How to Hype Up Your Next Fundraising Event

As with anything in life, if you want to see results you have to make time for it. Musicians can’t magically pick up a guitar and play a riveting five-minute solo that captivates. There are hours of practice involved. Michael Jordan definitely didn’t start out as a professional basketball player. He couldn’t even make the high school team right away. But he made the time, and the payoff is evident.

If you want your next big fundraising event to be a success, you’ve got to put in the time to make sure it happens. That’s where promotion comes in. An integrated promotion approach for your next fundraiser is going to give you the most payoff. And here’s how to make it work.

Make time for traditional advertising methods.

It’s evident we’re living in a digital world (if you look up from your smartphone long to realize it), but traditional media is far from being irrelevant. In fact, it can be most effective when paired with the digital world we all love, for better or worse.

One of our favorite lists of fundraising ideas from the Razoo Foundation includes some of the traditional media we’re talking about. Direct mail, print advertising and flyers all made their list, alongside social media. But remember—when you’re pushing out printed promotions, drive people back to your online efforts. That’s the beauty of each medium working hand in hand.

But…social media IS your best friend.

Move over, Jessica (or Eric, or Angela, or whomever your best friend is). When it comes to marketing your fundraiser, you’ve got a new best friend. And her name is social media.

Because people love to tweet or make a post bragging about your organization or event…if it benefits them. Try holding a contest leading up to the event or on the day of the event. The winner of the most ridiculous or most clever post wins something. Trust us, people will get into the idea no matter how small the prize.

If it’s the day of the fundraiser, put something silly out on the tables that people can take pictures with. Maybe it’s a hat, sunglasses or even a gigantic feathery boa (Hey, don’t knock it til you try it). Use those posts to drive traffic for the day of the event and beyond.

Give a little mystery to your promotions.

Your fundraiser is going to be the best fundraiser that’s happened to your community. But what makes a human being want to attend something? (Besides being an awesome event?) Mystery.

When you tempt people with some intrigue, it makes them want to come and find out even more. So if there’s a big reveal you can do on the day of the event, or even small details that are sure to impress, hint toward them in your promotion. Save some of the details for the actual event. Think intriguing wording and some mysterious clues to drive people to attend your event. It’s all about incentive.

Remember, next year matters (maybe even more than this year).

If your fundraiser was successful, it’ll be the first of many annual events. Why? Because people value consistency, and it takes awhile for word to spread (even with the best ideas).

So just because the event is over doesn’t mean the promotion can stop. Now is the time to build the hype for next year. Post your event photos to Facebook and tag as many people as you know so that it shows up in their friends’ newsfeeds. Drive some curiosity. Tell media outlets about the success of your fundraiser. Bring it up in conversations with friends and community members. Any way you can, start building hype.

Cheers to promoting this year’s big event, and best wishes for an even bigger event the following year.


Lyndsey Hrabik

Lyndsey is a former editor for Nonprofit Hub and Nonprofit Hub Magazine. She now serves as a guest contributor, writing on topics such as social media, technology, marketing and starting a nonprofit.

November 10, 2014

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