Over the years, BRAVO! Events by Design has worked with non profits who have tried all methods to raise funds. Through trial and error, BRAVO! has learned that one must stay true to the four areas of fundraising that we believe equals success. We believe that the best way to raise money during a live experience is to appeal to your audience's emotion; create unique live, silent, or pledge asks; and to stay focused on who you are as an organization and your mission. If you can showcase who you are in a manner that tugs at the heart strings, hits someone close to home and blends humor and joy, you are pretty much assured to succeed. Here are the phases we believe you must engage in to ensure success both the night of and long after the last guest departs.
The Phase of Fundraising:
1. Know your audience - Unless you understand your demographic, you won't be able to customize your event to appeal to your specific attendees. Do you have a range of attendees from heavy hitters to those who want to support but have to be a bit more budget conscious? - If so, your opportunities must present a range. What will resonate with them for every type of auction-live, silent and pledges?
2. Pre-event buzz- How will you build buzz, how will you create anticipation? How are you sharing your company's message? Are you using an online auction to entice guests to bid and build momentum? Have you teased them with little tidbits of what they might expect?
3. A compelling story- Know how to tell your story in a way that will resonate with your audience. Remember they may or may not live your mission every day and your audience needs to be moved to want to be involved. Have a brainstorming session to come up with ideas and thoughts around; How will you motivate your audience to donate? What is the best method to appeal to your guests? Is it a video? Is it a live appearance? Use your own experience at other events as do's and don'ts.
4. Create an engaging ask - be it a live auction, silent auction or pledge - Leaving your guests in a blur about what you do as an organization, what their donation will do and how they will make a difference is a sure fire way to miss out on the range of guests in the audience. Don't saturate your guests so they feel like every time they turn around you are asking for more. Make it easy - anything complicated in terms of a bidding sheet or terminal with too much data required will cost you immediately. Be thoughtful about who should lead a live auction- fast talking auctioneers will not resonate with everyone. And last but not least, follow up and thank your guests as soon as possible.
Here is an event that got it in spades - their messages were clear & compelling, their buzz built, their mission came to life on stage and they succeeded in not only raising money, they raised awareness and went viral!!! Tell us your thoughts.
A Night of Too Many Stars
While this annual event, with its celebrity power and appeal is known, they not only used their humorous side to get people excited about the evening but they brought the mission to life with a on stage duet!
Pre Event Buzz
The pre event buzz was started by Conan O'Brien declaring he will spray tan himself on his show if the event is able to raise over $100,000.
The Compelling Story
The emotional hook came from Katy Perry and Jodi DiPiazza's duet. Jodi was diagnosed with autism at age two. Through music she has found a way to communicate and be a part of day to day society - without music therapy this would not have been the case. She not only touched everyone's heart, the performance left John Stewart in tears and the BRAVO! team as well.
The Live Auction
The televised event brought in numerous celebrities and the highlight of the evening was their live auction.
Unique and Priceless Items
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler auctioned their friendship for the evening to a split bid to raise twice as much money than anticipated with only one winner.