In recent years, we’ve had a number of people and groups get in touch with us about helping out with their charity events, I love being given the opportunity, I love being able to say yes, and I love doing the work. I’m not a doctor, lawyer or political leader, I play music for a living, so it’s not that often that my work can actually effect change, whether it’s for an individual, a family or a community.
In the infant years of my business, with a young family, I didn’t really have the resources to do this kind of work, in later years though, I have taken great joy in being able to donate my services for fundraising events. Unfortunately I still have to say no a lot, or offer our services with a small discount on our rate, to wonderful people trying to do wonderful things.
Her are some tips to help you get better results next time you’re trying to make a positive change in the world!
1. Go For Quality
Quality attracts quality. Once you get a quality provider on board, it will help you secure the best of the best in the biz. We worry about our business and working with people who are unprofessional can reflect poorly on us, even if we are donating our time. Securing good providers will make potential suppliers feel secure that their name will be attached to professional, smooth running event.
The hardest event is the first one you organise, if you have a smooth quality event in your first run, all it will take is a quick email after the event to secure next years providers. It also means everyone who attends your event will have a great night, and be keen to come back next year.
2. Timing Is Everything
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve received a phone call from someone trying to find a DJ to donate their services for a Saturday night event in two weeks time in November.
This is our busiest night of the week, in our busiest time of the year, with very little notice. This time of year we work A LOT we have all our team working most weekends, if it does happen that one of our DJs has the night off, you can bet they’ve made plans to do something lovely with the friends and family who’s social functions they spend all year missing for work.
If your event isn’t time sensitive, get advice early, feel out what time of year is quietest for vendors and see if that will work in with your event. Will a Friday work as well for your event? Is that better for your providers?
3. Make Your Providers Partners
The best way to get a good team together – bring everyone on board nice and early. Don’t just pick a random date and then call around to fill your vacant spots work with your favourite providers, you’ll find they’re probably booked out, then you have to start looking at your second tier, providers that either aren’t as good, or you maybe don’t have the previous relationship that will help get their commitment.
Once you have an idea of the best time period for your event, put out some potential dates, and see which has the best availability for your preferred providers.
4. Keep Your Eye On The Goal
Always keep your focus on what your end goal is. This is not an opportunity for you to help your friend get a start in their new business. Your friend who just bought a fancy camera, or decks is unlikely to be able to deliver a quality event that makes guests feel like they received good value for money and helped a good cause in the process.
This also goes for giving your friends and family priority (jumping cues, requesting songs etc.) It can detract from your event if things are focused on the needs of the few rather than the many.
5. Look After Your Suppliers
We love that we can use our skills and resources to raise money for people who really need it but remember, suppliers are generally giving up our time and paid work to help you out for free. So what do you have to offer for free? Marketing.
The suppliers are doing quality work, and doing it for charity, make sure your guests really know who those suppliers are. Have a quality marketing plan to ensure that you use all your resources to get their name out.
Our lovely friends, The Mouseketeers have been running the very successful Colours of Cancer Ball and it gets bigger and better every year. While at the core of it we are just happy to help out for such a good cause, it certainly helps that they really do a lot to make sure that people know who’s helping make the event a success. They promote suppliers with:
- Regular facebook shout outs in the lead up to the event
- Their logo rotating on a projector on stage
- Their information alongside all other sponsors in a booklet for guests to take home
- Mentions and thank yous on the night
We were so impressed with their ball, and it is such a wonderful thing to be a part of, but the professional marketing of sponsors certainly sweetens the pot.
So there you have it, so the above might not guarantee that you’ll get suppliers donating their goods and services, but it will certainly set up the foundation to make it easy for them to get on board.