Fundraising 101

The information presented is intended to assist you with planning fundraising events. use as much or as little as you like. Nothing is set in stone. We continually modify  the process to maximize the events potential. The goal is the raise funds for your clubs worthy cases but we have also found that successful fundraising events build stronger and more vibrant clubs and communities.

You are welcome to contact me for clarification or assistance with your event. I trust that you will enjoy the process

Dick Stevens
Past District Governor 5340, 2012-2013

1. Goals to Accomplish

  • Establish your 1st year Event Goals
  • Develop what you hope to see by Year 5 of your Event
  • Develop an Event Budget for Year 1
  • Your Goal ~ Hold costs to 25% of Revenue
  • You should form a 501(c)(3) Foundation corporation for your Club 

2. Select a Steering Committee

3. A Successful Event Consists of 4 Elements

  • Revenue from Attendees
  • Excellent Event Presentation
  • Revenue from Live & or Silent Auction and Raffle 
  • Revenue from Event Sponsorship

4. Choose a Theme

  • Festive Party 
    • Cinco de Mayo
    • Mardi Gras
  • Sports Event
    • Horse Shoes
    • Scottish Games
  •  Wine Tasting with 
    • Art
    • Food 
    • Cheese
  •  Coffee Tasting & Dessert 
  •  Another creative idea

5. Generating Attendance

  • One Theory: Invite the people who you would like at your home for a dinner party. 
    You need a strong committee with each person committing to a # of Attendees. An Invitee List is created at least 120 days before the actual Event.  It takes good follow through with accurate Attendee listings as the Event unfolds prior to the actual day.
  • Another Theory: Involve the beneficiaries and give them a % of the ticket price.
    We selected 501(c)(3) Charities that our Club supports in most cases. 
    Inform the Charities as to the minimum # of Attendees that you expect. Get them to commit to # and keep them posted as the Attendees RSVP. Let them know that their participation this year is no guarantee that they will be asked next year. We require each Beneficiary has an active member on our committee. In reality, this type of event is designed to help both parties. 
By the way it’s a good way to develop new members.

No matter how you develop the attendance, whoever is securing the guests needs at least weekly updates, once you get within a month of the Event.

6. Time and Location

  • Select a Venue that will be large enough to meet your 5 Year Goal
  • Once site is selected, negotiate with location for future years, now
  • Leave it flexible enough that you can change locations if necessary
  • Consider the best time for the event
    • Remember public holidays
    • School vacation schedules
    • Other Rotary International and District 5340 Events

7. Event Image ~ Printing ~ Graphics  

This will develop over time:
  • Establish the Image of the Event early
  • Plan for a Website either stand alone or in conjunction with your club site
  • Suggestions for types of collateral material that you will need 
    • Letter to Suppliers, Sponsors
    • Postcards Invitations
    • Promotional  Backdrop for photos, as you might see on TV from a university
    • Develop Online Stationery
    • Thank You item for Vendors

 8. Promotion & Sponsors

 Suggested Promotion Schedule
  • Bookmark handed out 90 days prior ~ potential attendees
  • ‘You’re Invited’ postcard 6 weeks prior ~ same group
  • Email at 4 weeks & 2 weeks prior ~ any potential guests
  • Promotion that is permissible on your district web site 6 weeks out and   repeats  as often as allowed 
  • Get Suppliers & Sponsors to distribute Postcards &display Announcement Posters at their place of business
  • Committee member send out Press Releases ~ 120 days prior to Event
  • Invite Newspapers & Magazines to cover Event for next year’s publicity

Sponsors ~ One of the Four Keys to Success
  • Who are likely candidates?

    Airport Shuttle, Attorney, Auto Dealer, Banks, Casinos, CPA’s, Doctor,  Escrow Co’s, Financial Planners, Home Improvement Contractors, Insurance Agents, Limo companies, Realtors, Rest Homes, Mortgage Company, Phone Co’s, Party Rental, Real Estate, Title Co’s, Travel Agency, Veterinarians
You need at need several of levels of Sponsorship, I like 5. The Sponsor needs to see what they will be receiving for their support.  In the early years, the Sponsors will probably be known to the club members. As the years progress, the goal should be to get Sponsors that are unknown to club members but admire and support your cause.