What Makes a Venue Conducive for Fundraising?

One of the first decisions a fundraising event planner will have to make is choosing a venue. As a fundraising event auctioneer, I’ve seen a lot of venues. I know some that work very well and ensure a successful fundraising night; I know others that logistically hinder our fundraising abilities altogether.

When hosting your fundraising event, look for venues that embody these six (6) core qualities conducive to fundraising success:

(1) Central Location:  Pick a location central to where a majority of your guests live and work. Don’t make them drive across town just to get to your event. Also be mindful of the date and time of your event. Will your guests have to drive in rush hour traffic to arrive on time?

(2) Good Sound:  Your event space should have good sound acoustics, allowing all attendees to fully hear the auctioneer. If your guests can’t hear, they can’t bid.  Make sure the event venue allows for good sound and invest in a high quality AV team to ensure your sound gets where it needs to go.

(3) Collective Space:  You want a venue where there aren’t a lot of places to hide.  You want to keep people together and engaged in your event. Some venues have too many nooks and crannies, allowing people to spread out and become secluded. Make sure your event has a great room that contains your guests in one location so your guests are engaged in all fundraising activities at all times.

(4) Size Matters: The venue’s size should fit your group comfortably. Don’t invest in a giant room unless your guest list is huge. You want your venue to look and feel full without feeling crowded.

(5) Parking & Accessibility: Make sure your event has plenty of nearby parking available or invest in a valet. Always investigate parking before committing to a venue. Even better, prioritize finding a venue that also has easy access to public transit.

(6) Don’t Get Hung Up On Costs:  While you must be a good steward of your organization’s money, invest in a venue that makes the most sense for you, not just the cheapest option available. If money is an issue, find a donor to sponsor or underwrite the event costs so that all the donations made at the event go directly to your organization. I’ve seen sponsors underwrite events time and time again, so don’t be afraid to ask your key donors for their support in this meaningful way.

Remember, the venue you choose can either enhance or hinder your fundraising efforts. It’s always wise to pick a venue that works best for your organization, allowing you to sit back and watch your organization successfully raise the money it needs to fulfill its important mission.

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