People are all the same…

04 Aug

ImageEvery day, I am reminded that people are same no matter where you go.  They may look different, dress differently and live differently…but inherently, they react exactly the same way when a similar situation arises.

Understanding what makes a successful charity fundraising event is the understanding of people.  However, the mistake is not thinking like your guests who are buying tickets or even the people who you approach to buy a ticket.  Charity Organizers often plan their fundraising events as the Charity and not as the people attending it.

Even today, I had the occasion to speak to one of clients who after being consulted still did what most of our clients do, which I will explain now.  Let’s use the example of Rita, who works with a local charity in Charityville USA.  Rita, who has been a valuable member of the charity, truly loves the work she does and knows the “In’s and Out’s” of her charity.  Rita, a kind and gentle soul, believes that her charity is simply the best, most heartwarming and giving charity on the face of planet – who wouldn’t want to support it?  However, she was finding it very hard to sell tickets to her Fundraising event.  Why?  She made a fantastic flyer with photos of some of the people which they have helped.  The name of the charity was clearly written at the top so everyone could see it was “ABC Charity” hosting it…but still, it was tough selling tickets.  Perhaps the ticket prices were too high, no – because she kept it priced so that everyone would enjoy a great meal for a more then reasonable price.  So what is the problem?

The reality of it is this – there are over 104 Million charities in the United States with only 50 states in the nation.  The competition is fierce between charities.  The plain and simple truth of the matter is, if Rita’s charity was so fantastic, she would not need to host a fundraising event at all – people would just simply give her the money she needed to continue.  However, that’s not the case at all.

Routinely, people are approached by many charity organizers constantly.  Plus other types of events are happening along with normal life.  Furthermore, there are very few charities that are completely different then the next.  Some charities have mission statements which do not involve everyone – and therein lays poor Rita’s problem.  Rita’s Charity only assists a certain sect of people and those who not involved in the charity itself have little to no appeal toward the fundraising event.

spend-money1So how does Rita rectify the problem with selling tickets?  It’s simple really but commonly missed.  When spending money, people spend with their wallets and NOT their hearts.  They have budgets, bills and responsibilities.  Plus if they are going to spend their hard earned dollars, they want to go to an event which is not like the others.  Perhaps it’s at a fantastic restaurant or concert and is something they do not do every day or even seldom.  If it’s a Fundraising event, what would draw them in…especially since it’s not the name or the mission of the charity?  This problem is rectified here:

IMG_0261#1 – Venue – The establishment which a charity event is being held could often detract from people attending.  But a great place will draw them.

If you are a fan of my Blogs, you have read my “Hints” about choosing an appropriate location.  If not, please go browse through them.

#2 – The Food – Remember, everyone could have home cooked food every day.  People will buy tickets to an event which offers food they do not commonly see, if it is reasonably price.  Ensure your meal plan is something different than what is found at home.

#3 – The items – This is without a doubt, the absolute most important aspect of all three.  Every single day, people attend fundraising events and see the same things on the Silent Auctions over and over again – Local donated items.  Here is the mistake – Local People attending a local event with items on the Silent Auction donated by local businesses.  If that stuff was so great, they would go and buy those items themselves!!!Beach scene

Having high profile items available to bid on is similar (if you think about it) like the meal plan right?  Items which are not commonly found in normal everyday life.  These types of items such as Autographed Sports Memorabilia, Music Memorabilia, Jewelry, Decorative items and Vacation Packages is what will draw them to you event time and time again without question.  Why is that?  Because of the competition – remember 104 Million Charities in the U.S. all of which host charity fundraisers?

Take a different approach, plan your Fundraising as if you knew nothing about the Charity.  What would attract you?  What would make you want to spend your hard earned money?  What would you like to see at the event – and plan from that approach.

Simply put, when attempting to sell tickets, it’s important for everyone to know it’s a charity event and who the charity is…but it is not the beginning and ending of a sold out crowd!!!  Put the event first…the food, the place and the “Stuff” and watch and see what happens to your tickets.  Sold Out!!!

The Great folks at BW Unlimited would love to help you and your charity meet or exceed your fundraising goals this year by assisting you with the above and other successful ways to “Blow away” everyone at your next fundraising event.  Contact us at

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Posted by on August 4, 2013 in Uncategorized


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