Start planning for an end-of-year event

Planning a yearend event will take time, so start thinking about it now.

It's already time to start think about end-of-the-year fundraising efforts. While public and religious broadcasters may be, rightly, preoccupied with collecting donations for those affected by recent natural disasters – including the Mexico City earthquake and Hurricane Maria's devastation of Puerto Rico – leaders need to keep an eye toward the months ahead that will close out 2017. Most broadcasters like to end the year with an event or special fundraising drive, but those plans can't come together at the last second and be expected to be successful.

It takes a lot weeks, even months, of preparation to pull off yearend events and fundraising efforts. Among the most important considerations in these plans is the technology you'll rely on to effectively manage donor relations and your station's grand effort to cap the year. Among the other critical points to address are:

Vendors

Vendor relationships are especially important to handle in the run-up to the year's end event. Hosting an event requires paying meticulous attention to all the little details of an event (from the invites to the seating and all the other logistics involved). This also means a lot of resources will be spent on organizing, and vendors will be needed to either help with planning or deliver services the station can't (like the food). When some of the responsibility for event quality falls on the shoulders of vendors, it's up to the station to ensure they are properly instructed and that both parties consistently check in with the other as the event approaches. 

"Pulling off an yearend event or fundraising drive will take time and detailed planning."

Outreach

Of course, no event can go off well unless there are attendees. Public and religious broadcasters should be careful to not be caught off-guard when, after all the planning they've sunk in, the outreach has lagged behind. As soon as you conceive of an event or fundraising drive, communicate it to your donors. Whether it's through email, social media or direct mail (all tasks donor management software can help with), an announcement of the preliminary facts needs to be sent. That doesn't mean you have to have a specific date, yet; that can come in a later communication. Raising awareness is important first and foremost.

Theme

While it's not a requirement that your end-of-the-year effort have a theme or designated group to support, it's a popular decision for many broadcasters. For instance, this year a series of devastating extreme weather events hit the U.S., it's territories and Atlantic island nations. Extensive rebuilding and recovery efforts will be needed (Barbuda, for example, saw 95 percent of its structures wiped out by Hurricane Irma) and focusing on fundraising for those affected is one potential route to consider. Focusing on other groups, like toy drives for disadvantaged youth in a local community or patients suffering from a disease, can be another way to gear your event toward donors.

Pulling of an year's end event or fundraising drive will take time and detailed planning. Public and religious broadcasters can rely on donor management software to help them in all aspects and ensure their efforts are successful.