CESE invites churches and grassroots organizations to reflect on how events could enhance their fundraising activities

Organizing events is a way to raise funds and a methodology commonly used by churches and grassroots groups that want to raise funds and receive support for their causes.  However, these activities don’t always provide a good return.

“Normally, when organizations need more immediate and unrestricted funds, they hold a range of activities, such as a bingo, a bazaar, music activities, dinners, lunches.  But these initiatives are frequently not planned or run strategically,” said Lucyvanda Moura, CESE Projects and Training Advisor, noting that costs can outstrip the amount raised. And she went on: “this can give the impression that it’s not worth running an event in order to raise funds.”

On 5 October, CESE held an online conversation “Fundraising through events”, to debate this theme didactically and strategically. The choice of topic arose from a recent survey CESE held about how its training helps to strengthen the practices of churches, faith communities and grassroots movements.

The activity, supported by the Change the Game Academy, is part of a series of CESE courses focused on mobilizing local support; 30 course participants joined the online meeting.  The debate included an interactive explanation by Lu Barreto, cultural producer and production coordinator of Polo Cultura Marketing e Produção.

“Planning is the key word. And it’s essential to leave enough time to consider and run activities, in line with decisions,” Lu Barreto declared.  For her, the programme should include a theme, offer something to the target audience, a playlist, and a structure and format for the event – deciding on these should mobilize the organization and shape its work demands.  Based on these definitions and an understanding of the logistical issues – date, location, capacity and time – the objectives and pathway take shape.  For the participants, the workshop about “Mobilizing Local Funds through events,” provided valuable tips and expanded the group’s knowledge: “We had a great exchange of experiences.”

“The interesting thing is that it triggered a wish to improve future activities.  It helped our self-esteem, in the sense that we are capable of raising funds with our feet on the ground, with focus, planning and determination,” said Janai Pires, from the Residents’ Association of Barreiro, Vale do Paraguary and Surroundings (Associação de Moradores da Comunidade do Barreiro, Vale do Paraguary e Adjacência: AMCBVA).