What is the Purpose of a Fundraising Event?

two women in dresses on a stage, speaking in a microphone before a crowd

Blog Post by: Krista Elmore, MBA, CFRE

According to Kindful, the nonprofit glossary website, “a fundraising event is an event designed to raise awareness and support for an organization’s mission.” It is the belief of STUDIO 4Forty that nonprofit fundraising events are crucial to the success and lifeline of an organization. Fundraising events not only provide a means to revenue, they are also an opportunity to expand the nonprofit’s notoriety in the community they serve and beyond.

Nonprofit fundraising events are not only fund-raisers, they are also friend-raisers and fun-raisers. Events make a lasting impression not only on the attendees, but also on the volunteers, sponsors, and donors. It is the single best way to tap into the nonprofit’s thread of networks and raise awareness for the services and mission of the organization through pre-event solicitations and marketing, event day activations and communications, and post-event thank you notes and reporting.

At an event, a donor has the ability to actively engage with the charity. Volunteers have an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the organization’s mission and services, which often leads them to become the charity’s longest, and most dedicated, donors. With an opportunity to serve and engage, donors and volunteers are more likely to stay connected to the charity for years to come. This one-on-one interaction is critical in establishing loyalty.

If you, as an organization or board member, are worried about the impact an event can have on your staff, their capacity, or the reputation it might create for your organization, I want to encourage you to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Events are an opportunity. They provide a platform for brand recognition, mission awareness, and an influx of new supporters and donors. As an example, our first year Wine Women & Shoes partner in Bakersfield, CA in 2021 saw over 50% of their attendees as new donors and sponsors. What an incredible return! Yes, events take a substantial amount of work, but the reward outweighs the burden. If you still aren’t convinced, we’d be happy to set up a time to chat about events and how they will fundamentally improve your organization while staying true to the unique mission and branding of your nonprofit.

Now is the time to re-engage your community with a fundraising event. We have seen tremendous returns for nonprofits that have stepped back into the in-person event arena. Supporters are enthusiastically ready to attend in-person events with their friends and fellow community members to make memories and, more importantly, a positive impact on worthy causes. Creating an exciting atmosphere that resonates will reap endless rewards.