Where’s My Save-The-Date?
If you can believe it, I still have a mailman that delivers to the front door. Each morning my trusty companions alert me of his approach. I’m one of the few that still gets excited with what he might bring.
I quickly sort through the contents, separating the junk from the good stuff. By good stuff I mean all the invites and save-the-dates to all the happenings in the Valley. This brings me to topic of August planning.
August is a time for checking off all those items on the never ending to-do list. Creating and maintaining a fundraiser that is successful and has sustainability is a challenge for nonprofits. August is the line in the sand for a successful event in January.
Within six months you may be hosting the Valley leaders, supporters of your organization and more importantly guests who want to learn about what you do. It’s time to put on your game face and wow them with a fundraising event.
So far all you have are the co-chairs, the venue and maybe an idea about how the centerpieces might look. Should you be worried there is little accomplished? No. Coming from a retail background with events stacked up like airplanes at an airport, a lot can be done in a short amount of time.
I have three points of view when I work on any event. I want to charm my guests, entertain them and ultimately retain them. These three personal favorites always work for a paid event. Never give them an opportunity to not return. Plan as if you were attending.
Everyone wants to have a profitable event. Spending less and making more is the desire of any nonprofit. The reality is you have to spend money to make it. Any good business mind knows that not everything is free. You must invest in your success.
To help the bottom line, meet with the venue, vendors and try to leverage your assets. Why not look within your assets to build the event? All the co-chairs can say is no.
By August, the theme, the colors and the graphics should be complete. These items are most important when presenting to potential sponsors. This is your chance to showcase both the event and your mission. No good community partner with a sense of business would turn down a well thought out marketing plan for a good cause while showing off their philanthropic side. It needs to be a win for both sides.
Also, during this month the mailings lists should be tweaked and cleaned up. That means adding new names—including yours. It’s the easiest way to check up on your own mail. Don’t forget the entire committee or the volunteers. They like receiving mail and it gives them a sense of purpose when they see their name in print.
Finally, just when you thought it was safe to head north to the Rim Country, there is always something to do to keep the project moving in the right direction. The direction is success and the destination is to sign the presenting sponsor up for next year.
The dogs are barking and I see the mailman. I’m wondering what treasures he will deliver to me today and if I should get my date book out?
Is your save-the-date there?