I’m not rich. I’m guessing you aren’t either.
This is a time in our lives where money- at least from a disposable income perspective- is hard to come by. So, when I’m pushing for my friends to join me at an annual affair that is $125 a pop, I already know more often than not, they won’t be able to come- no matter how much they support me.
You see, we’re all in the same boat. I can’t afford every $100 invitation I receive either. But for the organizations I choose to support, I plan for their fundraisers in advance.
I’ve learned one of the best ways to fall in love with an organization besides volunteering for it, is to attend its fundraising event(s). Fundraisers are designed to increase your awareness of the organization’s mission and programs while in a fun atmosphere with other like-minded folks. Fundraisers are also a one shot deal. Once you make such a hefty donation in the form of a ticket, you can feel a lot better about saying ‘no’ the next time you’re asked to give to that organization. #silverlining
That said, here are four steps that will help you decide how to plan to attend your next fundraiser:
1. Pick a charity.
There’s no shortage of non-profits. In fact, we probably all know someone who is affiliated with one, so start there. If you don’t know anyone associated with a non-profit, then pick an organization whose mission you connect with.
2. Find the fundraiser.
Finding fundraiser event these days is like finding the latest sex tape, they are everywhere. Wait. Oh nevermind….Most organizations post their upcoming events months in advance. If you know someone connected with the organization, they will tell you about upcoming events anyway. (Keep in mind large events, or galas, will be private and very expensive. I’m talking low-mid level events today. Let’s not get a head of ourselves. *smile*)
3. Deciding on an event.
a. The Name- Most fundraisers aimed at a younger demographic will be named something sexy or catchy or cheeky for the sole purposes of grabbing your attention. While not always a guarantee for a good time, it’s a solid start.
b. The Cost vs. The Perks– See, this is where the struggle comes in. I know. But you have to look at it from the stand point of, “What am I getting for my (above average) donation?…Am I getting my money’s worth?” Yes, 100% of the cost of your ticket goes to the organization, you too should feel like you are getting something in return. A few perks I look for are:
- Open bar
- Light to heavy hor d’oeuvres
- Special guests I wouldn’t get to enjoy any other way: Famous DJ, Live performances, VIP guests/Honorees
- Caliber of the venue; e.g. museums, luxury hotels, exclusive night clubs
- Auction and/or Raffle items (if applicable); What looks good to bid on?
4. Budgeting for the ticket- How in the sassafrass are you going to afford a $100 ticket? A $200 ticket? Hey, even a $75 ticket?!….You’re going to afford it by saving for it. Break your ticket price down into increments based on how far in advance the event is. For example: $125 ticket at 4 months away = $31.25 a month to save. When you check your savings, you’ll be surprised how quickly your savings add up.
Supporting causes at the $10-$20 level is easy. You got that covered. You’re about becoming philanthropic these days. It’s time to step out of your comfort zone and really aim to make larger donations.
In order to win in this giving game, you have to start planning your giving. We have to be strategic and deliberate in our actions. Or, as much as I hate to say it, you’ll have a hard time ever being able to do it.
I want to hear from you. What’s an event you’ve been dying to attend but could not afford to? Do you think you can do it now? Have you attended an event outside of your normal price point?- how’d you do it?