Why Consider an Outdoor Charity Event?
The most successful non-profit fundraising events don’t just raise money and awareness for a good cause. They also give donors a memorable and positive experience. Hosting an open-air charity event, whether it’s a fun run, group walk, cycling challenge, gala, barbecue, or anything in between, provides an opportunity for donors and participants to relish their enthusiasm for fitness and adventure, while simultaneously taking advantage of the great outdoors.
When you are coming up with ideas for your charity fundraising event, you may benefit greatly by considering an outdoor environment as more appealing to potential and current donors. The open-air setting and scenic, picturesque views add to the overall experience and help create a truly memorable experience, particularly if the weather is on your side on the day.
Not only that, but people of all ages and abilities can participate in plenty of alfresco charity events, and if most of your participants are passionate about fitness and the natural environment, your event is likely to lead to greater engagement and awareness with each passing year.
The Key to Success: Effective Marketing and Promotion
While hosting and organising an outdoor charity fundraiser might require additional hoops to jump through and deeper logistical planning, the potential to raise substantial funds for your cause is also highly promising.
The most important step towards helping you achieve your goals, and maximising attendance and impact, is effectively marketing your charity event well ahead of time.
Great ideas are the foundation, but you need to plan every aspect intricately and strategically if you want your outdoor event to be a success and stand out.
How to Market a Successful Event
Planning an open air occasion tends to be more overwhelming and logistically challenging than an indoor event. Your event may require additional planning and proverbial red tape, however, it can be reassuring to know that when it comes to promotion and advertising, much of the same tasks apply whether your event takes place indoors or outdoors.
Here are the top five ways to promote any outdoor charity fundraising event.
1. Utilise Social Media Platforms Wisely and Effectively
The power of promoting charity events on social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and others can draw swathes of eyes to your brand and forthcoming event.
There are many specific tasks you can accomplish with particular social media apps. Whether it’s creating a public event page on Facebook, creating sponsored video bumper ads on Instagram, or conducting direct outreach to your LinkedIn contacts, the possibilities are endless.
Photos, videos, questions, polls and effective calls-to-action that encourage and drive signups, shares and donations are crucial here, as is the language and tone of voice that you use consistently across the social media spectrum.
Think about your audience and the potential types of attendees you want to attract to your event. What type of content will they resonate with and engage with? Think about that as you plan a bespoke charity social media strategy.
2. Commit to Optimising Your Website and Content
Speaking of content, you’re going to need plenty of it to have any hopes of drawing a crowd to your charity event. Your website is the most useful place to provide your audience with all relevant information about your event, and it gives you complete autonomy over the messaging, branding, and supporting content that you create to drive more awareness and engagement.
Whatever platform your website is hosted and created with, ensure that you are following recommended best practices to ensure maximum visibility on search engines. Create a dedicated landing page for your event with all the key details like location, date, maps, and pricing, complete with a signup or donation link. If you are promoting products ahead of the event, create individual, SEO-optimised product pages with high-quality images, metadata and descriptions.
Create a steady stream of blogs or newsletters that continue to draw attention to the event, whether it’s a sponsor announcement, a milestone achievement, or a reminder.
3. Distribute Plenty of Printed Material
There’s no doubting the power of digital marketing for charity events, but don’t underestimate the effectiveness of printed material.
Designing eye-catching posters, brochures or flyers to distribute across your local community will provide an immensely strong boost to your event’s attendance. This is immediately doable with the help of tools like Instantprint. You will be surprised at how effective distributing your printed material in local gyms, community centres, shops and schools can be.
You can even go a step further and run a leaflet distribution or targeted direct mail campaign for local residents as a way to capture the attention of more prospective participants or attendees.
Also, consider speaking to local magazines or newspapers to see if they will promote a printed version of your ad in their next issue, for added visibility.
4. Pitch to Local or Regional Media Outlets
As well as newspapers and magazines, consider branching out to other local media companies like radio stations, TV channels, or even well-known local content creators or podcasts. For charity events on a tight budget, many institutions will extend a helping hand to your event by promoting it to their listeners and viewers; some may even dedicate time for an interview with you.
If you can successfully win an agreement from a local institution like this, it will do wonders for your visibility and exposure. Be sure to provide all relevant details like photos, maps, dates, and locations in any local media proposal you write.
5. Find the Right Types of Sponsors
Sponsors are crucial for helping your fundraising initiative to go from moderate to huge successes. Consider the type of event you’re promoting and see what types of sponsors you can win – perhaps an outdoor shoe brand would be willing to sponsor your group hike, or a local business that shares similar values to you would be willing to donate money, products or services in exchange for promotional benefits before, during and after the event.
A sponsor’s support and contributions can maximise the total funds raised for your event, not to mention increased event attendance if they are proactive in promoting the event on their channels to their audience. Among the numerous people that could passively see your event details, you may find more sponsorship opportunities waiting in the wings.
Hosting a successful outdoor charity fundraising event requires dedication, careful planning, and an organised, effective marketing strategy. While it will take considerable time and effort, the rewards of raising funds for your meaningful cause and creating a memorable community event will be worth the effort.
If you want to network with plenty of other outdoor enthusiasts and gain valuable advice and support for your next charity event, look no further than The Outdoor Guide’s plentiful resources. Join us today to benefit from our community’s expertise and passion for the great outdoors and supporting charity initiatives.