My first (kind-of) event

As many of you may have heard, yesterday was the world famous Boston Marathon. My organization was fortunate to receive two bib numbers from John Hancock . The stipulation of the bibs is that we had to raise a certain amount of money, but all money raised would stay within our organization. The two members of the executive management team who ran for us have done it a few years in a row. They have certain contacts they solicit for donations and many of our staff also donate, as well.

I received a phone call a few months ago about a restaurant in Boston that hosts free fundraising parties for marathon runners. I discussed it with our runners and we agreed it would be a great thing to try this year. If it doesn’t cost us anything to do it and could get us some extra money, why not? I also liked that I did not have to do much for it, either. I invited staff via email and kept a list of RSVPs to know how much food to tell the restaurant we would need. Just about everyone who RSVPed did in fact come, including a few people who did not respond to me.  We decided to have a “suggested donation” of $10 at the door, and earned a few hundred dollars from the attendees. Many of the attendees told me they loved the venue (including its roof deck) and would definitely consider coming back again for happy hour. It was not an extremely successful event in itself, but everything went smoothly and the money raised did help the runners meet their fundraising requirement for the marathon.

How do you advertise internal events at your organization? Do you have any “secrets” that you found work well in getting people to commit to coming and actually show up?