3 Brilliant Ways To Be a Fundraising Superhero This Year


Every event manager wants basically the same things: Maximize fundraising, fill your event quickly, and do so in as little time as possible! Sound familiar? For our purposes today, we’re mostly talking about the first one: raising as much money as possible. So, when faced with the question, "How do I maximize my fundraising," the obvious answer is to get more registrants and sponsors. However, there are also many ways to raise more money WITHOUT adding sponsors and additional registrants.

Let’s start with sponsors. Running around and signing up tons of organizations to sponsor your event is fine. But it’s also very labor intensive. Imagine what would happen if you could make your sponsorship packages IRRESISTIBLE and high value! If you can do that, then not only will you have no problem finding sponsors, but you’ll have no problem charging more money and, therefore, raising more revenue! More on this later. !

Now, when it comes to your registrants (golfers, runners, walkers, bowlers, whatever), the name of the game is to keep one thing in mind: People will BUY more than you can ever SELL them. Therefore, the key to maximizing your fundraising is to give people opportunities to buy high value, interesting products and experiences at your event. This will help you capitalize on the fact that your registrants WANT to give you more of their money, all you have to do is give them something awesome to spend it on!

Lucky for us, we work with event managers all over the country and have seen the absolute best techniques out there for raising the most money possible. We have put some of those on this page for your benefit and for the benefit of your charity. Because, let’s face it…. your charity is counting on you to be an absolute ninja in the fundraising department!

Brilliant Way #1: Create "No Brainer” Sponsorship Opportunities

This would seem obvious right? If you’re going to be selling sponsorship packages then, certainly, you would want to make your sponsorship packages a "no brainer” so that potential organizations climb on board. But there are some very key ways of doing this that will make your sponsors come back to you, year after year, without even giving it a second thought!

Put your sponsor’s logo on your website

Ensuring your sponsors see a return on their investment is key to keeping them. A critical step in helping them achieve this is to get them recognized as often as possible by displaying their logo in association with your event as often as possible. Of course, you’re probably planning to do this on your "Day of Event” materials like the banner and shirts, but your website will likely be seen by far more people, especially if you’re promoting it on Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms. Therefore, your sponsor logos should be visible on your website in numerous places. Here are some ideas for this:

  • Advertise them somewhere on each page:

    Consistent visibility on your website is key to sponsor happiness. If you’re using BirdEase, it’s very easy for you to display your sponsor logos along the left side of your site on each page. See below:

    This particular feature also allows the user to "hover” over the sponsor logo and learn more about them

  • Advertise your sponsor in association with the particular package they purchased

    Check out this wildly awesome way that one of our clients is thanking their sponsors. When a package is sold, the item is marked accordingly on their website. More importantly, users can see which company donated the money for that particular package!

  • Have an "Our Supporters” Page

    This puts it all together for your sponsors and also allows you to recognize "in kind” sponsors and individual donors:

Brilliant Way #2: Offer "Bolt On” Packages That Most People Will Buy

It’s incredibly important to give people as many opportunities as possible to spend money on your event. Sure, some people only want your main registration package. However, there are many people who have extra money to spend and want to spend it on you! Here are some examples of "Value Bolt Ons” that will create additional revenue for you, and enhance your registrant’s experience:

  • Drink Packages

    You KNOW people are going to buy them…. So why not give them the opportunity to do so ahead of time, when they’re feeling generous? This gives you the opportunity to raise more money and get a better handle on your fundraising prior to your event!

  • Mulligan Packages (or similar)

    This is an absolutely genius way to capture additional dollars from each registrant because everyone needs a "second chance." You might want to consider limiting these to 1 per person, though… otherwise your event could go on all week!

  • Raffle Tickets

    This is a common way to increase fundraising, and simply requires that you offer high quality items and that you make it possible for people to purchase the tickets!

  • Offer an "All In One” Ticket

    Here’s how you can gain maximum value from every registrant: Offer each additional item as part of a single package! This ensures that you deliver maximum value to all of your participants while reaping maximum benefit for your organization:

    1. Online Registration
    2. Automated PDF Invoicing
    3. Auction Feature
    4. Full Email Blast Capability
    5. Tons More!

Brilliant Way #3: Have a People Auction (Yes, you read that right)

Every community has local "celebrities” who are willing to contribute their time to help your event. These people might volunteer to be a guest "caddy” or "partner” in your event. Many of our clients have found great success giving registrants the opportunity to "bid” for the chance to hang out with these superstars during the event. These can be local minor (or major) league baseball players, the Mayor of your city, the local weatherman, or other highly recognizable figures. See below what one of our clients has done with local celebrity chefs. Who wouldn’t want to spend the day picking someone’s brain about how to cook the perfect filet mignon?

Even if you can’t think of any "celebrities” in your area, don’t worry… try to think of people who have knowledge of a particular subject area that your registrants might like to know about, and ask your volunteer to freely share information during the event.

Here are some ideas:

  1. Financial advisors

    Many people have questions about their personal finances and would love the opportunity to spend the day picking the brain of a local expert on the subject. While there are always going to be limitations to the information that can be shared in a casual setting like your fundraising event, people will still find value in this.

  2. Doctors, physical therapists, personal trainers

    What a great opportunity to ask general health questions and get great advice!

  3. Automotive professionals

    For many people, purchasing and servicing a vehicle remains a mystery. This is a chance for your registrant to learn some "ins and outs," and you’ll likely have no problem finding a local auto salesperson to volunteer for this… since it might result in a sale at some point!