Complete Guide to Fundraising Hosts

Complete Guide to Fundraising Hosts

Including a fundraising host is still a drastically underused element of fundraising events, but we’ve seen first-hand the amazing results that can come from focusing on this part of an event. If you have not included an engaging fundraising host, you may be missing a large piece of the puzzle!

Keep reading to learn all about these vibrant and game-changing individuals so that you can decide how best to use them for your future fundraising events.

What Is a Fundraising Host?

A fundraising host is a person who can provide consultative support to organisers and committees pre-event, plus then be responsible for hosting the fundraising activities at the actual event. Simply put, at an event, a fundraising host is responsible for engaging donors to raise the most funds possible.

Pre-Event Support?

The role of a fundraising host can include a variety of tasks. Still, it should always start with several pre-event, statistically-driven meetings to discuss the best possible approach for fundraising at your event. 

Looking back at data from previous events, such as the amount raised in the Live Auction, Silent Auction and Pledge moment, the number of bids and donations made, popular levels and timings of giving, are critical to get the perfect strategy in place.

At The Event

Fundraising hosts should be responsible for running the auction and/or donation drive; they should know how to work a crowd and engage with an audience. The events they host can range from small gatherings and golf days to large galas or auctions. The goal of a fundraising host is to create an enjoyable and engaging event that encourages attendees to donate generously to the cause at hand.

Do Fundraising Hosts Work?

Absolutely. And we’ve got the stats to prove it. We’ve seen some simply astounding increases in funds raised by including a fundraising host. Get in touch, and our team would love to chat this through with you.

Brilliant fundraising hosts allow guests to indulge in giving – that amazing feeling of doing something positive for others. Altruistic DNA is in all of us; giving makes you feel better. People want to give, and an engaging fundraising host allows them to do it.

We continue to say that fundraising is not a spectator sport – you shouldn’t be relying on 10% of the room to give 90% of the funds. For a donation moment or pledge drive, fundraising hosts allow a collaborative nature of giving. Using the fundraising leaderboards, they can get everyone involved.

Event Host or Fundraising Host?

We strongly recommend that your Fundraising Host is not also your Event Host. Your audience must connect with the Fundraising Host during those crucial moments of giving. To do this, it’s best they are kept back to do their job, drive fundraising on the night, and not mix that message with other elements like introducing speakers or explaining where the fire exits are. 

Having a skilled host focused on fundraising can help make the event substantially more effective and enjoyable for everyone involved.

Image: Fundraising Hosts North America from left to right – Harry Santa-Olla (HSO Productions), Chuck Mutz (Black Tie Auctions), Sherry Mulhar (Red Apple Auctions) and Layne (The Auctionista) – Find out more by clicking here.

How Can a Fundraising Host Elevate an Event?

  • One of the most crucial roles of a fundraising host is to help create a positive and engaging atmosphere for donors. A good host will help keep the event running smoothly, ensuring that everything is on schedule.
  • A fundraising host can also help build a sense of community and shared purpose among donors. By creating a positive and engaging atmosphere, focused on a common goal that the whole room can commit to and hit as part of a collective, you are more likely to hit that target.
  • A host also helps donors to  feel more connected to the cause and become motivated to give. This can be especially important for fundraising events that are aimed at building long-term relationships with donors rather than just raising money in the short term.

The ‘Why’ or The ‘How’?

A charity founder, board member or event Chairman should discuss the ‘why’. Often followed by an emotive film or speaker, this is the message ‘why’ guests should support the charity and get involved in giving. This message is far more authentic from these individuals than from a fundraising host.

The host is there for the ‘how’ to give; the ‘why’ should have already been covered by the time they get on stage. To learn more about this, listen to our recent podcast episode, ‘Fundraising Hosts & Appeal Moments’, where auctioneer and fundraising host Harry Santa-Olalla spoke about the task in length.

How to Choose a Host?

Every charity will decide upon their desired fundraising host for different reasons, but below are some of our top considerations you should make:

  • You should always decide what areas you want the fundraising host to focus on and assess their suitability based on previous experience.
  • A fundraising host also needs to represent your organisation. While they can adapt to your tone of voice and messaging, you should always select someone who is the ideal brand advocate for you in terms of styling and presentation.
  • Choose your fundraising tools in advance and ensure the host has the right experience. For example, you may want to run an auction, so you must find someone to run auctions professionally.
  • Check the host’s references and online reviews to ensure they have a good reputation in the industry.
  • Consider the host’s fees and whether they fit within your budget. Remember that a good host can help you raise more money, so it may be worth investing in a quality host.
  • Ensure the host is available on the event date and has enough time to prepare.

At Givergy, we are always looking for ways to help our clients raise even more which is why we are huge advocates of using fundraising hosts. If you’re based in the United States, check out our recommended hosts here. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Tim Stansbury

Tim Stansbury

Director and Fundraising Consultant

Tim joined Givergy in 2010, overseeing the early stage growth of the business to 50 employees across five international regions, supporting over 4,000 events worldwide. With a passion for leadership, business growth and exceptional standards, Tim is at the heart of all clients needs both in the UK and worldwide.