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Last week we began a discussion about the importance of events for nonprofit organisations, despite the fact that the past few months saw many events being cancelled, postponed or transferred online. The truth is that in spite of the challenges, events should certainly keep happening as they are our best opportunity to build relationships, help others in the community, grow awareness or raise funds.

In today’s article we are taking a look into event planning and sharing our best tips for organising a successful nonprofit event that ensure that your event runs smoothly.

1. Choose Your Team

Is there a person or a group of people within your organisation who can take responsibility for planning, marketing and hosting you event? It is helpful to have a point person who can take care of logistics, make inquiries (regarding the venue or speakers), and coordinate the work of others. Choose someone who is good at planning out the details, delegating tasks and managing volunteers, and regularly check with them regarding the progress.

2. Set Goals

Once you dive into planning your next event, be it a fundraising brunch, youth camp or weekend conference, it is crucial to determine what you are trying to achieve. What is the main purpose of holding this event?

Try using our SMART Goal Planner to get more clarity on your desired outcomes. Here are just a few examples of getting more specific and clear on your goals:

  • For community events, how many families or households would you like to help, how many trees would you like to plant, how many homeless animals would you like to give shelter to?
  • For workshops or conferences, how many participants would you like to invite, how would you like to price your tickets, would it be possible to host the event online if need be?
  • For fundraising events, based on your needs and your donation history (i.e. how much people usually give), what is the amount you would like to raise and how many donors do you need to reach out to?

In addition to these, think about how the event will impact your organisation and its future and how it will help promote your cause

3. Determine the Budget

Another important aspect is considering the costs of your event. These can include your event venue, sound and lighting equipment, catering, marketing material and advertisement, software and such. Developing a budget you can stick to is always helpful, so that at the end of your event you are not facing a bill that defies all your fundraising efforts.

It is also a good idea to brainstorm on what type of event (theme, speaker, location or activities) would most appeal to your audience and see how you can maximise your resources to provide the best experience. How about recruiting sponsors for your event? Try approaching businesses and organisations in your area. Even if some cannot give money, they might be able to help by providing the venue, equipment, decorations, or food.

4. Create a Schedule

Lastly, use a calendar to plan out the details of your event preparation. Once you have decided on the date of your actual event, work backwards to jot down all the important tasks and steps that need to be completed prior to that day. By what date should the marketing and promotional materials be designed, printed and distributed? When do you need to confirm with the speakers or catering company? Having a detailed timeline will help your team successfully fulfil their tasks and avoid the overwhelm in the days and hours leading to the event.

You can also hold an orientation for your event volunteers (or workers) to brief them on their assigned jobs and shifts, go over the event schedule and layout, decide on how you all will handle emergencies, and also answer questions or offer encouragement. Hosting events requires energy and hard work, so don’t forget to show them your appreciation.

To finalise, for nonprofit events to be successful, they need to be planned out well. Using comprehensive software that is specifically designed to organise and manage events is extremely beneficial. infoodle Events package offers a calendar that you can share with your team and a rostering functionality that helps you manage your volunteers. Besides, right inside your infoodle CRM, you can create to-do lists and assign tasks to others, create Forms to capture registrations and sell tickets, and more!

Watch a demo on demand or contact our product experts to find out more about infoodle CRM and Events Package!