Besides the opportunities to meet life-long friends and acquire valuable life skills, one of the top reasons to join a sorority is the chance to engage in community service, especially through fundraising. That being said, you can strengthen your fundraising efforts by hosting engaging events. Fundraising event planning can seem daunting at first, but having a great event idea is the first (and most important) step. We’ll first review some fundamental fundraising tips before exploring event ideas.
Essential Fundraising Tips
Before you dive headfirst into planning and executing your next campaign, it’s important to understand some fundraising best practices. Boost your campaign’s efficacy by:
- Planning in advance. Planning far in advance and with as much detail as possible helps you budget more accurately and avoid a stressful time crunch down the line. Decide on your fundraising timeline and create benchmark goals along the way so you stay on track to hitting your overarching fundraising goal.
- Recruiting like-minded sisters. The best way to ensure you have a capable and enthusiastic chapter to fundraise with is by vetting your potential sisters during recruitment. Ask them questions about their previous fundraising experience, which causes they’re passionate about, and how they would be an asset to your philanthropic efforts. Then, pick your members strategically based on their responses.
- Adding a virtual component to your fundraising event. Adding a virtual component, such as a video call, to your event makes it more flexible for potential donors from anywhere to attend. Plus, most live-streaming solutions are affordable and accessible via mobile devices, so https://fundraisingip.com/virtual-fundraising-ideas/attendees can join from anywhere at any time.
The best way to achieve these objectives is to use sorority management software. Leveraging the right technology will give your organization a massive advantage while fundraising. According to OmegaFi’s guide to sorority management software, effective software solutions can help you communicate updates with your participating sisters, track donations, market your fundraiser, host virtual meetings, and more. Work with your team to find a solution that best fits your sorority’s needs and roll it out to the rest of your members so you can stay organized and connected during your campaign.
4 Sorority Fundraising Event Ideas
Now that we’ve gone over the fundamentals of raising money, let’s explore some classic and innovative fundraising ideas for your sorority to try.
1. Reunion events
One of your sorority’s most promising donor prospects is your alumni base. These sisters are not only more likely to have money to give since they’ve already graduated and started their careers, but they also have a strong personal tie to your chapter. Leveraging that connection through alumni giving events will strengthen your relationships with them for the long haul.
An ideal time to make your fundraising appeal is during a reunion event. While your sisters from different generations are reconnecting and meeting current members, mention your philanthropic efforts while discussing your chapter’s updates. Then, direct them to your fundraising website and donation page so they can pay forward the support they received when they were active members.
2. Branded merchandise pop-up shop
Your sorority’s uniquely positioned to sell merchandise due to your strong brand identity tied to your Greek letters. You can print numerous types of merchandise with your sorority’s branding on it, such as:
- Can coolers
- Water bottles
- Tote bags
These are just a few examples of branded merchandise items that you can offer your supporters. Research different branded merchandise providers and the items they have to offer. Then, choose the items that best align with your donors’ preferences and your budget. You can make this sale an event by running a pop-up shop where supporters can buy merchandise and interact with your chapter members in person. Your donors will love representing your chapter in style!
3. Charity auction
Philanthropic auctions are a classic fundraising event idea that appeals to your donors’ love of friendly competition. Plus, they receive a tangible item or experience in return for their generosity, so it’s a win-win scenario!
To have a successful auction, your chapter needs to acquire desirable prizes without losing money. Collecting in-kind gifts of goods, services, and experiences is an ideal way to get prizes for very little cost.
First, work with your fundraising team to gather in-kind donations to auction off. An ideal donor candidate would be a corporate sponsor, as they can contribute their products or services in exchange for marketing. You can further monetize the event by charging for admission and food and drink tickets. This event requires a lot of planning, but with the right prizes, you’ll make your philanthropic partner and your donors happy.
4. Matching gift day
Corporate matching gift programs have enormous potential to double or even triple your fundraising revenue. Plus, many of your prospective donors, such as your alumni and members’ parents, are likely eligible for their employer’s matching gift program and are more likely to give through one. But, billions in matching gift revenue go unclaimed each year due to donors’ unawareness of the submission process or of the program itself.
Your sorority can leverage matching gift programs by educating your donors about them on matching gift day. On this giving day, send out a gift appeal via email or social media explaining matching gifts and how donors can submit their requests to their employers. Don’t forget to link to your online donation page so your contributors can instantly donate to your cause.
To make the matching gift donation process as smooth as possible, use matching gift software with auto-submission capabilities. According to Double the Donation, auto-submission streamlines the giving process for both donors and your chapter. Instead of going through a lengthy validation process with their employer, donors will simply enter their employer’s information into your system, which will submit the request for them.
Now that you have some event ideas in mind, organize your sisters to brainstorm which would make the most sense for your organization. As long as you plan in advance and create events that everyone will love, your sorority can maximize fundraising success and make a huge impact on its community!
This post was contributed by Pennington & Company.