A Few Event Rules

I am not an events person. The last couple of months I’ve been running a number of fundraising events. I thought it might be valuable to talk about a few of the rules and mistakes that I’ve learned along the way. I imagine many of you are solid events people so just take this time to laugh at me and please send any thoughts or advice. Today I’ll focus on a few of the rules.

  • Plan in advance; invitations need to go out at least 6 weeks before the event.
  • Generally don’t have events on Friday evenings or weekends. People are not as interested in attending events as this is their time for socializing.
  • If it is a house party it is often common practice for the host to cover the cost of the food. If it is another kind of event often times the nonprofit (or sponsors) will cover the cost.
  • Take time before the event to prep key staff that will be at the event on who is coming. It can work really well to have an action plan for a few of the guests before the event starts.
  • It is often common practice to send thank you letters right after an event. Prepare these letters in advance so guests receive them within a couple of days of the party.

5 Responses to A Few Event Rules

  1. Good summary Jason, but we’re finding the we have to do a two-stage invitation process. Circle the date postcards go out about 6-8 weeks prior, a formal invitation about 3-5 weeks prior, and then phone calls to the key constituents you really want to get there. We even have a checklist that helps us decide whether or not, and how, to host an event.

  2. Scott Rooks says:

    I agree with Dan on the two stage invitation process.

    I would like to add on informal events pot luck works or a share your best food item party like soup or chili works well right now. Not all events need be formal and right now thats important to show some practicality do to the economic climate we are in.

    I agree on action plan for important guest so they don’t get overwhelmed but not ignored either. This is a good strategy.

    Also make sure you have a strong tie in to your cause so that you really emphazise your need.

    Thanks for this important topic as it is somethinging we should all concentrate on at this time and when we help others concentrate their energies out side themselves we get postive motivation going for everyone.

  3. Terri Andrews says:

    One thing I learned the hard way… If your event is on a Friday in the Spring, check the lenten calendar, because many folks still eat fish… and only fish… on Fridays.

  4. […] launching a new program, a new fundraising campaign, a new event. Perhaps you’re hosting a major event—a great way to pull together your most loyal donors together and make giving a fun, community […]

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