Just One Thing: Elevate your Fundraising Events

On Thursday, we invited David Mirisch of David Mirisch Enterprises to discuss ways to fundraise through events.  He laid out the basic and fundamental principles and tips for fundraising events.

Our favorite tip was to sell opportunity tickets.  If you are pricing your fundraising event tickets higher than usual, sell an opportunity ticket at a low price.  Like it sounds, an opportunity ticket is an opportunity to receive a full-price ticket to the event.  The drawing from all purchased opportunity tickets then takes place roughly two weeks before the event.  Your organization benefits from added income from folks who would not otherwise buy a full-price ticket, and one lucky winner has a chance to attend your fundraising event.

In addition to this idea, we would also like to build on a couple of his presentation points:

1. Using vacation packages to raise more money during auction-type events.  If a member of your Board has a vacation home outside of the Flathead, it can be used to create a valuable vacation package according to Mirisch.

What happens if no one on your Board has a vacation home?  As you know, the Flathead is a prime vacation spot.  Here’s an idea we recently heard… Build a vacation package with a Board member’s primary home or cabin, local restaurant gift certificates and more.  Then, get on the phone.  Call nonprofits in other states to make a trade.  For example, a nonprofit traded (with a nonprofit in Boston) a Board member’s cabin in a vacation package for Boston Red Sox tickets, a weeklong stay and dining gift certificates – Boston Red Sox tickets and accompanying vacation package are more valuable here at an auction than in Boston, and vice versa.

2. Creating fun events to raise awareness about your organization.  Mirisch outlined how creating a fun event can be an avenue to introduce more people to your cause.

Yet, in the spring and the fall in the Flathead, every weekend is filled with two or more fundraising events, often auction-type dinner events.  How does your nonprofit break through?  Start first with researching the types of events other nonprofits (similar to yours) are hosting in other parts of the country.  Concentrate on events that could be tied in your mission and that would be enjoyed by a majority of your donors.  Be unique.  Be fun.

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