There Are No À La Carte Formulas For Fundraising Events
Customization and Leadership are Keys to Success and Social Profitability
There is a notion that ‘off the shelf’ events that already exist in the marketplace can be repackaged to suit other not-for-profits. Why do charities think that what works for one, will be good for all?
There is a growing trend to scour the world for the next great event concept. So, what makes an event a winner in one country or community and less so in another? What makes one walk better than the next, or one bike event, or one marathon, etc.?
We’ve seen that there are three components necessary to attain Social Profitability in the event space… they are activation, participation and engagement.
I’ve witnessed events that have provided spectacular results for a charity in one part of the country and have struggled to show comparable results for the same charity in another city.
Why does this happen?
Has the country been overly saturated with charitable events? I don’t believe we’ve reached the saturation point, yet, as we’ve seen many events continue to attract larger participant numbers, sponsorships and drive more fundraising dollars to the cause.
When the very DNA of the event matches the brand identity and mission of the charity, good things can happen. Events bring communities together to generate social good, raise brand profiles, drive new revenues and grow return to the charity for new and existing charitable clients.
The key is to find what will attract and engage people in order to customize a winning concept for each individual charity. Winning concepts take note of market differences and adapt, adjust and reset accordingly. And they need to be able to push the boundaries to create epic and memorable experiences for their participants, which will lead to further excitement and empowerment.
It is imperative that the leadership of the organization provides their full support to the event. They have to prove to be engaged from the top down in order to foster that same spirit and enthusiasm throughout.
In my opinion, charities shouldn’t be invested in the event production space, either. They should work with talented agencies and event professionals who can take on the responsibilities and leadership of the day-to-day event planning, management and logistics. Charities should focus their efforts on what they do best… recruitment, fundraising and stewardship.
In order to find successful event solutions, charities should partner with companies that will create customer-centered experiences to evolve their brand through a full delivery of concept to execution, based on a not-for-profit’s needs.
In the words of Alex Baxter, President and CEO of CauseForce, an industry leader in producing active lifestyle events, “Through Social Profitability, we are working together to advance the efforts of not-for-profit organizations as they look to generate profits in every sense of the word, to meet and surpass their community and fund-raising objectives and create new revenue opportunities. We recognize our shared desire to make a difference and be socially minded, to support our current and future clients, to inspire the community and extended donors, to raise funds and build awareness of their important causes.”
Finding the right event, the right venue, the right leadership and the right partnerships to create Social Profitability can be… So Worth It!