Fundraising Tips Inspired by Beyoncé
Rock Your Signature Move. Every non-profit organization has its strengths and weaknesses. Like Beyoncé’s signature dance moves inspire her audience, knowing your “signature move” is essential to great fundraising.
What makes your organization stand out and attract supporters? What do you have that nobody else does? Maybe you’re an animal shelter which brings in kittens regularly—set up a Pay-to-Snuggle kitten booth or a Kitten Cam linked to your online donations page!
Embrace your non-profit’s uniqueness, or the uniqueness of your big annual event. Sing it to the skies. Sell it to the masses.
Watch Out for “Wardrobe” Malfunctions. Beyoncé always sets the latest trends with her favorite designers, yet prepares for anything that might go wrong on the red carpet. Make sure your event is trend-setting, while being prepared for any technical or logistical mishaps that might come your way.
Try these quick tips to make sure everything goes smoothly the night of your big event:
- Make a plan to complete all data entry before event day, and finish printing those bid sheets and guest lists. Don’t leave anything to the last second, because you’ll wind up with plenty of last-second to-do items already.
- Plan a dry run the week of the event with all your staff and volunteers. Let them know about an exclusive after-party they will be invited to after the event, so they have something to look forward to and feel appreciated.
- Establish a point person for volunteers and staff to contact during the event, in case there are problems that need solving. And arm them with two-way radios so they can contact each other quickly.
Have Your Best Ready to Go for the VMA Awards. Okay, so maybe your event night won’t be quite like the MTV video music awards. But the night of your event is on par for importance—you want to put on the best show you can.
These tips will make your event feel like a big-shot ceremony:
- Hire a professional benefit auctioneer. From ordering items in your live auction for maximum fundraising; to experience in engaging the audience; the expertise of a professional is worth it.
- Get professional entertainment, too. When your guests get up and dancing, they’ll remember what a great time they had when it comes time to buy tickets again next year.
Dress It Up. Even Beyoncé’s daughter Blue Ivy was gussied up to attend a U2 concert with her glamorous parents. The night of your event is your night to shine—so dress it up!
- Signage: One of the biggest mistakes organizations make is forgetting signage. Tell bidders where to go, so they don’t have to ask! Indicate where the line for registration starts, where to find silent auction items, and where to pick up items at the end of the night.
- Decorations: Embrace your theme! Your guests have paid good money to attend your event, so it should be a night that shimmers and shines.
- Pamper yourself: Remember that bit about planning? Don’t stay up until 2 a.m. the night before your event—you want to be fresh and ready to go on the big day.
Bring on the Hype. Lately, there’s been a bit of fuss about the rivalry between Rihanna and Beyoncé—fans are using hashtags #TeamNavy and #TeamBeyHive to show their allegiances.
Social media engagement is a great way to build excitement for your upcoming event. Do you have a secret or surprise that you could unveil at the event—and start hyping your supporters for in advance? Think of a super-secret auction item, or big news your organization could share. Then come up with a clever hashtag to spread it around on social media!
Time for Baby #2. Beyoncé and Jay-Z want a sibling for little Blue Ivy. Your auction wants a sibling, too! Start thinking about an online auction event for items that didn’t sell. And also begin planning for next year’s big event as soon as you can, so you have plenty of time to plot out your strategy based on what worked and didn’t.
- What went well this year? Ask your committee to point out what they thought the big wins were.
- What could be improved? Make a wish list of things you’d like to do better next year. Ask your big donors for feedback on how they enjoyed the event.
- Sit down with your volunteers and auction committee, and poll them about what worked and what didn’t.
- Set your fundraising goal a little higher for next year, and go for it!