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A Host Committee can Boost Event Revenue

Section: Blog

When planning a fundraising event, some nonprofits fail to form a strong event committee, (also called “host committee”). Event committees can make or break an event, according to Joe Garecht from The Fundraising Authority, who shares these thoughts:

What does an event committee do? This committee does not do the actual work of planning, setting up, breaking down, and working the event. Instead, a host committee’s primary responsibility is to raise money for the event by selling sponsorships and tickets. Think of it more as an event fundraising committee, and putting the right committee in place is critical to your success.

Why is an event committee important? If you want to raise significant funds from your next event, you’re going to need help — even if you have a large staff or dedicated group of volunteers.  You’re going to need people who feel like they are part of your team, who commit to helping you raise money for the event — and who get their friends, neighbors, colleagues, vendors, clients, and associates involved in your event. Your event committee is at the center of an event fundraising network. The members of the committee should be expected to open up their own networks to the nonprofit for the purposes of the event.

Who should be on your event committee? Anyone who supports your mission, is willing to fundraise, and has a good-sized network they are willing to open up to your organization.  Ideally, your event committee will include a chairperson who is incredibly supportive of your mission and who has a massive network, as well as 5-25 major donors.

How do you get people to join your event committee? You ask!  You’ll need to treat this like any other fundraising ask. Look at your donor list to see who might be a good candidate.  Call or meet with each of these people to tell them about the event, why it is important, and what is expected of event committee members.

What should your event committee do? Make sure that everyone on your event committee knows their primary goal is to fundraise. Be sure to share the ultimate fundraising goal, and how you expect that goal to be met.  Be sure to give them the tools they need to reach that goal, including print collateral, event invitations, sample scripts, etc. You should also track the work of the committee … ask who they are approaching and how many tickets and sponsorships each member sells.  Hold regular meetings of the whole committee to talk strategy, check on progress, and offer thanks.

No matter how great your event committee is, never rely on them 100%. Your staff should also be working on the event by contacting your donors and selling sponsorships, as well as tracking the progress of the committee.

How to recognize event committee? It’s very important to let the committee know just how critical their role is in your event’s overall success. In addition to your written and spoken words of thanks, consider putting members’ names on the event invitation, thanking them as part of the event program, offering them special lapel pins or a number of free tickets for the event.

10 Tips to Beat Pre-Event Stress

Section: Blog

April is here and, for many of our clients, that means the peak of the busy spring event-planning season. So this post is likely reaching you at an elevated level of STRESS! Here are some of Event Journal’s favorite tips to keep your stress level at a minimum while planning your organization’s spring events:

  1. Take a 10-minute walk: We know it’s tempting to work straight through the day. But it’s definitely not healthy, and can even be counter-productive. So, schedule in a 10-15 minute walk each day – and leave your cell phone on your desk! The weather is getting nicer, so go outside and relax for a few minutes and walk off some of that stress.
  2. Breathe: There are many great breathing and meditation apps available on your smartphone. These can remind you to take a “time out” at regular intervals and can guide you through deep breathing and meditation.
  3. Employ aromatherapy: Unlike scented candles, ultrasonic diffusers are office-safe and healthy for you, generating a fine mist. Toss in a few drops of your favorite essential oil, such as lavender, frankincense and chamomile — which are known to reduce anxiety. Or for a more spa-like feel, try eucalyptus or tea tree oil. It’s amazing how mood-elevating this tactic can be!
  4. Outsource: Have you discovered you’ve bitten off more than you can chew? Don’t panic — outsource! It’s never too late to identify qualified professionals who can help offset your load. Think logically about which projects would be the easiest to outsource. Many clients turn to Event Journal for just this reason. By outsourcing the journal, they are free to pursue other, more meaningful pre-event activities
  5. Play relaxing music: Music certainly helps relax many of us. Whether you fancy classical music, new age or something more contemporary – music can help take the “edge” off our day.
  6. Bring your pet to work: We are all “better people” around out pets, and an increasing number of office environments have become pet-friendly. LinkedIn has over 4,000 results for “dog friendly” jobs, which presumably means they either have a designated “office dog” or multiple employees who bring their dogs to work. Dogs can significantly relieve stress and anxiety. However, if your company is not Fido-friendly, speak to your therapist about pursuing a “service-dog” designation.
  7. Bike to work: If you are fortunate enough to live close to your office, consider biking to and from work. It’s a great way to save money, reduce stress and “sneak” some exercise into your otherwise busy day.
  8. Set aside time to organize: The work-week can be a blur. So, it may make sense to pop into the office for a few hours on a weekend morning. It will be quiet … no emails, no colleagues, no phone ringing. And it just may give you a much-needed block of time with which to organize.
  9. Drink herbal tea: Part of taking care of yourself is staying hydrated. For those times you want something other than water, keep on hand a nice arrangement of herbal teas. Many teas offer relaxing properties.
  10. Eat right: It is tough to eat well when your stress level is high. Perhaps, for a limited period of time, subscribe to a healthy food delivery service and keep meals around for your weekday lunches. If you don’t take time to plan your meals, you may end up grabbing cookies or chips, or whatever is laying around the office – which will only make you feel tired and sluggish. Avoid simple carbs at lunchtime, opting instead for “power foods.”