Nonprofit events don’t have to be boring

I’ve been to many small town events and cringe when someone at a booth or table hands me a piece of literature about their non-profit. It doesn’t work to engage me.

  1. I probably won’t read it. They’ve given me no real reason to.
  2. It will end up in the trash. Some folks throw them on the ground and the event organizers have to pick them up and they still end up in the trash.
  3. There displays don’t capture much interest. It’s the same old “help us save the world” non-profity kind of thing.
There’s hope though!

I went to an event at a historical site, and the ladies from the Historical Society had a booth set up. There was a clipboard so you could signup to receive their email. And there was a pile of old clothes. You could go through the clothes and pick something out to wear, and have your picture taken. There was a line, and all ages participated. It worked because:

  1. Everyone had lots of fun.
  2. Many scheduled tours through the historical buildings.
  3. Some signed up for the newsletter.
  4. The costs were zero.
  5. And there was very little clean up after the event.

Engagement is the key. Having some fun leads to conversation leads to interest. Which beats seeing your handouts all over the ground as litter!

Pictures are from the Webster City, Iowa Depot Historical Committee event back in the day 

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