technologies in order to amplify your reach and create more buzz about your cause. To establish a ratio of repeat versus first-time attendees, you may need to get creative. Some non-profits find success by making their events available via live webcast. With any luck and some smart marketing on your part, you might just be able to convert virtual attendees into in-person attendees.
- Be realistic about your expectations. Don’t make the mistake of underestimating the level of effort required to create an invitation list that delivers. You should send the invitations out at least two months prior to your event. On average, you can expect a 10 – 25% acceptance rate from the total amount of invitations you send, making it critically important that you raise awareness about your organization to increase the possibility that prospective attendees already know and care about your cause.
Creating an invitation list for fundraisers may seem difficult or even daunting, but we hope that these step-by-step directives and recommendations give you the insight necessary to make smart fundraising decisions. MSP Design Group proudly provides a wide selection of promotional products and branding services that can help you put any event on the map. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about our products or services today.