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« Creating an Early Buzz About Your Event | Main | Get Them to Your Event with Great Invitations »

Why People Really Attend Fundraisers

Last weekend I attended a fundraiser for a great local charity. There were over 400 people in attendance.  When it comes to attending any sort of event I approach it as potential case study.  There is always a new idea to waiting to be discovered.  In several instances the lessons you learn at one event can be applied to other events. At this particular event, I was out to solidify my notion of why people really attend fundraisers.  As an added bonus was that I was able to put on the tux and accompanying sly grin (I think doing market research should be fun).

Fundraising_event_marketing

Why do people attend fundraisers?
If you're a not for profit organization, be sure you etch the next sentence permanently into your mind:

A minuscule number of people (hardly any) actually attend
fundraisers because the money goes to a good cause
.

Now please repeat the previous statement until it's permanently stored in your subconscious mind. Over the last 15 years I’ve attended well over 50 fund raisers of all kinds. In some instances people have flown in from across the globe just to attend a one night fundraiser. The event ticket price for one of these fundraisers of $150-$1,500 is pale in comparison to what people pay for airfare, lodging, food, etc. Why would someone do this? Because raising money for a good cause ISN'T really the motivating factor.

You’d be surprised at how few times someone says they’re at an event, because it supports a good cause. In all the times I’ve asked the question, only two or three people (out of hundreds) answered with conviction, “I’m here to support a good cause.”

Try the following next time you attend a fundraiser. Ask a few people at the fundraiser the following question, “What brings you to this event?” Chances are you’re going to get one of two very common answers.

  • The person is there because they know someone either organizing or associated with the event.

  • They’re there because they consider the event a “good time.”

I hope the information is carefully considered by those who organize fundraisers. Most event organizers falsely think people are attending their event because it supports a good cause. That type of false logic can doom a fundraising event. Always remember people attend your event because they want to have a good time or a experience something unique. People aren't going to give you their hard earned money so you can bore them.

Today the competition is fierce and people are far more protective of their dollar.  You have to go that extra mile. The best way to raise money for a good cause is by making sure the event is an amazing experience for those in attendance. If your event isn't a good time, regardless of the cause, people won't come back to support it.

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