Kambeo Hubs - Coming Summer 2022

Lessons in Event Planning & Fundraising

A candid story about how impeccable planning can still result in disaster. Lessons to learn from to make sure your next event is a success.

Worst. Fundraiser. Ever

You cannot win everything. While that’s an obvious fact, it does not stop anyone from wanting to accept a loss. This mantra is just how I approached the planning of my Community Food Drive that would kick off my whole city-wide campaign. We had just had a change of staff, so I stepped up to the plate to make it happen—solo! 

It was a simple event plan:

  1. Find a community-friendly space
  2. Recruit interesting vendors for food & fun
  3. Connect with sponsors for some deeper engagements and giveaways 
  4. Watch the food and fund donations pour in!

For the vendors and sponsors, I approached my local coffee shop for hot beverages and treats, a local art centre offered to do crafts with the kids, and one generous grocer donated hundreds of pumpkins for each family to carve and take home. Lastly, to make it a party, a DJ helped set up a loudspeaker and a playlist. 

My vision was that event attendees would donate and then be wooed and wowed with freebies and keepsakes to take home. My guests would love it!

The fall day dawned, bright and beautiful. Logistically, the set-up went flawlessly. Tables, equipment, tents, displays—all of it was organized by my volunteers with SWAT team precision and 30-minutes to spare before the event was due to start. 

We were all set up, so we waited for the masses to arrive with their donations and smiles. 

And we waited. 

And we waited. 

Have you spotted what I missed? 

I forgot to TELL people about my event! 

I was so caught up in logistics, fundraising, sponsors, and volunteer management that I didn’t stop to promote the event I worked so hard to plan. 

It’s no surprise but I missed my goal. In fact, I think the only money I raised that day came from pity donations for the firefighters, vendors, and volunteers. 

At the time, I was more than a little upset, but it’s pretty funny looking back now. Not to mention 100% preventable. If I had made my plan and shared it with my team, I know someone would have caught my mistake. 

What if I had used Kambeo back then? What would have been different? 

For starters, I would have had to create a digital version of my event, which would have also prompted me to share my event links across social platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. Kambeo would have given me a custom QR code to add to my posters and flyers so that anyone looking to learn more could do so with a simple photo. And, the platform’s functionality would have made it possible to send event branded emails to my supporters before, during, and after the event.

And while the weather that day was gorgeous, if it had turned out to be a miserable day, I could have called on my community to stay dry and donate from home. Combining an in-person event with a digital platform like Kambeo is a practical fail-safe against event planning hiccups. Lesson learned.

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