Best Practices for Corporate Fundraising Events

The Value of Corporate Fundraising Events

Corporate fundraising events can be extremely powerful for businesses. They can assist with your corporate social responsibility and help you demonstrate your values as a business. You can do something for a good cause and raise money for a charity you care about. As a company, they can also help you engage with clients, suppliers and business supporters. Plus, they can assist with team building, staff development and boost your company culture. 

In this guide, we’ll run through best practices for corporate fundraising events to help you ensure your next event is a success. 

Defining the Goals and Purpose of Your Corporate Fundraising Event

Let’s start with the why. Why are you holding the event and what are you hoping to achieve? 

Establishing Clear Objectives

What is the objective of your event? Is it purely to raise funds for your chosen charity? Or do you have any other objectives in mind too? The latter could be to boost the visibility of your business with key partners or to network with potential clients. 

The objective will play into the type of event you host and how you structure it. For example, if it’s purely fundraising you can run a corporate sports day event or a company picnic and raffle with just your employees and their families. If you want to also incorporate some business networking into proceedings, you may want to opt for a gala dinner, black tie ball or golf day. 

Setting Realistic Fundraising Goals

You need to plan how much you expect to raise in funds from your event. Everything in your plan must then be geared around how you can achieve this amount of money, from your ticket sales to the extras you may plan to add on, like the charity auction at your gala dinner. 

Your fundraising goal should be the amount you hope to raise as a profit. That is how much you make once all your costs are deducted. You should consider the team and resources you have available to you, as well as the type of event you plan to host when setting your goal. 

Planning and Organising Corporate Fundraising Events

Let’s look a little at how you need to plan and organise your event. 

Selecting a Suitable Event Format

You have a variety of options to choose between. Do you want it to be just your company that attends? Or do you want to open it to clients, suppliers and other local businesses? 

If you want to keep it company specific, you can opt for events like: 

  • A team bowling night 
  • Karaoke night 
  • Bike to work week fundraisers 
  • Office raffle 
  • Film night 
  • Bake off challenge 
  • Company car wash 

Often, company-only corporate fundraising events will be cheaper to run, but your potential funds are capped by the number of people in your organisation. To increase your potential for fundraising, you may want to open it out to other third parties with an event like: 

  • Gala dinner 
  • Black tie ball 
  • Charity golf day 
  • Sponsored assault course, like Tough Mudder 
  • Charity five-a-side football tournament 

These bigger events bring the potential to raise more funds, but they can cost more to put on. Choosing your event type is a delicate balancing act. 

Logistics and Budgeting

Your fundraising plan must contain a complete budget that lists out all the expenses that will be required to host the event. The cost of an in-person event will increase with the more people you invite, while a virtual event can help save money on things like food and a venue. 

You should also consider your fundraising goal to make sure you raise an amount of funds above and beyond your expenses. Logistics plays a key part in your planning and budget too. Where will you host the event? How much will your space cost? Can you secure volunteers from the company to help at the event or do you need to employ staff? How will people get there? Are you laying on transport or will they need to make their own way there? 

You’ll need to map out all your logistical requirements and assign a cost next to them. These could include: 

  • Space rental 
  • Catering 
  • Entertainment
  • Transport 
  • Insurance 
  • Utilities 
  • Promotion 
  • Staff 

Promoting your Corporate Fundraising Event

A good fundraising event lives or dies with your marketing strategy. 

Leveraging Social Media and Email Marketing

You should draw up a marketing plan that covers off each element of your event. Is it an event where you’re inviting suppliers and clients? If so, your email marketing will be key to engage with these contacts directly. You’ll need to be super clear on your fundraising targets, what the event is, why it will be fantastic for them to attend and how much it costs. You may also want to consider personalised emails to bigger clients that you really hope will attend. 

To get your staff bought into the fundraising event, make sure you keep their excitement going through regular emails and social media posts. Your emails can be more informative in terms of when the event is and what they need to do. Your social media posts can generate a little buzz. Can you share pictures and videos of your last fun fundraising event? Can you post about the great amount of money you raised and what your goals are this time? You want everyone geared up and raring to go before your event. 

Even if your event is purely for staff, you’ll still want to get the attention of your wider network of clients and suppliers. Corporate fundraising initiatives can boost the reputation of your company and your standing in the community, so you don’t want to keep your efforts quiet. Social media promotion in the lead up to and after the event is key for making a bit of noise about it. 

Engaging with the Local Community and Media

If you’re opening up your event to the local community, for a corporate car wash for example, you’ll want to get the word out with them too. Again, social media is vital for this, but more traditional techniques like putting up posters in key places in the local area or handing out flyers are important too. 

It’s also a great idea to reach out to the local media. They will often be looking for wholesome stories about local businesses in the area doing good work for charity. Put together a prospect list of the media you want to go after, create a press release and send it out well in advance of your event. You’ll also want to make a senior person in your company available as a spokesperson if any local media outlets ask for interviews or comments. 

Using Easyfundraising to Help Raise Money

At easyfundraising, we offer a simple and hassle-free way for you to raise money for charity with your online shopping. As a business, do you buy office supplies and business essentials online? Most businesses do. 

If so, just sign up to easyfundraising. It’s free and takes minutes, and you can then shop online with any of our 7,500+ retailers. You’ll probably find that many of your existing suppliers are already partnered with us. Then it’s just a case of spending with them online, and once you do they will make  a charitable donation on your behalf. You’ll be surprised how much money you can raise simply by shopping with the same suppliers at the same cost. 

You can also encourage your employees to sign up to a personal easyfundraising account too, so they can raise even more money with their normal online shopping. 

Hosting Successful Corporate Fundraising Events

The success of your corporate fundraising event will hinge on your hosting skills as well as your logistical planning. 

Ensuring a Smooth Event Experience

This all comes down to adequate planning. First and foremost, you need to map out the stages of your event and what will happen at certain times during proceedings. You then need to make sure you have enough people to work on each different element. 

Once you have this, you need to ensure that everyone knows, ahead of time, what their responsibilities will be during the event and where they should be at all times. You’ll need to run multiple briefing sessions and it also makes sense to have a run-through of the event. This ensures that everyone knows how it will flow and staff have the confidence to understand exactly what their job is. It will also help you iron out any potential kinks in your planning. 

If you’re using any technology to present during the event, or if you’re running an online event, you’ll need to make sure the people operating the tech know exactly what they’re doing. A couple of run-throughs on this is essential to avoid any embarrassment on the big day. 

Showcasing Impact and Expressing Gratitude

Post event, you’ll want to showcase the impact of any donations received and express gratitude for people who came and donated. 

When it comes to showcasing the impact, this all comes back to your fundraising goal. Did you reach it? Did you smash it? How did individual people help you get there? Then you’ll need to thank the people that helped you raise funds. You can do this on your social media posts and your emails, but you may also want to consider a personal thank you to any big donors. 

Making the Most of Corporate Fundraising Events

Corporate fundraising events can do wonders for your charity fundraising goals, the reputation of your business and also the happiness and motivation of your staff. If you plan it right, market it well, set a realistic fundraising goal and map out a smooth and seamless event, you can tap into the power of corporate fundraising. And don’t forget to use easyfundraising as a fantastic way to supplement your fundraising efforts.