The Hardest Question in Fundraising?

‘So what’s your budget?’ Is the usual question when you have blagged your way in to a top venue looking to hold an event and just hoping that the bookings manager is going to be sympathetic to your cause?

It’s that moment when you can do one of three things:

1.     Be consumed by the panic attack that has just hit your brain as you know you have no budget and are hoping for charity from the venue. Start to cry a little (inside) and continue to emphasise how much the event would mean to the charity in the hope that they will take pity even though you know they have a target to reach in their own business.

2.     Repeat everything you have just said hoping that they wont ask the question again and certainly wont pull out the regular event cover charge document and say I will have a word with the manager

Or use the following check list:

1.     Visit more than one venue but look for the one that the bookings manager really connects with you and the cause, its not enough to have a nice venue as you are going to be working with that person for many months.

2.     Realise that what you are offering has real value, its not just charity. Your organisation has a reputation, influential supporters and probably a wide social media reach. A wise booking manager will recognise the value of this. Their business wants to be seen as part of the wider community.

3.     Dangle the carrot a little and say you have been looking at various venues, they are all in competition with each other.

4.     When the budget question comes be confident and say that you would like to put a budget in place that works for both sides and can we work on that together, ask for their advice as everyone likes to feel valued.

5.     Be business focused and ask for a proposal from them in the next seven days so that you can make a decision. Remember that their job is to put as many backsides on seats as possible over the year, empty space does not make the venue any money.

In short be confident, compassionate and treat the transaction as a business to business arrangement. Do not go cap in hand, you, your charity and your supporters are better than that.

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Written by the GoodCloud Team. Published Nov 10, 2020