My Secrets to a Fabulous Party!
Lots of fundraising is built around socializing, isn't it? Whether it's a formal fundraising event or not, we are often organizing large or small groups of people in social situations. So it's really important to know your social skills and be able to throw a fabulous party.
For years, I've entertained audiences with my secrets to a great party. Now, I'm sharing them with everybody!
But first: What's the difference between an "event" and a "party"? An event is when you throw a bunch of people in the room, give them something to eat or drink, and hope they survive. A party is when you actually care about the experience they are having.
Maybe we, as fundraisers, just might want to pay more attention to the quality of the party experience for our guests. Just like we'd do at home. To be a great fundraiser, you need to be really good at "small talk," listening, conversation and socializing. Right? You need to be able to interest and engage people. So here are my tips for a fabulous party:
STAGE ONE: BEFORE THE PARTY
Here is where your plan can make or break you. Be sure you follow these tips:
1. Put together a terrific committee. Your committee is your "social branding" for the party. People will attend because they are close to your organization or they know someone on the committee. Plaster your invitation with committee members' names.
Be sure you have committee members from a wide-ranging demographic. Get different professions and types on your committee: real estate folks, attorneys, bankers, corporate types, soccer moms, different communities around your town, different religions and social networks. Get different ages on your committee.
And be sure committee meetings are fun!
2. Get your sponsorships. Focus on identifying and soliciting sponsors. That's where the profit will be for your event. And it takes plenty of lead time to properly approach the right sponsors and close the deal.