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5 Effective Tips To Increase Fundraising Event Attendance

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High fundraising event attendance is better than gold. It's a solid opportunity to take your non-profit project to a new level. However, competing for donors' attention is no simple task. You need to exceed expectations, stand out, and hold your position.

Achieving a high attendance rate begins the moment you decide to organize the event. Keep in mind that while quantity is nice, quality is what counts. Each person attending your event isn't just a potential donor. They are a cause ambassador with word-of-mouth capabilities that go a long way.

Let's take a closer look at 5 effective tips to increase event attendance.

1. Explore Internal Resources

Since the donation potential of attendees is what really counts at a fundraising event, you need to bring people who are most likely to donate. To do that, you need to go through your internal donor database.

According to the Pareto Principle, 20% of event attendees are likely to be responsible for 80% of the raised money. People who have already contributed to the cause in one way or another are more likely to do so again.

Make sure to invite volunteers who have worked with you in the past as well. Volunteer donorship is highly common. In fact, people you engage through volunteerism are 67% more likely to make donations than the general population.  

As an incentive, consider offering volunteers and donors extra perks during the event. Examples are a professional photoshoot on-site, swag, monogrammed water bottles, and other appreciation gifts that can motivate a person to attend.

For volunteers and donors who are your best bet, consider creating personalized invitation messages. If volunteers are organizing the fundraising event, give them the resources to craft appealing invitations.  

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2. Capitalize On the Social Factor

Why do people attend fundraisers? Around half of them are dedicated cause supporters. The rest come out of curiosity or to accompany a friend or family member. Let your invitees know about the opportunity to bring a friend. In fact, ask them to do it.

Once your potential attendees agree to bring company, ask them to share contact details beforehand. Then craft a personalized invitation for each one of them with information about your cause and share clear donation instructions.

People who come with friends and family also have a high potential of becoming serious donors or volunteers in the future. The non-profit fundraising event is an opportunity to promote your cause to new people.

With proper stewardship during and after the event, you can encourage these attendees to make significant time and money donations. The contact information you gather allows you to make follow-up calls and send thank you letters that also serve as reminders.

3. Ensure Financial Accessibility

While raising a significant amount of money is the obvious goal of the fundraising event, making attendance expensive could be counterproductive.

Consider creating ticket tiers to make your event accessible to people with different income levels. For example:

  • Gold participant ticket - $1,000
  • Silver participant ticket - $500
  • Regular participant ticket - $150

Your potential attendees should have an opportunity to choose the ticket on the registration page. They should clearly understand the benefits that come with a more expensive ticket. For example, gold contributors could benefit from:

  • VIP sitting area
  • Inclusion in press releases
  • Recognition by event speakers from the stage

Donors that can afford a higher tier are highly likely to benefit from marketing perks, such as press releases. Attendees from lower tiers can appreciate swag, signature cocktails, and other less expensive incentives.

By making your nonprofit fundraising event financially accessible, you aren't just raising the attendance rate. You are getting an opportunity to attract new volunteers.

4. Delegate Fundraising to Volunteers

Fundraising events often require significant investments. One of the ways to save on the organization while improving attendance rates is to arrange a volunteer network fundraising event.

It's up to you to generate ideas for volunteer fundraising events. It's up to volunteers to make them work. The main benefits of these events include:

  • Volunteers are already devoted to your cause
  • Volunteers have the time and skills to arrange fundraisers

Volunteers bring many potential contributors into the picture. These people have already built relationships with other volunteers and donors who may be interested in your event.

For example, corporate volunteers can involve their colleagues or management. If each one of them brings a friend, attendance at the event can skyrocket.

Potential donors are more likely to trust volunteers with experience than a non-profit organization they've never heard of. When sending out invitations, volunteers can use their passion for the cause to maximize attendance.


Don't forget your Volunteer Events Planning Guide!

5. Rely on Marketing

Promoting your event is key to increasing attendance. Even if you are arranging a volunteer fundraiser, you have to invest some time in marketing.

  • Use Google Ad Grants ( Google allows non-profits to take advantage of ads for free. Use the opportunity to market your event on search engine result pages).
  • Create shareable posts on social media (make it easy for volunteers, staff, and event speakers to repost the information)
  • Add detailed event information on your website (consider shooting a short promotional video)
  • Ask local media outlets to mention the upcoming event

All the above tactics don't require significant expenses. However, if the budget allows, you can invest in paid marketing tactics that may involve working with a social media influencer. If an influencer promotes your cause to a large audience, you can increase attendance significantly. Ideally, you need to find an influencer who cares for your cause.  

Maximizing Fundraising Event Attendance

The above 5 tips to increase fundraising event attendance can help you attract potential volunteers and donors while increasing cause and brand awareness. However, volunteer fundraisers require a special approach to volunteer coordination. That's where volunteer management tools come in.

Galaxy Digital's volunteer management solutions can help you arrange a successful volunteer fundraising event by streamlining volunteer recruitment, communication, tracking, and engagement. For more information, please book a free demo today.

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