Let me ask you something: Why should people come to your charity event?
If the only answer you can come up with is “to give us money,” you could probably use a little help with the planning process. Nowadays, it’s so easy to donate to a charity; your mobile device and Go Fund Me are basically all it takes.
But there’s a reason you don’t rely on crowdsharing apps to fund your non-profit. Charity events increase engagement, donations, and interest from those who attend.
Here are 10 ways to make your charity event more memorable so you can generate buzz and raise more money than you ever thought possible.
1. Pick a Great Theme
A great theme will make your charity event stick in your guests’ minds year after year. But it’s not enough to slap a few words on the invites and call it a day.
After you select an awesome theme for your charity event, go full-force on it. Include the food, decor, photo booth props, and dress code on the action. Leave no stone unturned; the smallest details can make the biggest impact.
Stuck? Here are some awesome charity event themes to pick from:
- 90’s Night
- Retro Board Games
- Glow in the Dark
- Casino Night
The best themes make a memorable statement. Here’s some advice on writing the perfect theme name.
2. A Touchstone Headliner
Think of the headliner as the thing that gets your attendees off the couch and through the doors of your charity event.
Having a main “headlining” act or event—such as an amazing guest speaker, performer, or even a celebrity emcee—is not only a major draw, it’s an incentive for people to return to your next event. “Last year’s event was so entertaining…this year is sure to be a blast!”
Your headliner might come along with the theme (craps and blackjack tables for Vegas night) or the type of event you’re hosting (local celebrity emcee at a black-tie gala). Either way, pick something that fits your theme, the tone of the event, and the interests of your donors.
3. Stay on Message
Sure, we’re all here to have a good time, but it’s a good idea to remind your guests why they’re attending your charity event in the first place.
At some point during the program, you should make some time to share stories of how your non-profit made an impact.
Feature some individuals who have benefited the most from the services you offer. (If you can bring some of them to the event to share their stories personally, all the better!) Put up some photos or show a video of the ways your charity gives back to the community.
When people know why they’re giving, they’re likely to give more.
4. Celebrate Your Progress
Keep donors and attendees in the loop throughout the night with how much money you’ve raised so far. Seeing the numbers climb will get everyone excited (and encourage more donations).
When doing this, it’s best to give attendees an idea of where their donations go. Instead of saying, “Our budget is $5 million a year,” explain that raising $500,000 can help 100 people.
At the end of the night, make an announcement of how much was raised so far and let everyone celebrate with you!
5. Incredible Food
You know what they say: The way to a man’s (or woman’s!) heart is through their stomach.
A fun and delicious menu is one way to get people excited about your charity event.
Don’t phone this in! Think about both taste and presentation. (This is not the time for canned vegetables and dry chicken.) What if you want to have a nice dinner but you’ve only got a ramen noodle budget? Consider asking a local restaurant if they’d be willing to donate food in exchange for a listing as your event sponsor.
Don’t forget the tone of the evening, either. Just as you shouldn’t have a buffet at your black tie event, don’t serve surf and turf at a low-key board game tournament. Remember, you can have just as much fun with a candy display as you can with a chocolate fountain.
6. Raise a Glass
A bar adds a celebratory spin on your event that helps raise both donations and spirits.
If you feel you might offend certain donors or board members, offer some sparkling cider or a signature mocktail instead of the more traditional bubbly.
There’s just something about a bar that makes a humdinger out of a “ho-hum” event.
The word “souvenir” is French for “to remember,” so what better way to make your charity event memorable than to give attendees something they can take home?
The best freebies are things that 1) include your logo and 2) never get thrown away. Photo booth strips fit the bill perfectly!
When you rent a photo booth from Photobooth Rocks, your one fee covers all the essentials: setup and breakdown, fun props, a professional concierge, and unlimited sessions and prints for all of your guests. Add your logo to the strip and they’ll think of you every time they look at their photo!
8. Additional Fundraising
If ticket sales are your primary fundraising income stream, you can increase your goals with a few additional fundraisers at the event.
Auctions (silent or live) and raffles are great ways for people to remember you after the event ends. Being able to use and enjoy their winnings will keep you top-of-mind and keep them excited about next year’s event.
Most local businesses are happy to donate items in exchange for the marketing.
9. Get Social
Social media is key to throwing a memorable charity event.
When you spread all those images of people having a great time, it generates buzz among those who weren’t able to attend.
Pick a great hashtag and encourage people to use it when they share photos of the event. Include it in the decor and your printed programs so no one forgets to keep posting those pics!
Our Digital photo booth offers texting and social sharing capabilities, so they’re ready for IG, Facebook, or your chosen platform.
An after party is essential for long charity events, especially award ceremonies, galas, and other sit-down functions. Your guests will appreciate the chance to let their hair down, socialize, and celebrate a successful fundraiser.
Making your charity event memorable involves some planning, but the results are well worth it.
An over-the-top fundraiser not only helps you reach this year’s goals, it sets the tone for next year, generating a buzz that will build year after year.
We believe that no party or event is complete without a photo booth. It’s a favorite for people of all ages, backgrounds, and cultures, and is the perfect way to stay memorable throughout the year.