Getting your Toolbox Ready!

toolboxIf you or your group is really thinking about doing an event as a way to fundraise, the first thing you need to do is to start getting the right tools in your toolbox.

Database – If you don’t already have a database of supporters, attendees from previous events, committee connections, etc. start building one today! Make no mistake; your list of contacts will be invaluable when it’s time to send out a Save the Date Card, or invitations.

Homework – Have you looked into what else is being offered in your community on the date you are planning? Small towns won’t have as much clutter but major cities have events daily. Just make sure you aren’t up against the Super Bowl if you’re in a sports town or the local rodeo day if the whole town shows up for that!

Muscle – Can you attract a handful of volunteers to serve on a planning committee? You don’t want to exhaust them before the event, but be sure they will be there for the long haul.  They need to commit to monthly meetings for 6 or 7 months before the big day, with the possibility of bi-weekly meetings as the event draws near.

Then you need to think about the volunteers that will be needed to actually staff the event. Here you want to think about shifts so that everyone has equal time to work, eat and enjoy! Think about how your attendees will arrive and the flow of registration. Don’t switch out volunteers during a crunch! Make a shift change after the crunch! Whether that’s parking, registration, silent auction close-out – whatever the job, it will have a timecrunch so look at those as you make up a schedule.

Here’s a great article on planning a wine tasting from Eric Orange of  LocalWineEvents.com It’s got some great tools but certainly reinforces why you need to have some expert help! It’s a long list! Overwhelming if it’s your first go at it, manageable with a professional at the helm. This is also a great place to post any local fundraisers that meet the criteria!