Recently, I gave a seminar about special events to a group of nonprofit professionals. One of the questions asked was how to quantify staff time in the calculation of creating a successful fundraising event. Of course, staff time is important, there is no disputing that. Staff need to focus on priorities, and in small nonprofit organizations, staff wear many hats. You will find many of my colleagues who say events are a waste of time and effort. However, I believe than any organization with a small army of dedicated volunteers and a few staff can create and grow a successful annual event where donors and prospects can learn more about the organization while having a great time. Why? Because I used to be one of you, and I did it. We raised critical extra funds to further our mission each year via a signature event – and I learned to refine it and make it grow. Done right, your event can become something your donors actually look forward to year after year, and tell their friends about, invite them to, and “voila”- you’ve just grown your donor and prospect base. It’s all about two factors: Feasibility and Capacity. And don’t misunderstand me- you need to start early, not just to recruit the volunteers, but to do the critical math of revenue and expenses to ensure you get the bottom line you are seeking to gain from the event. Everything needs to be clear in your projected “Profit and Loss Statement” for the event before you tackle this monumental effort. To learn more about the method I developed, view my presentation on Slideshare by clicking here. The image in this post is just a sample of line items to consider. There can be many more, and you want to have all your ducks in a row. Remember, expenses are negotiable, and many sponsorships can be attained in advance. Need more courage asking for donations? Click here to subscribe to my list and download my “Top Ten Fundraisng Ask Icebreaker Phrases”. Are you already subscribed? Just contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you my Tip Sheet. ” I’d love to hear your thoughts of what has worked or not worked for you!