Non-Profit Fundraising Tips

#ThursdayTips My Sisters and Brothers of #BJM44 and #ATH142 planned the BEST parties!!! We held an annual Halloween Party in Germany. We were overseas and the military and civilian communities became family. Our Masonic PHAMily was strong. We raised money for philanthropic efforts (minus operational/admin expenses) to include: donations to support the USO Warrior Unit, Fisher House, Boys and Girls Club, Special Olympics, and other local charities. We partied with a purpose. We helped to raise thousands for our local chapter, our district and our sister/brother organizations. No matter what we worked together.

Many think about how to raise funds for their organizations. First: YOU NEED A TEAM! Consistency is key. Showing up. Being ACCOUNTABLE.

Here’s a proven formula that works: You plan an event around major holidays and/or with a hot theme: Halloween/Black Party/White Party/Masquerade Ball/Mardi Gras Party/Super Bowl Rep Your Team Party/etc. You book a venue. Consider Military Enlisted/Officer Clubs, Local VFW Halls, Hotel Banquet Halls, or Club Venues. Don’t forget your DJ, Lighting, Caterer, Bar/Drinks, Security, Tickets, and Marketing (Flyers/Social Media). Challenge your TEAM to each sale a certain amount of tickets. Charge enough to cover venue costs and other expenses. Calculate in your desired revenue to make profit. For example: Charge $35 per person . Your goal is to sell 300 tickets. You earn $10,500 for your event. Deduct expenses. I’ve found the venue and the bar/caterers to be the most expensive overhead cost. It helps to build relationships and to know where to get the best bang for your buck. CONSISTENT annual events generate a pretty substantial income for a non-profit organization.

To those newly in elected seats in non-profit organizations and those that sit on boards a little advice: ASK THOSE THAT HAVE COME BEFORE YOU. As the secretary and the head of multiple organizations I kept records of the planning documents, income/expenses, budget, and after actions reports. I now serve with the United Way National Capital Area and gained insight on grants and building non-profit boards. I served with multiple military organizations and we raised thousands volunteering at the Preakness and NFL Games.

Nothing is new. All of these organizations have been planning and organizing events for years. You don’t have to struggle reinventing the wheel. Ask those who have done it before you how to be successful.

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