BEFORE THE DAY
1. Have a pre-event meeting with the planner and ask for the fundraising target; it gives you a goal to aim for.
2. Get as much information as you can about the organization and what it intends to use the funds for; this information will help you in persuading the donors to give.
3. Ask the planner for the running order of the event; feel free to suggest changes which will make the event more entertaining and focused on the fundraising effort (see 13 below).
4. Ask the planner to include a business card raffle with attractive prizes which will come off towards the end of the fundraising dinner; it will reward a few lucky guests, encourage everyone to stay and also provide the organizers with contact details of everyone who attended.
5. Maintain regular phone and email contact with the planner and fundraising organization after the pre-event meeting.
ON THE DAY
6. Get to the venue early to familiarize yourself with the room and do your sound checks.
7. Confirm the final running order; last minute changes could have been made and you don't want to be caught off guard.
8. Make sure the pledge forms and a copy of the program are placed by everyone's plate; it's a subtle reminder that the purpose of the dinner is to raise funds.
9. Arrange for all tables to be numbered; you will make use of those numbers when the time comes to raise the funds (see 12 below).
10. Start on time.
11. Begin with an emotional story about the power of giving; this will catch the attention of your audience. Here's an example of a very good story: /www.truthorfiction.com
12. Appeal for the funds just before dinner time; use that period to tell guests about the purpose of the fundraiser, the target and how you intend to raise the money.
13. Turn the fundraiser into a contest; announce there will be prizes for members of the table who raise the highest amount - donors will try to outdo one another in their generosity which can only be beneficial to the organization raising the funds.
14. If the dinner is a buffet, get those closest to the food to serve themselves first; it maintains order by preventing people from disrupting the queue and helps you to get dinner served quickly so you return to the main business of fundraising.
15. Get executives of the fundraising organization to present the raffle prizes; this is a valuable photo opportunity for the winners as well as the organization.
16. Announce the total amount raised and then announce the winners of the fundraising contest in reverse order; this builds drama and excitement right to the end of the event.
17. Have fun from beginning to end!
What's your experience with fundraising? Feel free to post your comments below.