Creative Meeting Planning – Crowdfunding Your First Big Event

Creative meeting planning at Premier Meeting Services


The following is a short case study on a creative meeting planning.

When a high powered sports celebrity discovered that his child was suffering from the very disorder a certain nonprofit was dedicated to curing, he joined their effort and volunteered to help. The little nonprofit quickly decided to plan their first event around his marketing power.


Since the celebrity and his famous friends were all golf nuts, the nonprofit decided to hold a celebrity golf tournament. They hired a meeting planner to help them arrange a one-day program of golf, autograph signing, and a tapas luncheon spread around the entire golf course for the players to graze on throughout the tournament. The day would end with a celebrity roast of the host by his friends and colleagues during a five-course banquet. This was a pretty ambitious event for a little nonprofit to attempt, but they recognized their opportunity and wanted to take advantage of the moment.


The next step was to put together a budget. Wow! After the costs of venue, food, beverage, security, printing, hole-in-one prizes, transportation to and from the airport for out of town participants, and entertainment, they had to add on the cost of marketing. There was no way they could commit for an amount of capital that almost exceeded their entire previous year’s fundraising.


Then the meeting planner had an idea. What if we contacted not only your sport’s celebrity’s entire mailing list of famous friends and associates, but also your existing donors interested in curing this terrible childhood affliction. They might see this as another opportunity to help you out. We’ll ask them to commit far in advance and then decide whether we can afford to hold the event or not. If we get enough players at the amount we need to pay the bills, we go ahead. If we don’t get enough interest, we cancel.

This nonprofit used the fundamental principal of crowdfunding for nonprofits.

  • They received an overwhelming response after putting at risk only the cost of an email campaign.
  • They raised twice the amount of the expense of the golf tournament before committing to hold the event.
  • They were astounded by their good fortune and learned a new way of financing projects that might be ambitious and, therefore, fraught with risk for smaller nonprofits who need to grow.


They did a lot of things right:

  • They thought outside the box.
  • They hired professional meeting planners to help.
  • They planned carefully.
  • They created a detailed budget in advance.
  • They used sophisticated marketing techniques.
  • They minimized risk.

All events are complex business transactions that require long-range advanced planning. When stepping out into your first big fundraising event double the time and triple the care of your planning. It may save your organization.

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