Special Events Bloopers
Mistakes. They happen to the best fundraisers and nonprofit organizations. Here are some ways to avoid the Top 10 bloopers when it comes to special-event fundraising.
Blooper No. 1: Scheduling conflicts
Prior to researching venues, gather the dates of all public and private school vacations in your area. Create a master calendar by marking all dates that have potential conflicts (school vacations, holidays, World Series, etc.). Avoid nights on which competing organizations are hosting their own events. Determine which day of the week is most convenient for your guests, and be sure to consider work travel schedules, parenting responsibilities, etc.
Blooper No. 2: Event collateral oversights
Inadvertently leaving an important event sponsor off of a piece of event collateral can have serious, negative implications … for years to come! Compare your list of event donors from the previous year with your new list. If a previous donor is not included on the new list, confirm that the omission is intentional and not a mistake. If possible, have the individuals on the list sign off on the accuracy of their own listings. Designers make mistakes, too — check the accuracy of the information at every round of editing!
Blooper No. 3: Event committee misunderstandings
Set very clear roles, expectations and boundaries for your committees. Is your committee a working group or simply “name only”? Working committees should be kept to a manageable size. Will all committee members be expected to contribute financially to the event? If so, at what level?
Blooper No. 4: Not 'getting it in writing'
Without exception, every single event detail involving vendors must be in writing! Never assume that a verbal agreement is the equivalent of a formal agreement. Read the fine print, ask questions, and do not make assumptions! Be informed about all restrictions, exceptions, potential fees, and plans for worst-case scenarios.