These days, ROI is the name of the game. But, when it comes to fundraising events, “return on investment” ends up getting short-changed. Here’s why…
We all know that the “I” stands for “investment”…which usually means an investment of money and time to build and operate your fundraising event.
But, if you (or your Board members) are like Jerry McGuire and only shouting “Show me the money!”…then you’re definitely missing out on the bigger picture of what “return” you can reallyexpect from your investment.
One big benefit you can expect is increased awareness.The “noise” you create with an event will inevitably draw new attention to your organisation and your mission. When done correctly, this will improve your overall brand recognition. Of course you will also be attracting an entirely newset of constituents–participants, volunteers and donors–who you can educate about the great work your organisation does.
Another benefit–and one that is bestachieved with events–is a deepened relationship with your current community. Getting the chance to meet your participants in person gives your staff the privilege of strengthening their connections and laying the foundation for relationships that expand over the years- not just during your event. In other words, events lead to increased loyalty and retention of community members. Likewise, events can also strengthen your relationships with corporate partners. And, for those who haven’t been so loyal, events are also a great way (excuse) to re-engage with your lapsed donors and volunteers.
So, while it isn’t cold hard cash, these benefits do have realvalue. Just think about all of the money you would spend (or do spend) trying to achieve the same objectives using some other method or program.
Evenbetternews is that many of these benefits are ones an organisation receives in their firstyear of investing in an event. (The money–net revenue–actually comes later once the start-up costs are recovered and the event is achieving economies of scale.)
So, if you’re thinking about investing in an event program…you’re better off shouting,
“Show me the RETURN!”
You’ll be surprised (and delighted) by the value of everythingthat you actuallyget.