When you incorporate your mission into your event, it helps your event stand out and connects it to your cause.
Events are mainstays of the fundraising world because they bring the community together, attract new donors and volunteers, and of course, raise money.
At our 2019 Thought Leadership Summit, Swaim Strategies led a presentation on ways every nonprofit can incorporate their mission into their event. The featured image in this article was hand-drawn by a graphic artist with Urban Wild Studio during our 2019 Thought Leadership Summit in Portland, Oregon.
Here’s a brief recap:
- Lean into the group dynamic – People are excited to be there so capitalize on that with enthusiasm. Reassure they made a good decision by choosing your organization.
- Use the energy early in the event to encourage excitement.
- Stand behind your mission and start off with something like “At this org, we believe in…”
- Lead with your mission – When welcoming guests to your event, it’s always good to share the purpose of the organization. The “who we are and what we do” message is a reminder of why you’re all there and what people can expect.
With the welcome and housekeeping out of the way, you can invite people to participate in the live auction and special appeal.
Keep the event focused on your purpose for gathering by sharing the necessary details of your appeal. Let people know how they can participate. Share a heartwarming story that showcases the mission. Such stories increase the flow of those “feel good” chemicals in your guests so they feel positive and want to tell others.
Use Your Event to Tell Your Story
Stories are powerful. Fortunately, nonprofits have rich resources in their stories if they keep an ear out for them. Tie those success stories to your events and make them relatable. It’s always more memorable to have a specific story than a broad statement. If the event is starting to feel tired and no longer connected to the organization, then the stories are even more important.
One organization held an event called “Chair Affair” where artists painted chairs and guests bid on the chairs. The organization decided to reframe the message and update the branding. The new message was “Thank you for donating to Charlie’s Chair” rather than a guest walking away with a chair painted by an artist.
They also included new elements of fun like having a drawer pull where prizes and gift certificates were hidden inside drawers.
If you’d like to connect with remarkable fundraisers to collaborate, learn, and become inspired, then join us at our 2020 Thought Leadership Virtual Summit! You can register here.