How To Make Your Fund Raiser a Success
Ways to make your fund raising show more successful.
You’ve got a great fundraiser. People are going to have an absolute blast. But they don’t seem to be buying your tickets.
Here are some of the reasons why that could be.
1. You’re Relying On Social Media
Social media is great. You can sit at home and post stuff online. Done right you can get lots of people to click on, or to like what you post online.
You can really get the idea that you’re going to have a sellout night.
But those people seldom go on to actually come to your event. The no-show rate for people who respond on social media varies from 50 - 100%, and is mostly at the 100% end for events people don’t already go to regularly.
If you're staying at home posting online. They're going to stay at home too.
Social media "likes" are fools gold.
2. You Haven't Got the Opinion Leaders Onboard
Each community or club has a small number of people who have huge influence on what others do. If these people buy tickets, then lots more will join them. But if those opinion leaders say they’re "not sure they'll come” then the rest of the community will sit back and wait. Get the opinion leaders on board.
3. You expect many people to do a little bit each
Many hands make light work. For my third show the plan was that if I just get these 17 team members to sell ten tickets each that’s 170 tickets right there, with all the other sales as a bonus. And that saves you from having to work so hard, right?
On the night 10 of them will hand back all ten tickets. (True story). Involving lots of people doesn’t help get things done unless they are really motivated.
The social freeloader effect kicks in when many people assume that they don’t need to do much because all the other people will cover for them.
If you have a big team you’ll need to work hard to motivate all of them.
4. You rely on empty promises.
Those people who said they’d come but didn’t pay yet? Maybe they said they’d pay on the night? They’re not coming. If they haven't paid they'll seldom turn up - you'll hear all their excuses the next week.
5. You make it hard to buy tickets.
If people have to jump through hoops to buy tickets they’ll give up. Make it easy. Have the tickets available online and at a few places for cash. Have tickets with you to give people who pay right then. Accept cash, card, PayPal. Make it easy so they don’t have a reason to opt out again.
6. You’re not putting in the effort
It takes effort to sell those tickets. One of the biggest mistakes to make is thinking that a great act will somehow cause people to come to you for tickets. Even big name performers will have a half-empty theatre if it isn’t actively sold. Get out there and sell the tickets.
7. You’re scared to ask for money
When it comes to selling, people can be reluctant even to say the word, “sales”.
The sale has not occurred until they have given you the money. So if you want them to support your event, ask for the ticket money then and there.
Have you heard the phrase "nothing succeeds like success"?
When it comes to fundraising, if you get out there and get some tickets sold to your fundraising show many weeks before the event - it'll be so much easier to sell more later.
This works especially well if you recruit some opinion leaders in your community. The people who tend to set the trends that others follow. Go and see those people in person, get them to pay for their tickets right then and there. Ask them to tell others that they are going.
You can explain to them why you're doing this; if they sign up then others will too, you can even ask them to help you.
As a broad rule of thumb, ticket sales double each week in the last two weeks of a well run fundraiser. So if 2 weeks out you've sold 60 tickets, you're on track for around 240 on the night. If you keep the momentum and energy up.
Most events get booked for Fridays and Saturdays. This might seem like a good idea for your fundraiser too, but is it really?
Fridays and Saturdays are when people are most likely to have another obligation. You’re competing with every other private and public event in the country!
Some people cannot be there on the weekend because they have a prior commitment.
Wednesdays though. Wednesdays go begging.
And if there’s an early finish people can come and have a good time.
You could possibly do better by having your event on a Wednesday and not run too late. World class entertainment and pizza is an unbeatable combo. You know your situation and your community best - but don't rule out a midweek show.
I get this question a lot, obviously. And it makes sense to ask it.
But I never get asked, “how much can we raise”? Which is surely a better question. I expect that most people are thinking along those lines and work it out for themselves. But there are some factors that are also worth considering.
I don't ask to be paid until after the event.
You can cancel a week beforehand with no cost.
So if you haven't sold enough tickets one week out you can walk away.
So the real question is this, “can you sell enough tickets to make it worthwhile?”
That is the main point. Everything else hinges on that.
Simple means that you can understand the process, and that the steps involved are within your capability.
Easy means that the necessary steps can be accomplished without much effort.
By these definitions there are no easy ways to raise funds for your cause. Every fund raising project requires effort. There are many simple ways to do it, and many of the steps are easy to take. But if all the steps were easy to take, then everyone could easily raise all the funds they would ever need. And they clearly cannot.
It takes effort to gain people's attention without annoying them. It takes effort to sell tickets and obtain cash. If you do put in the effort, you will succeed. If you are hoping for easy money, I regret to inform you that there isn't any to be had. The trick is to apply your effort where it has the greatest benefit.
Each fundraiser you do not only raises money, it advertises how good your next one will be too. If you do a good job of the current event, then next will be easier or better because your donors will know that you set a good standard.
Sales Phobias: When faced with the idea of selling tickets, some of your team will immediately think that the tickets would be easier to sell if they were cheaper. Perhaps this is true sometimes, but it is also true that discounting is the bane of all sales roles. If you have a good “product”, like That Hypno Show, and you genuinely believe that your donors/guests will have a good time and will receive excellent value for money, then you can ask for a fair price with confidence.
If you are reluctant to ask for money at all, fear rejection, or don’t believe in the product, then no price will be low enough for you.
Make sure the venue is clean and tidy. People will appreciate the effort and it will influence their decision to come back next time.