Speaking of great and creative events: I participated in “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” last week that was a fundraiser for the YWCA in San Diego. It is a BRILLIANT idea!! All walkers wear women’s shoes – particularly the 4 inch heels – and walk a mile around downtown. The idea is amazing for two reasons: 1) it allows the participant to truly experience walking a mile in the shoes of a woman — specifically a woman who is the victim of domestic violence 2) Men in heels. Need I say more?
The actual event was a total hoot and I enjoyed observing the men balance precariously in their heels and toddle down the sidewalks of San Diego. Again, a brilliant and creative event to raise money for a charity!
While, we are on the topic of special events, I thought I would share my Pro and Con list for having an event. Just because the event is a brilliant idea, doesn’t eliminate the hard work that events require. Before you consider throwing another event, consider the reasons below.
Pros and Cons of Fundraising Events
When a nonprofit needs to fundraise, the common response from the Board of Directors is: Let’s have a special event! There are times that this is very appropriate. Events are a great way to help a nonprofit raise money, engage their donors and other community members and gain visibility. However, they also take a lot of time – both on the part of the staff and volunteers – that may not be worth the amount that the event raises.
- Raise money for nonprofit organization
- Raise awareness about nonprofit organization
- Identify key donors for future support
- Get people involved with nonprofit organization
- First initial step in raising money for nonprofit organization
- Raises unrestricted funds for nonprofit organization
- Celebrates nonprofit organization, its volunteers, members, clients and staff
- Requires lots of volunteers (but is a good way to get people involved; involvement leads to investment)
- Requires lots of time to plan and execute (but raises money)
- Must have constituency that want to attend
Special events raise money before the event through corporate sponsorships and at the event through an auction or raffle. Most of the time, the ticket price just covers the cost to put on the event per person. A special events committee made up of community volunteers are key to successfully connecting with local corporations and gathering auction items. The staff is responsible to develop a sponsorship packet of benefits as well as an in-kind request letter for volunteers to use in their solicitation for the special event.
Good luck planning your next brilliant event!