What is a Third-Party Fundraising Event?
myRollCall refers to a third-party event as any event hosted by volunteers or board members on behalf of a nonprofit. The event is organized by the individual host, who is also responsible for the guest list. Third-party events are sometimes known as “volunteer-led” or “do-it-yourself” (DIY) events.
Why offer third-party events?
- Opportunity to introduce your mission to a new audience of donors and evangelists.
- Expand and build your base of corporate and small-business sponsorship.
- Expand your geographical breadth of giving.
- If you don’t do them, you’re leaving money on the table!
First, affirm the following…
- The volunteer organizer can guarantee a mutually agreed upon minimum amount of donated funds.
- The volunteer organizer personally aligns with your nonprofit’s mission.
- The third-party event aligns with the mission.
- There is little-to-no staff time required for the event.
- And, you have the option to speak at the event in order to thank guests or answer questions about the mission of the nonprofit.
DOs and DON’Ts
- Protect your brand.
- Assure effective messaging & communications.
- Create your third-party event policy document and ensure both parties agree to all the terms before committing to the event. Your policy document should include:
- a set of requirements the volunteer organizer must meet.
- a set of requirements the event itself must meet.
- a list of what is legal and what is not in your city or state.
- a mutually agreed upon fundraising goal.
- an event checklist (we’ve provided one below) to review with your volunteer organizer.
- Give up complete control.
- Do the event if it doesn’t feel right.
- Do the event if the volunteer organizer can’t guarantee a minimum amount of monetary donations from the event.
- Do the event if you sense the volunteer organizer lacks communications and organizational skills.
- Do the event if the volunteer organizer will not grant you online oversight through myRollCall.
- Do the event if the volunteer organizer denies you the opportunity to speak at the event.
CHECKLIST FOR A SUCCESSFUL FUNDRAISING EVENT
4-6 Months Before the Event:
- Sit down with your volunteer organizer and complete your third-party agreement, including fundraising goals. Click here for a template agreement if your organization does not already have one in place.
- Volunteer organizer creates event page at myRollCall.com, with your organization selected as the “Group.”
- Discuss pre-event vendor payments & requirements.
- Assign “Organizer(s)” & “Checker(s)” under the “Roles” section within the event page in myRollCall. Make sure you are personally designated as an “Organizer,” so you have full oversight of the event.
- Review the venue details with the volunteer organizer.
- Confirm that the volunteer will have at least one Wi-Fi hotspot in addition to that provided by the venue. NEVER DEPEND UPON A VENUE’S Wi-Fi FOR ANY FUNDRAISING EVENT… EVER!
- Review the volunteer organizer’s list of prospective and current donors, corporate sponsors and any in-kind sponsors.
- Review and approve sponsorship solicitation letter(s). Click here for a template sponsorship solicitation letter.
- Discuss promotional strategy with the volunteer organizer – invitation, email, community calendars or social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter), etc.
- Stay in contact with your volunteer and be sure to thank them for their work.
3 Months Before the Event:
- Review and approve email invitations for integration with your organization’s master list. We recommend your volunteer organizer uses MailChimp, Emma or Constant Contact if it’s a list larger than 100 invitees.
- Monitor the activity on myRollCall for sales and donations updates.
- Reach out to your volunteer and thank them for their continued support.
1 Week Before the Event:
- Review the final day-/night-of event schedule with the volunteer organizer.
- Confirm your volunteer organizer sends a final pre-event communication to monetary and/or in-kind sponsors, volunteers, the entertainment, etc.
- Ensure the volunteer organizer updates the myRollCall event page and sends any last-minute updates regarding parking, attire, etc. This is a good time to submit the non-profit’s W9 to myRollCall to facilitate vendor or group disbursements.
- Remind the volunteer organizer to test the required Wi-Fi hotspot at the venue!
After the Event:
- Volunteer organizer sends an email to all of their guests, volunteers and sponsors, sharing your mutual success (an uplifting, short and to-the-point email).
- Volunteer organizer writes hand-written thank you notes to major donors & sponsors.
- Volunteer organizer makes any final vendor payments (with your approval if that’s how you’ve set up this event within myRollCall).
- Volunteer organizer disburses funds to after all final vendor payments have been made.
- Start planning for next year!
HERE’S TO A GREAT EVENT!
Download a PDF version of this document here (4.1 mb)