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Get Creative and Competitive: 2 Sure-Fire Ways to Engage your Sponsors at your Event

When it comes to raising money for your organization, it never hurts to get creative. In fact, we encourage creativity! In this article, we are going to pitch you two creative ideas we witnessed put into action by two of AmFund’s nonprofit partners at their events. Each idea has helped them raise more money at their annual fundraising events and in addition to increasing their funds, these ideas have helped them connect with new guests that they might not have had the chance to meet if it weren’t for these unique fundraising approaches.

1. Candidates As Contenders

Let’s face it, everybody likes a little competition. Competition makes things a little more fun. And that’s the idea here behind this approach we saw while supporting the American Diabetes Association of Arkansas at their annual “Kiss a Pig” fundraising event. We will give you an example of something that we have seen work very well.

ADA of Arkansas have their sponsors form teams. Each team has a "candidate" who is the face of the team. That candidate is responsible for fundraising (ticket sales, table sales, sponsorships, silent auction and live auction items). Whichever candidate raises the most money by the end of the night gets to “Kiss the Pig.” This is of course meant to be an honor. It is a way of thanking the pig for its creation of insulin to fight diabetes. Get creative and make the “honor” your guests are competing for something meaningful for your event and mission. Something fun of course!

(*Bonus Tip: If your event is going virtual, you could assign a point system to likes, shares, follows etc.)

The American Diabetes Association finds this fundraising model encourages candidates to work ahead of time to promote the event to their own networks. This is how you end up with new faces at your event that you probably wouldn’t have had access to otherwise. And while many people are there to support your cause, you will also get people supporting your organization simply to help out the candidate. It works out to be a win-win scenario for everyone!

2. Encourage Competitiveness and Upgrade Them To Bottle Service

Once again, we are sticking with our theme of building competitiveness amongst your guests. Charlotte County Homeless Coalition starts their program right after everyone enters the ballroom and are seated at their tables. They open with an emotional movie explaining their organization history, a success story, and most importantly, how much more work still needs to be done. They then go right into the open-ask or fund-a-need part of things. The goal is to see which table can raise the most money. The keys here are that it is a group effort and a competition. The winning table gets the honor of moving to the “Epicurean Table” at the front of the room (of course you can call this table whatever you want). At this special table, they received special bottle service, special sashes to signify their special place, a special waiter and a fine selection of accoutrements. True bragging rights!

You will be amazed to see the kind of excitement that comes out in people when they are offered this kind of special table. You will also notice that the guests who win this table will be tagging themselves on social media all night long from the view of their new seats. This kind of extra attention is sure to let all of the non-attendees just what they missed out on.

Both of these ideas center on creativity and competitiveness. Adding an extra inventive spark to your event will help you increase the amount of money that your organization receives. For more insight and tips on fundraising events, reach out to us at AmFund.


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