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7 Ways To Boost Your Fundraiser Attendance

Raise Awareness for Your Fundraising Event

Hosting a successful fundraiser comes down to how much buzz you can generate around your event and how many bodies you can get through the door.

Look at it this way: At the end of the day, it’s a numbers game.

The more people you can get to attend your event, the more funds you’re likely to raise, which means it’s in your best interest to make sure your marketing plan is on point.

While no amount of prep can guarantee an ideal turnout, you should do everything in your power to raise awareness for your event and the cause it supports. And you should do so in a strategic, phased approach so nothing falls through the cracks.

Not sure where to begin? As always, we’ve GOT you!

Here are 7 ways to boost your fundraiser attendance so you can achieve the goals you’ve put on paper.

Close-up shot of woman's arms typing on a Macbook.

1. First and foremost, craft a message to target the right people.

Marketing ALWAYS deals with messaging first.

If your message is too vague, uninspiring, or falls flat in any way, it will be harder to get people excited enough to come out and support your nonprofit.

Avoid misconceptions and miscommunications by creating a concise and crystal clear message that addresses the specific people you would like to attend.

The first priority is to make sure your mission is thoroughly and clearly stated so anyone who reads your promotional materials understands the purpose of your event.

Then, you have to make sure the language you’re using appeals to the demographic of the people you’re speaking to. That means you should be careful with slang, cultural references, and anything else that may cause a disconnect between you and your audience.

When it comes to messaging, it’s clarity first then creativity second!

2. Create an event web page

Years ago, we would have said this step was optional. But nowadays, we encourage nonprofits to create separate web pages for their charity events so they can reach their full earning potential.

Not only would a separate web page allow you to share about each specific event with fewer distractions, it would also come across as a more professional move. It shows your audience that you are taking your fundraiser seriously and that they should too.

That, and you’ll have an online home for each event that you have sole control over—you know, in case you lose access to one of your social accounts overnight. Yikes.

Screenshot of Tides' Annual Impact Report microsite.
This interactive microsite was developed by Acton Circle for Tides, a philanthropic partner and nonprofit accelerator, who wished to showcase their 2021 Annual Impact Overview to current and prospective partners.
Screenshot of 10,000 Degree' Annual Report microsite.
10,000 Degrees wanted a digital version of their Annual Report, which was presented through a visually appealing microsite developed by Acton Circle.

3. Write a press release

To gain more media attention for your fundraiser, writing a press release is the natural next step.

In the past, press releases were distributed to news outlets and then to journalists. Because of this practice, a standard format was adopted, which is worth looking into if you haven’t written one before.

Press releases are powerful tools because they allow you to control the narrative around your nonprofit while you grow an organic following.

If you take the time to carefully write and tailor a press release for your charity event, you can build awareness on your own terms and with the portions of your nonprofit’s story that you want to share with the world.

4. Send Save the Dates & Invitations

This step is critical!

Save the Dates give your guests plenty of notice so they can schedule time off to attend your event. They also give your sponsors time to factor a contribution into their budget months in advance.

Invitations will tell your potential guests when, where, and for how long your fundraising event will take place. They play a hefty role in building anticipation for your event so make sure they’re easy on the eyes!

On top of that, your invitations can give you an idea of how big the turn out will be for your event—if you give your invitees the option to RSVP that is.

5. Write a handwritten invitation to your most loyal donors

In the case of repeat sponsors and generous donors, you can go above and beyond by including a personal note or by sending them invitations you’ve written by hand.

This extra step will show them the depth of your appreciation and may inspire them to continue donating to your nonprofit in the years to come.

Take this as a reminder that you should be reaching out to loyal supporters instead of only focusing on getting new sponsors.

Close-up of a person putting a thank you note into an envelope.

6. Launch a social media campaign

The power of social media is undeniable and you should be leveraging your social platforms to get the word out about your event, early AND often.

If you’ve never launched a social media campaign before, here’s a quick campaign planning breakdown:

Define your goals

  • Who you’re targeting, how many people you’d like to attend your event, etc.

Select the social media platforms for your campaign

  • You can’t be active on every platform AND be effective (unless you have the manpower to ensure it’s done right, which isn’t normally the case) so consider carefully which 2-3 platforms you’d like to focus on.

Create a list of what your campaign content should cover

  • This includes the theme, the purpose of the event and the cause it supports, what attendees can expect, photos or video footage from past events, etc.

Make a social media content calendar

  • Figure out when, what, and how frequently you want to post about your event and then come up with a number of graphics and pieces of copy you’ll need to generate for the campaign

Design the assets and write the copy for your campaign

  • Once you have a set number of assets to create for social media, it’s time to get to work! The sooner you crank these out, the better.

Launch your social media campaign

  • Share your campaign with the world and watch the excitement for your event build!

7. Utilize email campaigns

One of our favorite ways to market charity events is by targeting your nonprofit’s email list.

The power of email marketing cannot be overstated. Unlike social media, email marketing leverages the fact that you have direct access to your audience members’ inboxes. That means your subscribers are there on purpose and they WANT to hear what you have to say.

If you haven’t tapped into the power of automated email marketing, now’s a better time than ever to get on board! Keep your fundraiser top of mind by sending the occasional email update leading up to the event itself. You can alleviate the stress of email marketing by writing out and scheduling each email in advance. 

Despite what your fears are telling you, you CAN host successful charity events that achieve the goals you’ve set out to accomplish.

It all comes down to your marketing strategy and your willingness to follow through on the promotional plans you’ve put in place.

For those of you who need support with the design projects related to your nonprofit event, don’t hesitate to contact us!

Impactful design goes a long way in communicating your message and inspiring sponsors to take action, so don’t put it on the backburner any longer. 

We’ll help you get the look that matches perfectly with your mission. Contact us so we can get strategizing ASAP!

March 8, 2023

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About Acton Circle

We’re Acton Circle, a boutique design agency helping purpose-driven organizations increase their impact. Led by Founder and CEO, Olivia Wheeler, Acton Circle has helped countless change-makers leverage the power of design for social good.

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