Planning a Fundraising Event – Budget

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Installment 4 of Planning a Fundraising Event – Budget

The previous installment of Planning a Fundraising Event focused on setting goals. Within the goal setting, a budget will be developed. This is to help establish the concrete numbers necessary for the cost planning for the fundraising event as well as the establishment of a fundraising goal that exceeds this budget.

Event Budget

It is critical to set a budget for your fundraising event. This is to ensure that costs do not get carried away and that plans are adhered to. It is always wise counsel to stay at or below budget in your actual spending. Costs do not need to be exorbitant, and if proper negotiations are made, the costs can frequently be done below cost with vendors. Their discounts can count toward ‘in-kind” donations for their own business taxes. Be sure to provide them with proof of their donation (the difference between their normal rate and the discount they provided you). Relationships, as always, are the key to succeeding in the nonprofit world. 

Budget Tips

Spend money on:

  • Marketing – do what you can in-house to cut costs, but healthy marketing will be required to get the word out, and ultimately add to your fundraising event donations. Don’t forget to use your Donor Database CRM, especially if it has a built-in email series option and marketing platform that can be used on your website directly. Salsa Labs is a great resource for this kind of campaign effort and support.
  • Take advantage of nonprofit postage rates – the U.S.P.S. does offer a different rate for nonprofits than it does its regular customers. Don’t miss out on these discounts!
  • Media buys – extended packages that include a longer period of time can offer a better rate than one time hits. Many will offer you a discount if you commit to longer runs. Longer runs lead to more potential donor exposure. All in all, it is in your best interest to go for a longer run than a short one to cut costs. You may even be able to comp them tickets or other perks if they offer you an even greater discount (which can also be counted as an additional “in-kind” donation. Be sure to offer them the tax documents for this discount difference. Longer contracts (multiple years) can also save you from annual price increases. It fosters a relationship and affords you an opportunity to cross advertise their services, which also encourages a happier collaborative relationship long-term.
  • Social media spend – Invest a little in this area. It won’t take much to see a big pay-off. Social media can handle the audience targeting in ways that are much more sophisticated than your best campaign planner. Let them do it.

Next week we will talk about your event Theme.