Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Nor were the pyramids.
Or the Sagrada Familia.
Same goes for (successful) fundraising events.
As we study top fundraising events around the world, we’ve noticed that they have three things in common: vision, investment and patience.
Vision. A nonprofit producing a great event sees their program as something much larger than the experience they are creating or the amount of money they hope to raise with it. Instead they are building a movement….using the event to deeply engage participants, fundraisers, volunteers, donors and sponsors in the mission of the organisation. Eventually an important shift happens. Instead of hoping for a solution, the “tribe” created by the event realises theyare the solution they were hoping for. They adopt the vision as their own and will stick with it until the goal (and mission) is realised.
Investment. Nonprofits with top events spend time and money acquiring the knowledge, skills and materials necessary to build the event, attract the tribe and inspire them to share the collective vision. They understand that “doing it right” means investing in people and processes that aren’t always the lowest cost, but will bring the highest value in the long-term. While their vision is the blueprint, they know that only skilled craftsmen using quality materials will be able to bring it to life and make it “built to last”.
Patience. Calendar time is a necessary evil. Like building a foundation brick-by-brick, events literally need years to pass in order to rise to their full potential. In the beginning, only a few early adopters will join. This may seem small…but nonprofits producing great events understand the power and importance of this group…and will still invest in delivering an outstanding experience for them. Because when they do, those early adopters will return, and bring their friends, family and colleagues with them the following year. Each of them solidifying the foundation upon which more can be built.
When it comes to events, early results can be humbling…even scary….especially considering the investment that was made.
The greatest events aren’t fooled (or discouraged) by their humble beginnings. Their vision remains BIG, their investment bold and their patience enduring. And it pays off.