Event planning is a major part of nonprofit PR. While fundraising may be the central theme of the event, income is not always the true measure of success. There are two basic types of fundraising events. For the purpose of this example we will break them down into Level 1 and Level 2 events. Each has its own pros, cons and measures of success. The type of nonprofit PR that will work best for you depends on which definition of success you choose. Nonprofit PR success can be measured in different ways.
Level 1 events·
Attendees are more tightly connected to the organization
Higher likelihood of long-term commitment
Examples of Level 1 events include invitation-only galas, black tie dinners, high-end silent auctions and exclusive parties.
Level 2 events
Increase an organization’s visibility to the general public or a specific target market
Take more time and cost more money to plan and execute
Provide a smaller financial return, at least over the short run
Have a lower individual participation cost
Bring higher attendance and increased visibility
Cost more to administrate and advertise
Bring in fewer donor prospects
Attendees have less innate loyalty to the organization
Examples of Level 2 events include art shows; public events; concerts; raffles; and sponsored walks, runs or rides. 5WPR specializes in reputation management, which plays a role in each of these fundraising efforts as well. Organizations interested in Level 1 events might be interested in protecting a previously established reputation. Deep-pocketed donors are attracted because association with these charities can increase social status. Level 2 events are a terrific way to establish or expand a charity’s reputation and reach a greater number of people. Volunteer recruiting is another reason to consider hosting a Level 2 event. Many attendees may not have large amounts of disposable income, but they may have time to contribute.
There is a time and a place for both types of events. A successful nonprofit PR campaign will include plans to market and host events at both levels.