With the first blog post of 2010, I’m starting a series of posting questions I receive and my answers to them. Sort of a “Dear Abby” for fundraising. I’m calling it “Question Marc” — pun fully intended! 🙂
It’d be great to have you take part. If you have a question about nonprofits or fundraising that you’d like considered for Question Marc? Send it to email@example.com. I won’t be able to answer every question, but I just might be able to answer yours!
Q: I ran across your blog while researching a fundraising event I’m putting on for my search and rescue team. I’m trying to determine if it might be more profitable to hold our event (a movie showing) on a weekend or week night. Can you point me to any information which might help me?
A: Great question! The “correct” answer depends on the locale more than anything else.
In some communities, you could pull it off right after work. This is particularly true if you’re located in areas where people travel in to work. They’re already in the city, so they may be more likely to stay for an event (more likely than they would be to come in for a weekend.)
But if it’s a couple hours, you’ll probably need to supply a dinner for people. That could get expensive (unless you get the food donated).
A weekend afternoon might allow you to save money on food expense. Holding a movie from 2-4 would only require appetizers, not a full meal. Weekends can work better in communities where people live (rather than commute to).
Since you’re hosting a movie, you could ask a manager of a local theater. She would know when they see the biggest audiences.
It may help to check with Morrie Warshawki. He is the king of fundraising houseparties which usually use movies as a center piece. He may have ideas on his site: www.warshawski.com.
[Do you have a question about nonprofits or fundraising that you’d like considered for Question Marc? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.]
What are best sources of free advertising a non profit event ( with a health related documentary film screening as the central focus) and how far in advance should it be done?
Also, is it ok to show two hour long documentaries back to back and what is the best duration for an event like this?
In case that makes a difference, we are planning to have appetizers and a speaker giving a short 15 minute presentation on aquaponics prior to screening.
There are lots of free event promotion tools. Most of them would be online community calendars. Most radio stations have them. TV stations too. And there are so many other groups that might.
Another way might be asking people in companies with lots of employees to post it on their intranet as a service to those employees.
And there’s always Google+ and Facebook, as well as your own email list.
As for length, I”m not sure what is “ok” or not. If you advertise it as such, you’ll get the people that are open to watching a couple hours of video. So that shouldn’t be a problem.