• AmFund

4 Underrated Tips for a Successful Fundraising Event


No matter what type of fundraising event you plan to host — whether it is a silent auction, live auction or another setup — there is a lot of extensive planning that must take place in order to receive successful results. Don’t let the planning process stress you out. Sometimes, it only takes a few small tweaks to your planning stages to ensure a successful fundraising event. Take a look at these four tips that are often overlooked and underrated by many organizations.

1. Do not publish exact times in your programs or invitations, but rather a run of show.

In other words, don’t lock yourself into exact times for each and every section of your event. In doing so, you are putting a lot of pressure on yourself and your staff to stay exactly on schedule for the entire event – something that is not always easy to do.


2. Close the bar during presentations, the live auction, and the open ask.

We all know how much guests enjoy having a drink during cocktail hour, and often times, there are bars set up in the main event area too. However, when it comes time for presentations, the live auction, and the open ask, you are better off closing the bars during this time. Bar service and the crowd of people that gather around the bar area can cause major distractions.

There is often a lot of loud conversation as people wait to be served. This can cause major delays in your event and major distractions when speakers are on stage, expecting to have your guests’ full attention.


3. Salads should be pre-set on the table.

This is a major time-saver, and it’s a planning step that many organizations often overlook. Pre-set salads are especially important for sit-down dinners to help speed up the dinner service. This will cut down on server interruptions and competing activity in the room. And don’t worry about the freshness of these salads. If they weren’t out on the tables, these same pre-made salads would be sitting in serving racks in the back of a hot kitchen.

Do not have servers take time to separately serve salad dressings, butter, rolls, wine or coffee. All of these incidentals should be set on the table for guests to serve themselves. When it comes to the wine and coffee, guests would much rather have those options on their table rather than having to hunt down a server to individually pour for them.


4. Do not bus tables DURING the auction and speeches.

Bussing the tables during presentations is noisy and an unnecessary interruption for your guests and speakers. Make sure the bus staff is instructed to work on the tables during breaks and after the presentations.



Minimize your interruptions

The four tips above are all about helping with the flow of your event. Minimizing interruptions keeps your guests happy. Let’s face it — keeping your guests happy should be the number one priority. Happy guests lead to successful fundraising events. For more tips that are often overlooked and underrated, reach out to us at AmFund.

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©2020 by American Fundraising Foundation, Inc.