You’ve booked the venue and sorted through most of the logistics.
Now, you’re ready to get the word out to your supporters and get them as hyped as you are.
For your event to be successful, strong event marketing & promotion is essential. From email marketing to word-of-mouth, you should plan to cover all your bases to make your fundraiser a success.
If you are not sure how to promote your fundraiser and need some help getting started, then follow these four steps to fill your fundraising event.
1. Plan a three-part email series
Email marketing should be at the core of your event promotion strategy.
Keep in mind most of your supporters and donors need to hear about your fundraising event multiple times before they commit to donating goods or money, so plan to send at least three emails:
- Event Announcement – This initial email serves as your Save the Date. Send this out to spread the word as soon as the date is nailed down, so your attendees can plan ahead.
- Event Reminder – When you have more of the event logistics solidified, send an email invitation that highlights the main attractions of your fundraiser to your supporters.
- Last-Chance Email – Create a sense of urgency with your subscribers to boost last-minute RSVPs.
Keep all your emails short and sweet, so readers can make a snap decision and act fast. Focus on a picture, paragraph, and call-to-action in your emails — then provide more details on your event landing page.
With the majority of emails now read on a mobile device, make sure you’re using a mobile-responsive email design and that people can RSVP on a mobile device.
Even if you believe most, or all, of your subscribers are viewing your emails on a desktop device, you should confirm whether or not you have any mobile viewers by looking into your opens-by-device reports. If you do have some subscribers viewing your emails on mobile, you need to look into using a responsive template.
2. Extend your reach with social media
While email marketing allows you to reach your audience directly in the inbox, social media is a little trickier. Social media algorithms restrict the number of people you can reach on most channels.
Focus on visual content, which performs best on channels like Facebook and Instagram. Consider making a short Facebook Live video or Instagram Story to show how your organization is prepping for your big event.
Don’t forget to include a link to your event landing page for details on how viewers can sign up.
You can also look for opportunities to repurpose photos from last year’s event. Share a photo with a caption that relives a great memory, then encourage people to sign up for this year’s event.
3. Encourage staff, speakers, and registrants to amplify your promotion
Remember, event promotion should be a team effort; the responsibility shouldn’t fall on you alone.
Send a quick email letting your staff know how they can help you out. You can even draft some sample social media posts, so they know exactly what to share.
If you have speakers coming to your event, ask them to promote your fundraiser by sharing information with their audience as well, as the more people you reach, the better chance you have at hitting your fundraising goal.
Lastly, remind your supporters to share your social media updates or forward your emails to broaden your reach to your target audiences.
4. Submit your event details to local media outlets
To promote a fundraiser locally, you don’t have to write a full-blown press release. Instead, submit your event to local event sites and place an ad in the “what’s happening” section of your local paper — many local papers will publish a fundraiser for a reduced advertising rate or even waive the fee altogether. Just be sure to reach out early because deadlines can vary widely from publication to publication.
Adding your fundraising event to a couple of local event calendars will get you in front of a targeted audience who’s actively looking for something to do within their community and can help you raise more money or gain interest from future volunteers.
If you’re hosting a large fundraising event, plan on making it an annual thing, or if the cause is urgent, look into getting local media to cover it. The added media attention can go a long way in raising the funds you need.
WATCH: How to promote your nonprofit and drive results with online marketing
Watch this on-demand webinar to see how Constant Contact makes it easy to inform and engage community members, grow, and drive fundraising efforts – with all the marketing tools you need in one place.
From email to automation, websites, social, integrations with other tools you’re using, and more. In this free, one-hour webinar, you’ll get an overview of the tools that Constant Contact offers and see how you can drive results with online marketing.
Ready, Set, Grow!
More RSVPs mean more donations from your fundraising efforts, so don’t skimp on your event promotion. By completing all four of these steps, your guest list will be packed with enthusiastic supporters in no time.