Event organizers have plenty of creative ideas to attract attendees. However, it often takes lots of money to turn those ideas into a real-world experience.
Thankfully, there are plenty of traditional and non-traditional fundraising methods for your events. After calculating the estimated expenses, we hope your team will use at least one of our fundraising ideas listed below. Combining multiple fundraising methods can also help you reduce risk and secure donations faster.
Thanks to websites like Kickstarter and GoFundMe, crowdfunding is more accessible than ever. By simply providing details about your event and setting a fundraising goal, your team can ask potential donors to support your event.
Event organizers can use Kickstarter as an easy way to gauge interest. Supporters can pledge to buy a ticket in advance while also helping you reach your fundraising goal. You can also offer other attractive rewards for supporters who contribute to your event. This method is essentially risk-free since the pledged money is released if you fail to reach your fundraising goal. So, if people believe in your creative ideas as much as you do, they can support your cause without the risk.
Although GoFundMe does not have that same risk-free ‘investment’ aspect, it is also a fantastic crowdfunding source. Rather than pledging money in exchange for tickets or merchandise, potential attendees can donate directly to your event. In addition, GoFundMe allows organizers to withdraw their raised donations at any time.
The key to crowdfunding is bringing awareness to your campaign through social media and other marketing channels. Building an audience is far from easy, so be sure to find which crowdfunding platform is most relevant to your event and excite potential guests with your creative ideas. Create a compelling video or presentation to show people why they should contribute to your event.
By reaching out to a target investor, organization, a nonprofit, or an old friend who knows and trusts your company, you can secure an angel investment. An angel investment is a form of fundraising that comes from a kind person or corporation looking for investment opportunities.
Thanks to websites like AngelsDen and Fundingpost, relevant angel investors can easily find event organizers with investment opportunities like yourself. Keep in mind that websites like these do charge a fee, and they often require some trading history to receive larger investments.
In addition, platforms like EventFund are usually more relevant for events, and you can also use them to secure an investment. Although there is no fee to use EventFund, they do make money by sharing revenue from successful events.
Advanced ticket sales
Similar to crowdfunding, advanced ticket sales can be a fantastic way to raise money while simultaneously gauging the interest of your social media audience. You can use PromoTix to start selling tickets in advance, while also gathering essential funds. No ticketing fees and daily payouts can also help you build capital with greater efficiency. It may be difficult to attract an audience at first, but you can use early bird perks or discounts to help attract a person who is unfamiliar with your event.
Sale of advertising/exhibition space
Tickets are not the only thing you can sell in advance. At your event, you can sell ad spots in programs, t-shirts, and more. If your venue has more space, you can also sell exhibition spaces—like stands or booths— to other companies.
It may be difficult to secure ads or exhibitors if your business does not have a proven track record, but do not let that stop you. Bring in exhibitors and ads early on in the process by offering discounts to companies. Once they are committed, you can use them to boost your event’s credibility for other companies.
Savings/internal marketing budget
Another fundraising method is to commit some of your own donations to the event. By offering some of your own funds, you can also show potential investors how committed you are to ensuring your event’s success. Be sure to check how much money you can afford to contribute to your event before doing so.
Get a bank loan/grant
Although the process may be time-consuming, grant applications are a great, risk-free, fundraising option. Grants from the government usually have high payouts and little to no strings attached. You should make sure that your application is suitable for the specific grant, which depends on what type of event you’re hosting. In addition, you should also make sure that the application process timeline concludes before your event, so you can secure the funds in advance.
If you can’t secure a grant, you may also want to consider taking out a business loan from the bank. Similar to angel investments, you often need a proven track record to secure a business loan, which can be used towards your event. If you are unable to secure a business loan, you can also borrow against an existing asset. However, please put plenty of thought into this option, only use it if it is necessary, and be 100% certain of your event’s success. Talking to a financial advisor can help you determine whether or not taking a bank loan is the best option for you.
Trade services/ask for volunteers
Another way to partner with other companies is to trade services. As an event organizer, you should think of things you can offer to other companies in exchange for the goods and services you need. For instance, you can offer a person an opportunity to sell their new beverage items in exchange for a bartender to serve drinks. The more companies you work with, the more money you will save.
If you can’t trade services with another company, consider building a team of volunteer staff from local businesses. There may be plenty of people who are willing to help out, and those volunteers may have the same skills as professional staffers.
Asking a business or organization for sponsorship can be another way to secure donations. Businesses often set money aside every year to donate to the local community, so your mission is to give people a strong reason to contribute towards your event’s success.
Businesses are selective when it comes to whom they choose to sponsor, so it is important that you put your best foot forward before asking for sponsorship. To secure sponsors, event organizers need to secure core donations beforehand. Organizers should use that core fundraising to create an agenda, determine a marketing plan, and outline clear benefits to present to potential sponsors. They should also be ready to show relevant data and answer questions such as: How many tickets can you sell to guests? Where is your event? Who is in your performance lineup? The more prepared you are, the greater the chance of you securing a sponsor.
Hosting a successful event can be difficult without the proper event fundraising. However, using a combination of these fundraising ideas can help bring your event to life. Before you begin, calculate your estimated expenses and how much money you can realistically get from each method before approaching others. Start small, and as you secure more partnerships and donations, use that as a talking point to pitch your event to bigger players. Your budget should also include some spare money, just in case anything goes awry before, during, or after the day of your event.
Please be sure to leave a comment if you have a creative fundraising idea. For more tips and tricks to hosting a successful event, be sure to subscribe to our PromoTix newsletter by signing up at the bottom of the page. To start selling tickets to your event today click the button below.