Guide to Third-Party Fundraising Events For Volunteers

Congratulations, you’re a super decent human! As a volunteer organizer hosting a fundraising event for your favorite nonprofit organization, you are a rock star.

myRollCall is here to make your experience raising funds as easy as possible. This Guide to Third-Party Fundraising Events will help you plan ahead, manage and monetize your fundraising event. We are here to help! Please contact us at any time:

support@myrollcall.com or 512-593-2615

GETTING STARTED

First, affirm that you…

  • Can guarantee a defined minimum amount of donated funds.
  • Personally align with the nonprofit’s mission.
  • Will require little to no nonprofit staff time for your event.
  • Will enable a staff member of the nonprofit to speak at the event.
  • Can protect the nonprofit’s brand.
  • Can assure effective messaging and communications.
  • Review the Third-Party Event Agreement with a nonprofit staff member before signing off on organizing the event.

CHECKLIST FOR A SUCCESSFUL FUNDRAISING EVENT

2-6 Months Before the Event:

  • Set up the event page on myRollCall.com with the nonprofit organization for which you are fundraising selected as the “Group”.
  • Upon setting up your draft event page, a customer support person from myRollCall will reach out to schedule a brief tutorial on how to use myRollCall and its mobile app on the day or night of your event.
  • Discuss pre-event vendor payments & requirements with the nonprofit organization.
  • Assign “Organizer(s)” & “Checker(s)” under “Roles” within the event page in myRollCall. Make sure a nonprofit staff member is designated as a fellow “Organizer” so they have oversight of your event.
  • Make certain you have at least one Wi-Fi Hotspot in addition to having access to the venue’s Wi-Fi. NEVER DEPEND UPON A VENUE’S Wi-Fi FOR ANY FUNDRAISING EVENT…EVER!
  • Create a list of prospective and current donors, corporate sponsors and any in-kind sponsors.
  • Create a sponsorship solicitation letter(s). Click here for a sample template sponsorship solicitation letter.
  • Create a marketing promotion schedule to promote your event, including email invitations (you may want to use MailChimp, Emma or Constant Contact if your list is larger than 100 invitees), print invitations and social media, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.

1 Month Before the Event:

  • Recruit volunteers to meet your day-/night-of-event needs.
  • myRollCall will contact you to:
    • Ask you how many iPhone-/iPad-compatible credit card swipers you will need for mobile
      check-in/-out and day-/night-of-event donations. myRollCall loans up to eight card swipers for free.
    • Schedule a brief (15-20 minutes) online tutorial of the myRollCall mobile app for you
      and/or your volunteers.
  • Send out another invitation to those who have not yet purchased tickets.
  • Continue to make social media posts.
  • Continue to solicit monetary and in-kind sponsorships.
  • Confirm the day-/night-of event venue setup, decorating and overall layout.
  • Prepare a “run of show,” including speaking points and timing, entertainment timeline and program elements, including the silent auction timeline, any live auction timeline and the outline for the special appeal/ask.
    Print event signage.

1 Week Before the Event:

  • Confirm receipt of credit card swipers from myRollCall.
  • Review the final day-/night-of-event schedule with your nonprofit staff contact and your volunteers.
  • Send a final, pre-event communications to monetary and/or in-kind sponsors, volunteers and the entertainment, etc.
  • Update the myRollCall event page and send an email if there are any last-minute updates regarding parking, attire, etc. This is a good time to submit the non-profit’s W9 to myRollCall to facilitate disbursement of funds after the event.
  • Test the required Wi-Fi hotspot at the venue.

1 Day Before the Event:

  • Venue setup.
  • Again, confirm Wi-Fi, including hotspot.

After the Event:

  • Return the iPhone-/iPad-compatible credit card swipers to myRollCall, using the return shipping label provided to you.
  • Email all of your guests, volunteers and sponsors, sharing your mutual success (uplifting, short and to the point email).
  • Hand-write thank you notes to major donors & sponsors.
  • Make any final vendor payments.
  • After final vendor payments have been made, disburse funds to the nonprofit.
  • Start planning for next year!

CREATE YOUR FUNDRAISING EVENT PAGE

To create your event page, go to “Find/Create Event” on myrollcall.com. There, you can either sign up by creating a new user account or log in as a returning user. Once you are logged in, you are ready to create your first event!

Here are ten quick and easy steps to create your draft event page:

1. Click on “Create an event” on the Find/Create Event page.

2. Choose “Volunteer led” for the category type.

3. Enter your hosting group’s name (the nonprofit organization for which you are fundraising).

4. Select a group that auto-populates or choose “not listed” if you don’t see your group.

5. Enter the details of your event.

6. Confirm your event.

7. Add text, photography and other specifics to the Details page.

8. Create your ticket type(s) — for example, individual, VIP, volunteer, etc.

9. Create your sponsorship(s).

10. Create your store and load it with categories like Raffle, Silent Auction, Live Auction, Special Appeal / Paddle Raise, etc. You can access your store via the mobile app leading up to and live during the event.

If you have additional questions about creating your draft event page, please reference our Have a Question? page. If you cannot find the answer to your questions, please call us at 512-593-2615 or email us at support@myrollcall.com.

EXAMPLES

Example: Sponsorship Levels

PRESENTING SPONSOR $10,000
Ten (10) tickets to the event
Placement of logo on myRollCall event page
Mention of sponsorship in event press release (if you plan on sending one out)
Inclusion of logo and clickable link on all e-blasts
Signage at the event
Logo placement on all printed event marketing materials

PLATINUM SPONSOR $5,000
Six (6) tickets to the event
Placement of logo on myRollCall event page
Mention of sponsorship in event press release (if you plan on sending one out)
Inclusion of logo and clickable link on all e-blasts
Signage at the event
Logo placement on all printed event marketing materials

GOLD SPONSOR $2,500
Four (4) tickets to the event
Placement of logo on myRollCall event page
Inclusion of logo and clickable link on all e-blasts
Logo placement on all printed event marketing materials

SILVER SPONSOR $1,000
Two (2)tickets to the event
Placement of logo on myRollCall event page
Logo placement on all printed event marketing materials

BRONZE SPONSOR $500
Logo placement on all printed event marketing materials

Download a sample Word Doc here.

Example: Sponsorship Letter

We recommend writing a letter with an opening paragraph that links your event with the mission of the
nonprofit for which you are fundraising. The second paragraph should further detail the work of the nonprofit,
state the problem that the organization is addressing and how your fundraising event is part of the
solution to the problem. The third (and any additional) paragraph should be your ask for sponsorship at
your event. You know your guests better than anyone so feel free to take liberty in personalizing your
sponsorship solicitation letter.

(DATE)

Dear (Salutation),

(EVENT NAME) will take place on (EVENT DATE) at (EVENT LOCATION). This event benefits (THE NONPROFIT FOR WHOM YOU ARE FUNDRAISING) and seeks to raise funds and awareness for (MISSION OF NONPROFIT). We invite you to be a sponsor of (EVENT NAME).

(PARAGRAPH ABOUT THE NONPROFIT AND ITS MISSION. STATE THE PROBLEM THAT THE NONPROFIT IS TRYING TO SOLVE. STATE HOW YOUR FUNDRAISING EVENT IS ALSO PART OF THE SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM)

By sponsoring (EVENT NAME), you’ll receive exposure in front of a captive audience of (EXPECTED ATTENDANCE NUMBER) professionals and supporters. Enclosed you will find a list of sponsorship opportunities that provide your organization with a number of benefits throughout the event.

Thank you for your time and thoughtful consideration. If you have any questions, please contact me directly at (PHONE) or (EMAIL).

Sincerely,
(NAME)
(EVENT)

Download a sample Word Doc here.

Example: Email Invitation

Dear ,

I would like to invite you to [Insert type of event you are organizing], benefitting [Insert Nonprofit Name].

I am organizing this [Insert name or description of the event] because [Share how your guests’ attendance and donations will benefit the nonprofit for which you are organizing this event. What does their participation mean to you personally? How do you align with the nonprofit’s mission? Where is the money going? Who will benefit?]

I hope you can join me for the [Insert the name of your event] on [Insert date]. Please purchase your [Insert ticket(s), table(s) or golf cart(s)] by clicking here [Insert link to your event page on myRollCall].

Sincerely,
[Your Name]

Download a sample Word Doc here.

Example: Post-Event Thank You Letter or Email

Dear ,

Thank you for attending my event, benefitting [Insert Nonprofit Name].

[Share how your guests’ attendance and donations benefit the nonprofit for which you organized the event. Where is the money going? Who will benefit? What does their participation mean to you personally?]

Thanks again so much for attending the [Insert the name of your event] and I hope to see you again next year. Please save [Insert the tentative date for your event next year] on your calendar!

Sincerely,
[Your Name]

Download a sample Word Doc here.

SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS

Please promote your fundraising event using your social network, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. Here are some tips:

  • Always include a link to your myRollCall fundraising event page in every post.
  • Encourage your friends and family to post on your behalf and include a link to your myRollCall fundraising event page.
  • Tell your story. Why are you organizing this event? What does the nonprofit’s mission mean to you personally?
  • Use relevant and appropriate hashtags (#FundraisingEvent #YourCityName #Giving, #ForGood, etc.).
  • Include photos and videos. As they say, a photo (or a video) tells a thousand words!
  • Thank your sponsors and include their social media links as well.

HERE’S TO A GREAT EVENT!

Download a PDF version of this document here (9.5 mb)

THIRD-PARTY FUNDRAISING EVENTS WEBINAR

Click here to watch our “Third-party Fundraising Events” webinar, featuring Sam Swaim of Swaim Strategies.