Taking Your Event to the Next Level (On a Non-Profit Budget)

As a non-profit meeting planner, it’s easy and sometimes inevitable for your annual events to become stagnant over time. What was once the social event of the year for your organization can flat line and turn into a run-of-the-mill conference throughout the years. Luckily, revitalizing a lackluster event doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Here’s how you can break the plateau without breaking the budget.

1. Generate Sponsorships

Securing sponsorships is an excellent cost-effective way to bring new events to life and resurrect annual ones. By partnering with organizations that can provide products and services at reduced to no cost, you can execute a quality event without breaking the budget. Anything from providing the venue to sponsoring cocktail receptions, there are organizations that love working with non-profits and will gladly lend their services for the right cause. For the services you can’t receive for free, consider offering incentives or exclusives to the partnering organization that they might be willing to reduce their price for.


2. Start Networking

If you wish to produce larger events with more attendees, you need to expand your network. Attend industry events and make new connections. These types of events are usually affordable and oftentimes are free for members of the hosting organization. Get to know meeting planners of other non-profits that you can reach out to for recommendations on things like which keynote speakers they like or which AV company they prefer to work with.


3. Recruit Volunteers

As a non-profit meeting planner, you know how vital volunteers are to your event’s success. Use your current network to recruit more volunteers, specifically ones who have worked within your industry or the non-profit sector before. Enlist experienced volunteers to help create and circulate communication pieces and assist onsite with setup and tear-down as opposed to spending money to outsource the work


4. Get Creative!

Your budget is limited, but your event doesn’t have to be. Find unique, cost-effective ways to refresh static conferences. Go green and switch from handouts to downloading presentations online, saving money on printing costs. You could use the money you save elsewhere, like bringing a new entertainment segment to your event. No matter what components you add or remove, the change should make sense for your event and your audience.


If you keep your attendees top-of-mind when you implement these money-saving tips, you’ll successfully turn a tired event into a tremendous one.