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Ten Steps toward Securing Event Donations

Section: Blog

Struggling to secure donations for your event? Kelli White of EventMB shares ten ways to boost at-event contributions toward your cause:

  • Step outside your comfort zone: Start out small by asking for in-kind or product donations. Become educated on why donors should be supporting your event. When you convey this confidence in your pitch to potential donors they’ll be more likely to contribute.
  • Pick up the phone: In today’s tech-driven world, it’s easy to overlook the power of a simple phone call. When it comes to financial support and finding people or companies to invest in your event you need to build a personal connection and the easiest way to do so is through real conversations.
  • Build Community Relationships: Find a way to build trust within your community, by being present and interactive in your area. Look for local networking opportunities, community events and opportunities to build relationships with other like-minded individuals.
  • Find Donors Who Connect with Your Mission or Event: Identify people who have a connection to your mission. Once you find these supporters, not only are they likely to become donors, but they will also encourage others to contribute. Ask them them to join your event committee or involve them through a volunteer opportunity.
  • Build Mutually Beneficial Relationships: Find ways to provide donors with proper recognition and value for their contribution. Find out what is important to your donors and look for ways to meet these needs. If supporters see the donation as mutually beneficial, they’ll be more likely to support you year after year.
  • Seek Out In-Kind Donations: In-kind or product donations can prove to be just as valuable as monetary donations, depending on the needs of your event. When you find a sponsor that wants to donate a product or service instead of donating money, think about the benefits that this will provide to your attendees. No matter what they would like to donate there is a good chance that the money you save through their donation can have a significant impact in your bottom line.
  • Outline Your Donation Levels and Opportunities: Define the value supporters will obtain with their donation. Create a web page or printed piece that helps you present opportunities and levels.
  • Share Stories That Make an Impact: Sharing stories that can reflect the impact your donors will have is one of the most influential ways to connect the donors to the cause. Utilize creative messaging with images, video, written stories and artwork. When donors have the chance to form a real picture why there is a need for donations, they’ll be more inclined to open their wallet for your cause.
  • Start Early: Most company budgets are created in the previous year, so target potential donors early on. If a company turns you down due to the timeline, find out what type of lead time they need and put them on your list to approach for next year.
  • Make “The Ask” and Make It Often: A donor will never know that your event needs money if you don’t take the time to ask them for a donation. Sometimes it is really just this simple. Once you have shown the need for their support ask them to contribute. Don’t be afraid to follow up. If you don’t follow up they may think you found the support in another way and you no longer have a need for their support.

To read the article in its entirety, click here.

What is “aspect ratio” and why should you care?

Section: Blog

Aspect ratio refers to how wide an AV image is, compared to how tall. An improperly formatted event presentation can really diminish the impact of your gala content, making your organization appear less professional. It’s possible you could pay for a wide screen TV but then only show standard 4:3 material, leaving gaps on the left and right. Or you might order a large projection screen or iPad centerpieces, then not use the top and bottom due to widescreen content. Not only is there a question of unused sponsor recognition space but, aesthetically, it screams amateur.

What is aspect ratio and why should you care? The truth is, when you work with Event Journal, you don’t need to concern yourself with aspect ratio. That’s because AV coordination is one of the many details we handle to ensure that your event presentation is professional and on point. Event Journal ensures you’re getting the most bang for your buck, using the entire screen you paid for and presenting the very best version of your content.

For more information on aspect ratio, see IMS Technology Services’ newsletter.

Orange Regional Medical Center: ejGolfSites

Section: Testimonial

Our partnership with Event Journal was vital to our success. We were able to reach more people, more often.  I credit Event Journal with helping to sell out our outing one month before the event. The team was accessible, reliable, professional and creative and I enthusiastically endorse Event Journal.

Pamela Yosh
Director of Development
Orange Regional Medical Center

NJTV Public Television: EVENTjournal

Section: Testimonial

On behalf of the NJTV Gala team, our utmost thanks to the entire Event Journal staff for your attentive work on the gala website and journal for Friday’s event.  The evening was a success and the journal ads looked fantastic up on the big screen.  We thank you for helping usher the NJTV Gala into the digital age! Once again, much appreciation to you and your team.  It was a pleasure working with all of you.

Hilary S. Vlachos
Executive Director, Community Relations
NJTV / WNET


Top 10 Secrets of a Nonprofit Event Specialist

Section: Blog

Chris Lipari, is founder and owner of Lipari Production Group, event specialists providing production and consultation services to nonprofit organizations. LPG has produced events ranging from large star-studded benefits to “K9K” walks across the Brooklyn Bridge. Chris shares his top 10 “insider secrets” for successful fundraising events. These tips resonate with Event Journal, because they are many of the same suggestions we give our clients:

  • Think strategically about your event. What is your organization hoping to gain from the event? What do you want the event to achieve and communicate? Set goals — and not just financial goals!
  • Determine how you want your event to make people feel. How do you envision the complete event experience, from start to finish?
  • Build an infrastructure into your development team to anticipate, plan and manage your annual major special event. Your other development activities should not come to a screeching halt each year when the event is being planned. If this is the case, consider outsourcing more responsibilities to seasoned event professionals.
  • Engage all departments in your organization: development, communications, finance, and programing to work as a team – you all have the same goal!
  • Be smart about budget – both revenue and expenses. Dinner Galas are costly to produce and are not the right fit for every organization. Consider other possibilities, such as a cocktail party or tasting event.
  • The planned flow of an event is always likely to change. Who is the one person who knows the objective of the event, what should happen and (most importantly) is empowered to make real-time decisions to create a positive outcome?
  • What are you spending money and time on?  Do you really need a printed journal?  Make use of video projection to recognize supporters and sponsors at the event.  Consider a digital event journal. It lives online year-round, saves paper and is one less thing for guests to carry home (and throw away!)
  • At the event, you have a captive audience. How are you going to communicate with them? Attendees should walk away with new knowledge about your organization and its mission, and why you need their support. There must be a compelling call to action.
  • Who are your guests? Often, tickets get passed down the line and may end up in the hands of a table sponsor’s guests who have no connection with your organization and its mission. Find a way to engage these people too. Make sure there are giving opportunities for guests at every financial level. Not only will this yield more revenue, it will allow your organization to capture guest information and begin to cultivate these new donors.
  • Make sure to hold a post-event debriefing: the good, the bad and the not-so-good! Consider sending a short survey to board and committee members and a selection of guests.  Take specific notes, so you can start to build a year-to-year dossier of the event and build on your success.