How to Fund a Non-Profit Book Festival
When it comes to putting together a non-profit community event a lot of planning goes into it. One of the elements to planning the event is people. You have to make sure you have enough people on board to get things done and to brainstorm ideas. After you have all the people you need and everyone knows what part they are to play during the planning process, you then have to find a location. Once the basics are done the last and most important step comes into play, how to fund your non-profit event. After researching, our team has found many ways to fund our non-profit community book festival we are planning to have in New York City. Now that we have the plan, people, and location, it is time to start researching the Big Apple for funding opportunities. Something we have to keep in mind when searching and asking for funding are the recent changes in the economy. We all know that the economy has changed quite a bit over the years and in some places it has gotten worse than better. Although there have been many changes in the economy, if we research the community and find sponsors to support our event, finding the funding we need should not be difficult.
Traditional methods for funding an event include things such as bake sales, car washes, garage sales, selling something, etc. While these methods are still very effective, they are a bit dated the current times have birthed a much, much better way of getting funding for an event or idea. The source in question is a crowd-funding website called Kickstarter. While features differ from site to site, at their most basic crowd-funding sites are websites that allow non-profits to set up an online fundraising campaign based around a fundraising page, and accept money directly from that page using the website’s own credit card processor (Garecht, 2013). People can visit the page, read what the cause or idea is all about, and decide how much money they want to donate.
The best way to get new donors to support your cause through crowd-funding sites is by creating an emotional, compelling fundraising page. Use pictures and videos where possible, tell an amazing story, and explain to people exactly how much you need and what the money will be used for. (Garecht, 2013). To encourage even more donating, perks can be added that correspond to the different amounts that can be donated. For example, if someone were to donate $100 to the book festival fund, they could receive an autographed book from an author. If someone gave $500, they could get several free books of their choice. $1000 could get them all of the previously mention perks, plus some free swag items like T-shirts, pencils, bookmarks, stickers, and other stuff of the like.
Do not expect to slap up a fundraising campaign, go away for three weeks, then come back to find that you have raised $1 million. It does not work that way. You’ll need to get the word our first by publicizing your crowd-funding campaign as much as possible. Put it on the front page of your website, link to it on your Facebook page, through Twitter, etc. Try to get your local media involved by suggesting story angles. Take every opportunity to spread the word and get people talking about your project. (Garecht, 2013). By using Kickstarter and other crowd-funding sites, getting funding for a non-profit book festival will not be that difficult.
When looking for a sponsor to provide funds for your event, you want to make sure that they are willing to give you what you are needing for your event to be successful. The sponsors you choose to help fund your event should be reliable and should be very detailed with organizing and managing small to large groups of people. If they are a good sponsor they will introduce and support a proposal in any aspect. They should be able to supply the funding needed to put on a successful event and should be willing to give feedback on locations to host your event. Great sponsors will gladly give pointers on how to target the audience you want to attend your event. You want to make sure you get a sponsor who will promote your event by getting people excited about it through advertising. Your sponsor should help by inviting people to come to your book festival. Your sponsor has the means of doing this by providing funds and getting permission to make announcements over the radio and by putting articles in the local newspaper. Sponsors should want to advertise what your event is about by placing billboards, making and posting flyers, and through social media. All of these will contribute to a successful event. “When choosing a sponsor, it’s a good idea to have a wide range of levels so that smaller businesses as well as larger companies can find a level that suits their needs and budget” (Mojica, 2014).
Now that we know what kind of sponsor we are needing and wanting, how do we go about finding one? Finding a great sponsor can sometimes be hard and frustrating, especially if they have a large amount of people asking for their support. There are nine steps to finding and soliciting a big sponsor. First we will need to determine who our audience is, set a sponsorship level, make lots of phone calls, send proposal letters, follow up, of course; build relationships with established and non-established sponsors, give our sponsors plenty of publicity, and keep building relationships. With these nine steps our team should be able to get the funds we need for our non-profit book festival through sponsorship.
I picked this sponsor because they have dealt with children and adults. It shows you how to create your own book festival. It gives many ideas from children to adults. It has information on how to get people involved. There is a guide you can follow if you want to do a festival at school with your classmates and teachers. This was a really good site for our team.
Depending on what type of event you are putting on, you want to have merchandise to either give away or to sell to the people who attend the event. Merchandise helps to promote events and to get the name of the organization putting on the event out into the public. At our non-profit book festival we will be giving away books, t-shirts and sweatshirts. The books of course, are to make our book festival a successful event, and the shirts are to help promote the organization, businesses, and people who donated either money or books for our event. When it comes to getting the merchandise, for example, the books; the best way is to find local libraries, schools, or even book stores that would possibly donate books or even magazines for our event. When it comes to the shirts we will want to make sure we choose a design that is not going to be offensive to anyone and that is going to help support our event. The back of the shirt is the ideal place to list any businesses or people who helped fund the event. We will have to make sure that it is ok to list the name of all the business and people who helped with the funding before putting their name on our shirts. Depending on how big of an event you are going to be putting on and how much funding receive, you could have more than one or two items of merchandise to give away or sell.
Changes in the Economy
When a group or organization is trying to get the funding they need in order to put on an event, the economy somehow finds a way to cause struggle and frustration. The changes within the economy is something that should always be considered when planning for an event. Our event is being held in New York City, we researched and studied the changes in the economy to help us better plan for our event. Since we will be searching for sponsors to help support our event, we want to know what businesses will be better sponsors and could possibly donate the largest amount of money so we are able to put our event plan into action. In the research that was conducted we found that New York City’s economy has not really grown, but has gotten increasingly better. More people have jobs and those jobs are paying a better wage than they have in the past. Most businesses have flourished over the past year and have either expanded or are planning on it, while some have not had such good luck. “Private employment in New York City rose by 8,000 between July and August 2014” (“Economic Snapshots”, 2014). The rise in private employment is a good thing for non-profit organizations. Private employers are the number one people when it comes to sponsors. Private employers will more than likely put their name on something to help sponsor it and most definitely donate money for the cause. Attaching their name with an amount to any non-profit event will help get the privately owned business’s name out into the public even more. Knowing that the economy in New York City has improved and that there are multiple privately owned businesses within the area; our team should have plenty of options for funding our non-profit book festival.
When determining what type of non- profit organization you want to create, one must choose an issue that is important to you or something that is matter to the public interest. Such issues may include arts, charities, education, politics and research. Having all your research done is very important because you’ll gain knowledge of knowing where to find all of your resources for assisting with your non- profit organization.
Knowing your audience is very important when coming up with your idea for a non-profit organization, you want to make sure that you’re attracting the correct audience. Fundraising is a competitive and clever way of raising money. It’s important that you’re asking the right questions to make sure you have the right investors in your corner funding your organization.
Economic Snapshots. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.nycedc.com
Mojica, R. (2014). How can I find sponsors for an event?. Retrieved from http://www.idealist.org/info/Nonprofits/Dev2
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