Charities are struggling in the UK with falling income and public trust but a growing need and increased competition. How can we safeguard and grow unrestricted income going forward? I believe events have the answer and following on from my article on 101Fundraising last November, here are four more changes charities could make in order to futureproof their events activity.
1. It’s time to stop viewing events as their own separate income stream and reposition them as a central function that can add enormous value, grow your fundraising and build your supporter base long term. If events only sit in their own fundraising stream, they can be (and often are) considered a drain on other activity when in fact they should be treated as enablers for all.
2. People everywhere (including your existing and future supporters) are seeking opportunities that provide engaging social media content. You could go to any bar and witness selfies in action and Instagram friendly backdrops. Events provide content in bucket-loads and they don’t even need to be fancy, expensive or especially innovative. Immerse your supporters, give them an experience and lots of opportunities to shout about it before, during and after.
3. Rather than approaching a prospective partner for sponsorship or table sales once the event is fully planned, collaborate with them fully and early on, even before the concept has been agreed, so it’s a true strategic partnership which will meet their business needs as well as yours. Collaborations take time but the rewards can be great.
4. If an individual wants to raise money and awareness for a cause, they no longer need a charity to organise it for them. Crowdfunders and non-financially driven movements such as Extinction Rebellion and #MeToo are proof of that. So where does that leave charities? What do your supporters really want? How do they want to show their support of your cause? Do you know? Why not use events to talk, listen, build on your supporter’s motivations and start the wheels in motion to real and lasting change. Yes this may well take capacity away from existing income generating events but in order to really thrive we need to start doing things differently and that will mean taking some risks.
I know that implementing this kind of change is hard. Just finding time outside of the demands of your day job is tricky enough. If you are interested in hearing more, I offer a free 30-minute discovery call so comment below or message me if that is of interest. Thank you for reading.