Successfully Promoting Your Charity Event

Lori Halley 12 September 2011 0 comments

This is a guest post by Howard Adam Levy, Principal of Red Rooster Group and Founder of The Nonprofit Brand Institute  a branding agency that creates effective brands, websites and marketing campaigns for nonprofits to increase their visibility, fundraising and effectiveness.Visit them at http://npbrandit.com/.

Have you noticed how there are more and more charity events happening these days. On the streets of New York City, they are even advertised on the sides of public phone kiosks. While there has been some debate about the diminishing returns of fundraising events, it hasn’t stopped the proliferation of galas, golf outings, marathons and social events. In fact, it only raises the bar to stand out from the crowd and get your event noticed.

To make your event a success, you need to properly plan and promote it. Here’s a checklist of things to consider with your event marketing. Every event is different, but this will help get you started.

Checklist

Before the Event:

Planning is critical. You want to make sure you have enough time to do everything you can to promote your event. And remember that a fraction of the people seeing your promotion will actually attend the event, so use the opportunity wisely and attempt to educate them a bit about your organization.

  • Post your event on your site
  • Mail “Save the Date” postcards
  • Email blast to your donors
  • Write an article or post an ad in your newsletter
  • Advertise in local websites and publications
  • List your event on www.charityhappenings.org
  • Mail printed invitations
  • Create journal ad solicitation sheet
  • Create sponsor packages
  • Promotional video
  • Social media:
    • Create a Facebook event
    • Promote on LinkedIn
    • Tweet about it on Twitter
  • Order promotional items / gift bags to hand out
  • Create event agenda, brochure, journal and other print materials.
  • Create posters and postcards for local distribution
  • Send out news releases to local media and online sources

Promotion During the Event:

This is your big opportunity to present a professional and unified image. If your signs look homemade or your presentation doesn’t coordinate with your journal, you may be sending the message to your donors that your organization is uncoordinated. And that doesn’t send a positive message about how professional your organization is, so make sure it all ties together.

  • Directional and Welcoming Signs
  • Displays, banners or posters promoting your organization
  • Podium Sign
  • Presentation Screen
  • PowerPoint or video presentation
  • Program / Agenda
  • Name Tags
  • Awards / Certificates
  • Agenda, Journal, Handouts, etc.
  • Remember to take photos and videos

Promotion After the Event:

After it’s over and the dollars are in, it’s not the time to drop the ball. Follow up with your donors and deepen the relationship. Post the photos from the event on your website and send them the link. Promote the success of the event on your social media channels, and of course, don’t forget to thank your donors.

  • Thank you notes to committee, vendors, sponsors, donors, etc.
  • Post photos and videos on your website, Facebook, Flickr, etc.
  • Send press releases to media about success of the event.

See your event, not as an annual happening, but as a key milestone in nurturing a donor in a year-round effort. Continuously using social media to communicate with your donors will show them that their participation is important. Sharing photos, posing questions and conducting polls are just some of the ways to keep donors involved. And keep donors apprised of where their donations are being allocated to keep their support ongoing — that’s the key to keeping them hooked on your organization. Planning an event is a lot of work, so make sure you maximize the opportunity and get all that you can out of it.

Howard Adam Levy is principal of Red Rooster Group, a branding agency that creates effective brands, websites and marketing campaigns for nonprofits to increase their visibility, fundraising and effectiveness.www.redroostergroup.com.

Photo credit: Nantucket Historical Association (NHA) Library

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Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot] Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Posted by Lori Halley [Engaging Apricot]

Published Monday, 12 September 2011 at 9:00 AM

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