Hosting a party can be stressful, but ultimately rewarding.
Hosting a party can be stressful, but ultimately rewarding. The same goes for hosting a fundraiser, except the rewards can be even greater. Consider these steps for putting together a fundraiser, whether for breast cancer awareness or another cause dear to your heart, that is as fun as it is helpful.
1. Plan Accordingly
Like any good get-together, the bigger the head start, the better. Settle on a date and time. Brady Hahn, founder of Non Profit Effect and contributor to Eventbrite.com, recommends asking yourself, “What financial commitment are you willing/able to invest to see things develop?” and “What does your ideal team or outside partner(s) look like?” Once you have a date, time, budget, and team picked out, you can think about the big picture. Outline a mission statement for the event so you have a clear purpose to present to guests, sponsors, and press.
With your team in place, Hahn recommends identifying and ranking your most pressing problems in order. Once you have acknowledged your obstacles you can work together to come up with solutions. Hahn also recommends “defining your relationships” by thinking about the organizations and individuals you want to work with on this endeavor. These are the potential sponsors, attendees, and press. Between you and your team, come up with a plan of action for finding out who the point people are, their contact information, and how to get them involved in your fundraiser.
Once the big picture is figured out and everyone is one the same page, begin organizing to get things done. Yvette Masterson, president of Y Public Relations, is no stranger to organizing fundraisers. She recommends having weekly calls to review updates, especially if you are handling both the outreach and the actual planning. “Send out a formal save-the-date three weeks prior to the event and follow up with an invite two weeks before. I also feel that inviting local media to the event helps deliver your message via future exposure in their society pages,” says Masterson.
4. Creating Buzz
Getting the word out on an event isn’t only for the day of. “The objective is to get the conversation started way in advance before the actual event date,” advises Masterson. The best way is through social media. Urge your team to band together and use their Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest accounts to start the conversation. Discuss what social media outlets you want to focus on and assign hashtags and social responsibilities for members of your team. Natalie Gunn of Nail Perfection by Natalie in Derbyshire, U.K., put up posters in her salon for a promotion in which they donated £1 from every Gelish Breast Cancer Awareness color treatment to a BCA cause. Teresa Moore of a Passion for Nails in Holden, Mo., says word of mouth is her best advertisement when her salon puts on events. Don’t assume every client you have is social-savvy, so tell each one about the event personally and don’t be afraid to hand out fliers. When it comes to the media, type up a press release and involve all the surrounding outlets. Moore considers local and surrounding newspapers, other events, and radio stations when marketing her fundraiser.
5. An Affair to Remember
When it comes time to put your fundraiser into full swing, think about the details that can give the event an even bigger impact. Masterson says entertainment is always a plus, so if you can figure this into your budget it may be worth considering. Tara Kyle, owner of Goddess Nails in Estevan, Saskatchewan, Canada, says cupcakes were a huge hit at her breast cancer event.
RESOURCES FOR PLANNING A SUCCESSFUL EVENT
- Press release writing doesn’t have to be done by a PR professional. NAILS published this piece that can help you pen your own copy. www.nailsmag.com/pressrelease
- Eventbrite can help you create an event, sell tickets, and has a blog with tons of tips and helpful topics. www.eventbrite.com
- For endless inspiration use Pinterest to create private boards for you and your team to stay organized and brainstorm together. www.pinterest.com
- NAILS knows how to throw a happening salon party for any occasion. www.nailsmag.com/salonparties
A CAUSE FOR CELEBRATING
Whatever the size, budget, and duration of your event may be, you can definitely make a difference. Here are some additional ideas for a successful fundraiser.
- Partnering with a local charity can help you gain new clientele. “The idea is to create an ongoing relationship, which results in a win-win for both parties,” says Masterson. Give your salon exposure and a lasting reputation as being a partner in bettering the community.
- If you know someone personally in the community who is struggling,don’t be afraid to make your cause a personal one. “About two years ago I did a fundraiser for a local teacher battling breast cancer. I offered to donate $5 of any service with all proceeds going to her,” says Moore. When Moore found out she too had breast cancer the small town she lives in came together for her. Moore wants to continue paying it forward while raising awareness. “My thought is if someone will bring in something showing they have gotten a mammogram I will give them a free service,” she states.
- “I am still a huge fan of paper invitations/save-the-date announcements,” says Masterson, who recommends sending out formal versions in addition to digital ones.
- Something as simple as your everyday attire can contribute to bettering the lives of others. “Anyone who works in the salon can wear jeans as part of their work attire, but if they wear jeans they must donate $2,” says Kristine Thiessen of Gismondis Hair, Skin, and Nails Salon in Abbotsford, B.C., Canada. By having everyone in the salon involved and giving them the opportunity to be comfortable, this is a fun way to give back. Thiessen recommends keeping things simple, “Don’t set an amount to raise. Even though it’s a great idea to have a goal, any fundraising company will appreciate any funds given, be it big or small.”
- Silent auctions add dimension to a fundraising event. Offer up salon merchandise, services, or retail kits containing polish. “Bidding always creates a fun atmosphere,” says Masterson.
- Think of a catchy title or theme so people can easily associate the event with your salon. Kyle calls her yearly event “Let’s Nail Out Cancer,” letting everyone know exactly what her fundraiser is all about.
- The gift of giving to others is never something we should keep to ourselves. Forget about the competition you might have with the salon down the street and attempt to get as many people involved as possible so that more awareness and funds can be raised.
- Kyle uses nail art to aid in her giving. “I embed cancer ribbons of all different colors into the acrylic or gel nail,” she explains. Clients who opt for this service then get their names entered into a drawing for breast cancer blankets and other prizes.