Getting people to your fundraiser

Everyone wants to have a great fundraiser: a fundraising extravaganza that raises big money and has people buzzing about how well attended it is. After all, there is nothing worse than an event that flops and send you scrambling at the last minute to get someone, anyone—paying or free—through the door. So what the secret to success?

Have your hosts invite their friends. 

The whole point of an event is for you to meet new people. As a candidate you need to expand your network, especially your contributor list. The quickest and easiest way to do this is to meet your friends’ friends. Your hosts can open doors to some of the most connected and wealthiest people in your community: people you couldn’t get to on your own

Set expectations straight with your host when you initially discuss an event.

 Hosting an event doesn’t mean simply opening up their home to you as a free location. Confirm with them directly that they will be inviting their friends. An easy way to do this is to agree to mail out invitations when they send you their list of names. This does a few things: 

  • You can set the date after you receive the list. This way you know that invitations are sent out four to six weeks in advance—not at the last minute.
  • It ensures that enough people are being invited. Count on only 10-20% of your invitees coming; if the list is too small, suggest co-hosts.
  • Now you have a way to contact people who weren’t able to attend so you can introduce yourself over the phone later.

It doesn’t matter that the food and the decorations are perfect, if the right people aren’t there to see them and you don’t raise much money. So set the event off on the right foot by thanking your supporters for offering to have an event to introduce you to their friends.