It takes a lot of time and effort to plan a successful fundraising event, and even more to make sure you’re maximizing your efforts. That’s why having a good grasp of your Event Budget and ROI (Return on Investment) matters so much for your fundraiser. These days, there are countless tools that can help you track expenses, compare costs against goals, estimate profits from ticket sales—and more! In this article, we’ll explain how to minimizing expenses so that you can reinvest in new ideas for future fundraisers without breaking the bank.
Event Budget Basics.
Before you even begin to plan your event, make sure that you have set the right goals. These goals will help determine the success of your event, so they are important to think about in advance.
- What do you want to achieve?
- How much do you need to raise in order for this goal to be met?
- Who is going to donate and how much should each donor contribute?
- Why are you raising money for this cause/project/organization?
Determine your goals and objectives.
Your event should be grounded in your organization’s mission, and it should align with the other initiatives you’re working on. Before you start planning your event, take some time to think about what it is you want to accomplish. These goals will guide your decisions as you move forward, and they’ll help make sure that everyone involved knows why this particular fundraiser is being held.
If this is the first time your organization has done a fundraising event, it’s unlikely that you will have a clear idea of how much money will be raised. It just means that those goals will be more flexible than usual until after those other events are over (or until later in their planning stages). This gives flexibility so that changes can be made if necessary. For example, if ticket sales aren’t going well, but sponsorships are doing well enough on their own (or vice versa), then maybe ticket prices need adjusting!
Get on the same page with your Board and Staff.
Your Board and key Staff should be involved in the planning process. It’s important to align on what is expected from the event early on so you can work on meeting the right expectations. They know what’s important to your organization, and they can help you decide what is and isn’t worth spending money on. For example, staff may have experience with a particular kind of event or venue that would be cheaper than other options.
They can also help you find ways to make your event more efficient. For example, if an event requires multiple people working together at once (like a gala or golf tournament), then it might make sense for one person to coordinate all aspects of this production—instead of leaving each step up to someone else who may not have experience doing it themselves.
Ask yourself what you can do without.
In the event budgeting process, it’s easy to get caught up in the idea that everything needs to be perfect and extravagant. But there are some things that you don’t need to spend money on at all! Do you really need an open bar? Can you get by with just one appetizer? Will it hurt if your guest list is smaller than originally planned?
Leave room for unexpected expenses.
It’s better to have some extra money than not enough. Unanticipated expenses can be a lot more expensive than you think, and they often come at the worst time.
That’s why it’s important to build some wiggle room into your Event Budget. That way, if something unexpected comes up, you’ll still be able to complete your event on time and within budget.
Use Your Event Budget for ROI measures.
Your fundraising event will most likely have several goals, but let’s focus on the ones that are measurable. For example, you might want to increase awareness of your cause and get more people involved in the organization. Or maybe you’re hoping to reach a particular goal with donations or fundraising activities. Whatever it is, you should have specific ROI measures in place for each goal. You will have a better idea of how successful your event has been after it’s over.
Here are some common ROI measures:
Increased awareness: The number of people who know about your cause and/or know about your organization has increased since before the event started. You can measure by impressions or media mentions.
Increased attendance: The number of attendees at an event has increased since before the start time (in relation to previous years)
Auction sales: The amount raised through auction sales has increased by X percent since last year
Keep track of where your money goes to maximize revenue, limit costs, and increase fundraising impact.
You might be wondering if it’s worth the effort of tracking potential revenue, expenses, and ROI for your fundraising event. The answer is yes! Keeping track of these numbers will help you maximize revenue—and thus your fundraising impact—by minimizing costs. Here’s how:
Use your fundraising software to track all money raised by your event (including pledges and proceeds from auctions) as well as expenses related to holding the event.
Record how much money has been pledged by each donor who has already paid their pledge amount. This will allow you to quickly calculate how much money still needs to be raised before the deadline.
Make sure every new donation includes information about whether it was made online during registration or via check/cash at check-in. This will help ensure that donations are accounted for correctly since checks often arrive before, at, and after an event!
Start thinking about your Event Budget for your next fundraiser NOW.
So, what does this all mean for you? It means that you should start thinking about the event budget for your next fundraising event. Don’t just throw an event together and hope for the best. When you plan ahead you get the most value out of every dollar spent. This will help ensure your event is successful, as well as protect against any unexpected costs or setbacks.