NonProfit Event Revenue Streams

When planning a fundraiser for a nonprofit organization it’s important to analyze your NonProfit Event Revenue Streams. In your analysis, you can uncover ways to maximize funds being raised and offer guests varying price points to participate. But not only does your analysis provide you with insights from a budget perspective, but it also provides you with critical information to ensure the experience you’re creating fits your audience. Does the experience motivate your guests to participate and give, or does it turn them off?

First, you and your stakeholders need to come to an agreement on what type of fundraiser you’re going to focus. Are you looking to raise funds, raise friends or raise awareness.

I’ve heard over and over from clients, “it’s important not to leave anything on the table,” yes that is one way of thinking. But being strategic is the best way of approaching the experience.  First, you and your stakeholders need to come to an agreement on what type of fundraiser you’re going to focus. Are you looking to raise funds, raise friends or raise awareness.  This is the first key step in creating your NonProfit event strategic plan. After everyone decides the type of experience your organization needs to create with this event, you’re now able to state the event purpose.  In my article, Events With A Purpose, I review information on the best approach to creating an event purpose. Keeping in mind you are working to raise fund on all three types of events, after all, it’s a NonProfit Fundraiser, you still need to decide what is the primary focus.

If you’re looking at raising friends, you’ll want to minimize the revenue streams. If you’re looking to raise awareness, you may not have any other income streams other than sponsorships/ticket sales. If you’re looking to raise funds, you’ll need to ensure you have a variety of revenue streams, from sponsorship, ticket sales, auctions, raffles, raise the paddle and others. But taking it a step further, what is your strategy to ensure these revenue streams are maximized?

To increase sponsorships/tickets sales, I encourage clients to consider honoring someone in the community that has an infinity to their organization. Someone that has gone above and beyond to help shape the organization over the years. By getting creative on your honoree, it opens up another avenue of revenue. Individuals and organizations will be likely to buy sponsorship and tickets to show their support of the honoree. It opens the doors to organizations and individuals you may not have had access too before. And, it helps to build the event from year to year. Keep in mind, it’s now your job to “sell” these newbies to want to join and support your organization going forward, but keep in mind, 75% of these attendees won’t come back, because the next year you’ll have a new honoree. This is where post-event marketing is critical to moving that 25% return rate to 35% or more.

When looking at your NonProfit Event Revenue Streams, you need to consider the price points, allowing guests to select how much they would want to give that best fits in their budget. One way to incentivize guests is to create a match program. Approach one of your annual sponsors and ask if they would be interested in creating a match program to announce at your event. It not only gives additional recognition to your sponsor, but it can also incentivize a guest to give something, knowing that their gift will be doubled.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with current technologies to help boost revenue.

Revenue enhancers, like auctions, raffles, and others need to be easy to access. Using technology allows guests to freely donate on their smartphones and anonymously. There are many other great benefits of using auction apps at your fundraiser, notifications, messages about upcoming program elements, etc. Don’t be afraid to get creative with current technologies to help boost revenue. Raffles are now effectively being managed on these platforms to account for guests that may not carry cash, but want to participate in the 50/50 raffle using their credit/debit cards.

Finally, think of other revenue strategies outside of the evening. Include community-wide initiatives through social media campaigns leading up to the event. Not only are you marketing the event itself, but you can garner revenue from a campaign for individuals that may want to give, but can’t make the evening. If you’re having a popular band perform, offer tickets to their upcoming concert in your area. If you have a celebrity keynote speaker, sell opportunities for guests to attend a VIP pre or post-event reception with the celebrity. Be sure to check your local laws for rules and regulations on raffles and contests, as it varies from state to state.

Thinking creatively, creating a revenue strategy, can help you reach that finish line and help you achieve your NonProfit Event Revenue Streams successfully.


Trace Kingham
Trace Kingham
TRACE is a seasoned event strategist with an expertise in helping nonprofit organizations improve event outcomes. Trace has over 25-years of experience developing the vision, strategies, and standards for organizations looking to improve their event experiences or looking to create something bold and new. Trace founded Kingham Signature Events in June 2014. In this short amount of time relocating to Tampa Bay, he has been producing events for many widely recognized local and global organizations, such as SYKES Enterprises, Inc., Heart Gallery of Tampa, Girls Scouts of West Central Florida and the National American Red Cross, just to name a few. Trace and his family relocated to Tampa Bay for his husband’s career move to Moffitt Cancer Center from Columbus, Ohio. Prior to forming his own firm in Ohio, Trace worked for Limited Brands as an Event Manager. He started his career in events with the Florida Caribbean Cruise Association Foundation in Miami, Florida before working as an Event Manager for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio. Trace and his husband have two adopted sons and Trace currently sits on the board of the Heart Gallery of Pinellas and Pasco, which supports finding forever homes for at-risk youth in the foster care system.

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