The Mightycause team has already covered event fundraising ideas. But even when you’ve got your event pretty much figured out — from your logistics to your strategy to your marketing — you may still need some creative ways to enhance your fundraising event. And that’s what this list is! These 10 ideas are easy ways you can bolster your event, engage attendees, make sponsors happy, and make your fundraising event even more awesome.
1. Charging Stations
Where would we be without our phones?! You probably have your phone within reach right this minute. We’re attached to our phones. And at an event, your guests are going to be draining their batteries, taking pictures, trying to find their friends, texting, Tweeting, looking things up, etc. And, furthermore, you want them doing those things. So, a charging station is a must.
You can get more out of your charging station by putting reminders to tag your nonprofit’s social media accounts and use your event’s hashtag in any posts on social media about the event. You can even get sponsors involved by having sponsored charging stations!
2. Selfie Station
Believe it or not, you don’t need much to have an excellent selfie station. All you need is a cool background. That could be a wall, a board covered in wallpaper, wood, or it could even be a surface you covered in cool printed paper or fabric you got at a hobby store. (Yes, really!) Go the extra mile for the ‘gram and provide a selfie stick and props attendees can use to make their shots even better. Station a volunteer there to help people get the perfect Instagram-worth shot. It’s a fun way to engage attendees… while drumming up some extra social media buzz for your event. (Make sure to have reminders at your station to tag your nonprofit’s account and use your event hashtag!)
3. Event Passport
So, you’re selling booth or table space to sponsors, right? But what good is that space if you’re not encouraging foot traffic? Increase the value of having a booth or table at your event with an event passport! Stick a “passport” in each attendee’s bag, or hand them out at the entrance. Each time an attendee visits a booth, they can get the person running that booth to stamp their passport. You can either give everyone who gets a stamp from every booth a small prize, or enter them in a raffle for a larger prize. This gets people visiting the booths, talking to your event sponsors, and lets sponsors know you’re working to make the event worth their while.
4. Scavenger Hunt
Like an event passport, a scavenger hunt turns enjoying your event into a game for attendees. To orchestrate the perfect event scavenger hunt, you’ll need: items (bonus points if they’re connected to your cause), hiding places, riddles to help hunters find the items, and a special prize for the winner. That’s it! You can also add a social media component by asking guests to Instagram the objects once they find them.
5. Relaxation Station
If your event is a physically demanding event, like a 5k or a cycling marathon, consider this a necessity! Provide a tent or shaded area with water, cooling towels, granola bars, and so on. But even if you’re running the least physically demanding event you can think of, a relaxation station can be an awesome addition! See if someone can loan you a massage chair or two, or hire a masseuse for the event. (Even better: find a volunteer masseuse.) This is another great way to get sponsors involved — in order to access the sponsored relaxation tent, ask guests to sign up for your sponsor’s email list! (And yours, too.)
6. Free Wifi
We all know how important free wifi is when you’re at an event. So, offer it! And seize the opportunity to get sponsors involved, if you can! Work with a sponsor or your IT department to set up a station where attendees can get free wifi. Choose the name strategically, and consider charging a “fee” of signing up for your email list. Leave out a tip jar so people can leave donations while they’re soaking up that wifi.
7. Host a Raffle
Raffles are nothing new, of course. And if you like a traditional raffle, stick with that format! (Just make sure that if you’re handing out raffle tickets, you’re getting something — like an email address — in return.) But don’t be afraid to think outside of the box! There are all sorts of ways to shake up your old-school raffle. For instance, how cool would it be for an animal shelter to hand out small stuffed animals instead of microchips at their event — with the winning stuffed animal microchipped?! A quick trip to a booth for a local veterinarian who’s sponsoring the event, a quick microchip scan, and you’ve got yourself a new and exciting way to hold a raffle! If you have the budget for RFID badges, you could use those for your raffle!
If you get creative, you’ll see genuine excitement from attendees and make your event memorable.
8. Live Music
Live music is a surefire way to make people stop and pay attention at your event. It adds ambiance, creates a party atmosphere, and generally leads to people having a good time. Check your local codes to see if you’d need any additional permits to add live music to your event. And then book your talent! You don’t need to outdo Woodstock here — booking a band from a local high school, or a band fronted by one of your staff members, could be fun, charming touches!
9. Branded Goodies
These can double as swag, in many cases! Branded water bottles, reusable drink cups and cozies, totes bags, pens, and so on, can cost a little money, but they go a long way toward making your event memorable. These can be giveaways, raffle items, or be given out freely. And it goes without saying that people love free stuff, so if there’s a particular spot you want to make sure attendees hit, giving away from branded goodies pretty much guarantees they’ll go there.
10. Spin to Win
People love trying their luck with a good old-fashioned game of chance! This is a popular gimmick at trade shows to attract visitors… and that’s because it works. A wheel is a one-time investment you can use again and again at events. Position it in key locations to generate traffic and interest. Prizes can be small, such as event swag you have on hand, or even experiences related to your nonprofit. And if you really want to make it worth your while, require that people sign up for your email list to spin!
Want More Fundraising Event Help?
Download the Event Fundraising Handbook! In it, you’ll find everything you need to run an awesome fundraising event. Learn how to utilize Mightycause, engage peer-to-peer fundraisers, inspire competition and more!