The previous two posts discussed the role of the Project Manager and how to prepare a Project Plan. This final blog on the subject of project management presents an actual project plan and budget for a small project goal where you need to raise $10,000 net and a larger project goal where you need to raise $30,000 net. Please remember that the success of any project depends on the skills of the project manager and the organization and inclusiveness of the project plan. Without either, the event is doomed to failure.
Example 1 Project - Summer Computer Camp
Your organization has partnered with a summer camp organization and agreed to sponsor 100 campers at a computer camp. The project plan goal here is to acquire the funds to enable the children to attend the summer computer camp
Setting Goals for Your Event within Your Overall Fundraising Plan
Many people want to be associated with a successful, positive, professional program. With enough time and careful planning your event will attract enough supports (past, current, and future) to provide the synergy needed for a continuous successful event. People will donate for many reasons – among them, to support you, to be seen, and to network. This is an event that allows you to stay true to your organization’s mission and core values. Therefore it is important that your project manager have experience and contacts in the field of publicity and communications. This project must cultivate attention and draw sufficient interest so that seeking sponsorships, and in-kind donations will meet with success. First, you must identify how you will raise the funds, i.e., your revenue source.
The Project Plan
This project plan must include success for obtaining sponsorships and ensuring that your tickets to the venue have been sold. The plan must include working with the venue, caterer, menu, event flow, and every imaginable detail including parking needs. The project plan must include extensive detail regarding who and when to solicit sponsorships, sell tickets, solicit auction items, and handle additional income stream of the signature drinks. The project plan has to also include outreach and publicity by engaging other organizations and high profile individuals in order to encourage success with the silent auction and meeting your sponsorship goals. Failing to invest the proper amount of energy in all revenue categories could have a negative impact on the project goal.
Example 2 Project - Community Awards Banquet
A modification of the small project will allow you to create a larger project plan which can generate in excess of $50,000 net revenue. In this example, the organization has announced a target of awarding five $10,000 scholarships to graduating seniors this year. The “Summer Camp Luncheon” project plan can be used as a template and modified for a “Community Awards Banquet”. The two important differences in this event is including a souvenir journal and offering awards to local community leaders to attract additional sponsors.
It is important to try to account for all possible hard-cost expenses in the budget. The budget must include every conceivable expense. However the project plan can be creative in reducing expenses. Contact the local community college Fine Arts Department and arrange student photographers to use your event as a pro bono class project. The same could be suggested for all graphics and logo artwork. It will help students develop a portfolio of work from a real-world event.
Success is Guaranteed !!!
Now that you have set your goals, put your plan together for a great event, and identified potential participants, you need to get the people there. Although a well-put-together event is bound to attract attendees, don’t overlook opportunities to ensure that the people you want to be there will be. Reach out to your sponsors to get the name of their guests and consider sharing your event’s invitation with their contact lists. You must follow-up to key stakeholders by phone to ensure that you obtain the number of attendees. It will require making a lot of calls and sending several reminders. You will also use social networks if appropriate. A press release with detail information offering special and unique insight into the event will encourage coverage of your event. Again you will need to have direct contact with an editor or news director to obtain the coverage you desire.
Award banquets are a time-honored tradition that can bring a lot of value to your organization and meet the goals of your development plan. Although they require careful planning and the involvement of many people, they provide the kind of opportunity for engagement, participation and important face-time with the many stakeholders of your organization and community that is not possible with other fundraising strategies. With good food, drinks, venue, entertainment, and speakers, you can create an experience for your guests that encourages their steadfast (and increased) commitment to your organization.
Six-Month Project Plan for Luncheon or Banquet