One of the hardest tasks as a non-profit organization can be fitting everything you want and need for your events over the course of the year into a budget. What some may refer to as a “no-budget budget” can be a very daunting to abide by.
Silent auctions, live auctions, in-event games, and fundraisers, as well as in event drinks and food all can add up to be quite a costly bill to fit. While being involved in the non-profit space for 20+ years, we’ve seen many organizations overcome various hurdles. Because of this, we have a few tips and tricks to help with making the most out of your organization’s budget.
Use Your Resources
Many board and committee members have other jobs. Leverage individuals within your organization that may work for other large corporations and would be willing to donate – whether it be monetary or tangible. Items for auctions are just as great as a monetary donation! You can also utilize silent auction item procurement tools,Â consignment companies, and mobile bidding software solutionsÂ to help ease your mind when planning your event.
Negotiating sponsorships can be key to covering some of your large costs for your organization’s events. Many corporations are more willing to give a monetary amount toward a cause if they can identify exactly how this is helping your organization accomplish its goals.
PRO TIP: Think long term. When working with sponsors or corporations – consider proposing a long-term “contract.” While the present is important, make sure you’re covering your organization in the long run as well. This makes for less stress and less work in the years to come and gives your organization a great foundation for next year’s events.
Make the Most of Social Media
Odds are, your organization already has social media channels in use. Non-profits can benefit greatly from creating and growing a social media presence. It’s free publicity, allows you to reach a wider audience, and can greatly improve your organization’s brand awareness. You can reach individuals not currently associated with your event to draw donations you may not have otherwise seen come in.
Do some research. Know which social media platforms to spend your time and resources on and when for your organization. Ensure you’re not wasting time and resources on platforms or channels that won’t benefit you!
Build a budget template, know where you will be spending, and identify where you could be saving. It’s important that you recognize which areas your particular organization can spend and save in. Each organization is different, so find what works for yours!
If this isn’t your first event, look back on prior events and see what you can duplicate this year. What guests donated the most money? Which items sold well? What part of the events, if any, should be cut out of the plan? Grow your event and allow your organization to thrive. Learn from past events and make your next event your best yet!