1. Write down the amount of money you want to raise; it will give you a definite target to aim for.
2. Invite people who share in the ideals of your organization to attend the event; they are more likely to give you their money.
3. Secure the venue and engage a professional to decorate it.
4. Meet the MC to discuss the purpose and running order of the event.
5. Engage a popular entertainer to entertain your guests; happy people are more likely to give more.
6. Make sure everybody has a pledge form and program by their plate; everyone should know the reason they have been invited to the event.
7. Collect the business cards of all guests for a raffle draw towards the end of the event; people will stay because they think they could win a prize.
8. Start on time; this reduces the likelihood of your guests leaving early, taking their cash, cheque books and in filled pledge forms with them.
9. Limit the speeches to 3 or 4 short ones; remember the purpose of a fundraiser is to raise funds.
10. Make sure the call to raise funds is done before dinner; during dinner you should collect your cash, cheques and filled pledge forms.
11. Make the fundraiser competitive by turning it into a contest; award prizes to members of the table who raise the highest amount.
12. Give donors the opportunity to make pledges and redeem them over time; you will raise more money when there is no pressure to hand over cash on the spot
13. Conduct the raffle after dinner and announce that winners have to be present to collect their prizes; this will prevent your guests from leaving after dinner.
14. Announce the winners of the fundraising in reverse order; it adds drama and excitement to the event.
15. Thank everyone for attending and donating.
16. Give everyone who a souvenir of their time at the event; it will give them happy memories and make it easier for you to contact them in future.
17. Follow up on everyone who made pledges and collect the money.
What's your experience with organizing a fundraiser? Feel free to post your comments below.