Fundraising events play a vital role to promote your nonprofit fundraiser. In order for an event to be successful, it must have people attending. If no one attends, not only is the initial investment lost but any potential donations are lost.
What can you do to ensure you have people attend your events? Marketing! Lots and lots of marketing. Everything you do to promote your fundraiser is part of the marketing process. Marketing your event takes time, you should be thinking about the steps you'll take to get publicity about your campaign at least six months before the actual event. Waiting until the last minute to promote your nonprofit fundraiser can result in poor attendance and loss of donations.
Promote Your Nonprofit Fundraiser Using Facebook Events
According to PEW Research 72% of all American adults who use the internet are on Facebook. This means a majority of the people you're trying to reach for support of your nonprofit fundraiser are on Facebook. Promoting your event on Facebook is a must in today's social media centered population.
Steps to Create an Event on Facebook
- Create the Event - From your organizations group or page, click the Events tab on the left. A pop up will appear where you can fill in details about your event.
- Name the Event - be sure it is descriptive and concise
- Add the Location - If the location where you're hosting your nonprofit fundraiser is on Facebook, images from the locations page will automatically be included. If your location isn't on Facebook, type in the address and Facebook will include a map to the location.
- Add the Date and Time
- Include an Event Photo - Use the correct image size for your event's cover photo - currently this is 1920 x 1080 pixels. Check out the cover image created for the AMVETS 3rd Annual Benefit Ride. When you look at this on either a mobile device or desktop computer all the information is visible and not skewed or distorted. Having a cover image that lists important details of the event can get more attention. We use Photoshop to create all our professional images but there are many free options as well. Using a tool such as Canva can help you create beautiful, professional images that look awesome.
- Select a category - go to Causes and select Fundraiser
- Include a detailed Description - describe the event, list event details (date, time, cost), purpose of the fundraiser, and its goals. Include keywords such as charity, bike run, veterans, fundraiser, and etc.
- Include link to purchase tickets - if you have a website where tickets can be purchased be sure to include this as well.
- Add co-hosts - anyone you add will be granted access to edit the event's details, moderate the guest list and post updates.
- Publish! Allowing guests (non-admins) to post on the event page allows people to ask questions and give feedback for your event.
Tips to Promote Your Nonprofit Fundraiser Event Page
Once you create an event page on Facebook you'll want to be active and promote your nonprofit fundraiser page in order to get the word out and encourage people to attend. Here are several tips you can use gain more interest and get more people to attend:
- Mark your nonprofit fundraiser page as an "announcement" in your group or on your page. This will make it stick to the top of the posts (remember to remove it from the announcements after the event so recent posts will appear at the top)
- Send invites to members of your group as well as to your friends who you think might be interested. (Invites can be sent by hovering over the share button) As the day of your event approaches, anyone who's been invited but hasn't given a response yet will receive a notification to remind them about your event.
- Encourage members and other invitees to click on the "Going" or "Interested" buttons to increase the number of attendees. People tend to have more interest in attending events that appear to have more people attending. Also every time someone clicks on the "Interested" or "Going" buttons, this creates a post in the newsfeed which their friends see. The more people who click on these buttons the more popular your event will be which will cause Facebook to publish it more often in the newsfeed.
- While you want to know who's not going to attend, suggest to members of your group that they send you a personal email or call you to let you know they're not going to be able to make it. When a lot of people comment on the event stating that they can't make it, this makes it appear as if the event isn't really a priority for members of the group. (Appearances are everything when trying to encourage people to attend your event)
- If your event is located at one or more locations, ask the locations to share your event.
- Post updates to your event page - thank donors and add pictures of prizes being donated, add pictures of your committee setting things up for the event. Remember to keep your updates short and to the point; long winded posts get overlooked. Check out the 7th Annual Veterans Ride and Benefit to get ideas of how they promoted their event.
- Get members of your group to share your event on their personal timelines - the more shares your event has, the more potential for people seeing your event.
- Have your members like your event using one of the emoji's instead of just the "like" button. This is something Facebook has reportedly slipped into their algorithm to make items in the news feed more relevant.
- Create an ad for your event - Even a $5 monthly ad budget will get the word out to a large targeted audience
- Fill in the complete details on the events page - the cost of the event, how to sign up, date, time, location, reason for the event.
- On the day of the event, use your phone to go live for anything from the preparation of the event to everything happening with the event itself.
- Share the event to other Facebook groups where it will be relevant.
- After the event be sure to write a post and add pictures of the event.
Facebook events are one of many marketing strategies you can use to promote your nonprofit fundraiser. Facebook is also useful in building a strategy to get the word out about your nonprofit organizations. By using a strategic marketing campaign, you can guarantee the best results possible from your nonprofit fundraiser.