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Getting the Most Value from Fundraising Events


Most organizations use events as part of their fundraising program. For some, a signature event is their fundraising program. The upside is that events can help us raise a lot of money in a concentrated period. Plus, the transactional nature of event-based fundraising feels good. It takes us off the hook for “asking.” The downside is the opportunity cost, which is very difficult to measure. Events can also be difficult to scale. How are we to think about the role events should play? Is this the best way to raise money?


There are three different kinds of fundraising events:

  1. Direct fundraising like dinners, auctions, etc.;
  2. Recognition events, like award ceremonies; and,
  3. Informational events, like project tours, to cultivate individual donor interest and support.


Many organizations concentrate on only one. In this session, we’ll take a close look at all three. We’ll talk about planning, collecting sponsors, measuring their relative success, and tweaking them to keep them fresh. The base presentation will feature David Allen, Development for Conservation, but we’ll leave plenty of time to learn from each other as well.



David Allen | Development for Conservation

Development for Conservation assists conservation organizations raising money from individual donors by improving renewal, cultivation, and major gift systems. David Allen brings more than 30 years experience to the practice, including thirteen with The Nature Conservancy. He has devoted his professional career to helping conservation organizations and land trusts pursue excellence in all aspects of their conservation endeavors. David is a skilled seminar presenter, particularly in major gift fundraising. Specialties include development audits, board training, and campaigns.





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