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Marketing fundraising events can be hard … but it doesn’t have to be!

We’re dishing out 5 foolproof ways to market your next fundraising event. And guess what? You can start implementing them today to make sure your next event is a success!

PS. Keep reading to the bottom to find out what our BONUS foolproof way to market your next event is.


So … ready to jump right in?

1. Sell merchandise to promote your fundraising event. 

Marketing and fundraising unite! Blend your strategies leading up to your big event!

Not only will selling merchandise help you bring in extra donations before your fundraiser, but it will also provide a creative way to engage with your supporters before the event! And better yet, it’s an easy way for supporters that can’t attend to get involved and still rep what they believe in! 

Mackenzie PGA Tour example of selling items on trellis page.
Check out how Mackenzie PGA Tour is using merchandise sales for their upcoming tour!

When planning what merchandise to sell, consider something that complements your event while bringing your branding front and center. This will mean that anybody who sees your supporter’s sweet new gear knows exactly what they are promoting.

Use your event page to promote your sale, and keep some extras handy on the day of your event for some last-minute sales! (Trust me, when other attendees see your awesome merch in person they’ll want to get their hands on it too!)

2. Optimize your email marketing tactics 

Email marketing is NOT dead. It’s actually still really effective, you just have to do it right.

You already know that catchy subject lines, mobile-ready formats, and strong branding works. But in order to make your emails effective for your marketing strategy, you need to make it easy for people to engage.

Start by spelling out the details. Keep it clear and concise, but tell your email readers why they need to attend, when and where to go, and give them a link to RSVP right in your email! (You can take it up a notch and include a donate button too if you’re feeling extra ambitious!) When we make it this easy for our readers, we’re giving them no excuse not to attend.

3. Take your social media to the next level. 

Social media is noisy, so be even noisier.

We get it. When you don’t have a budget to put towards social media ads, and you’re constantly fighting with all the other noise on social media, it can be overwhelming. But why not try some of these tactics to stand out and make a splash!

  • Offer event giveaways or discounts to your followers. It’s working on Instagram right now so why not jump on the bandwagon?! Ask your followers to engage with you in some capacity for a chance to win free or discounted event tickets. For a relatively small cost, you’ll be able to get more eyes on your event, and create even more awareness about what you are up to!
  • Promote donation options. While you’re drawing more people to your social pages, make sure to remind them how easy it is to give! Even if supporters may not be able to attend, they may feel inclined to give, especially if you remind them how easy it is to do so!
  • Remind followers of the ‘why’. While you’re getting more attention to your page because of your event, make sure to keep sharing your mission, the impact your cause makes and stories of life change through your cause. With posts like this, your supporters will feel inspired to attend!

But, as you approach social media, make sure it still feels like your own. Remember it’s your platform to represent your organization however you would like! Use your voice!

4. Engage with strategic sponsorships for your event. 

Fundraising is hard enough as it is, so let’s call on the right people to make it easier.

Finding sponsors can be hard, but with a targeted and tailored approach, it might not have to be as hard as we think! For fundraising events, the ‘spray and pray’ approach is typically the way we start. If it’s a for-profit business we’ll throw out the ask and get used to hearing a lot of no’s. But this time, why don’t you approach it a little differently?

Start with organizations you already have a relationship with. Scan your CRM and pull out any businesses you’ve worked with before to start the asks. And as you’re making your asks, be strategic in what you are asking their sponsorship to entail. Many businesses are keen to offer in-kind services as part of a sponsorship, which can save you time and money. Consider what services you could use some help with, and find the right businesses to do the job! And, when you’re making your ask, make sure to share your organization’s story. Take the time to educate them on what you do, who you serve, and the impact your organization makes. Even if they can’t support you this time, with more awareness of your cause, they will be inclined to jump on board next time!

Catholic Crosscultural Society example of targeted sponsors.
Catholic Crosscultural Society found strategic sponsors to help them create amazing giveaways perfect for their attendees.

5. Offer online fundraising options.

In the world of technology, we can do anything in an instant. Give supporters a chance to donate to your cause instantaneously too.

When setting up your event page, make sure donation prompts are at the forefront. When people believe in your organization, they are more inclined to give, so as they are reading about your upcoming event, make the donation options easy and accessible. And, as a bonus, for supporters that can’t attend your event, you’re still giving them ways to get involved and support your cause! Win-win!

Elizabeth Fry Society example of using donation prompts.
We love how Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society has given tangible outputs to encourage supporters to donate.

And try using a thermometer to measure your fundraising success. It’ll help people visualize your progress, and create a sense of urgency to reach your fundraising goal!

BONUS! Engage in third party fundraising options. 

You’ve got keen supporters, get them to help you reach your goal!

Empower your third party champions to raise funds, and help you reach your goal! Celebrate and promote what they are doing as much as you can, so that you can help them experience success and ultimately drive more donations to your cause. And hey, it might spark some other third party champions to get involved too! You can learn more about engaging third party champions here!

Elizabeth Fry Society example of engaging third party champions.
Central Okanagan Elizabeth Fry Society has done a great job of encouraging their third party champions to join their cause! Helping them exceed their goal faster than expected!

Lots of foolproof ideas to market your next fundraiser successfully! As you are putting these into practice make sure to reach out to our team and let us know how it’s going!

At trellis, our platform has been designed to help you do all of these things with ease. Don’t believe us? Book a demo and we’ll show you how.