When a nonprofit organization spends funds, it infuses money back into the local community by providing valuable programs and services, paying local workers, and supporting local businesses.
Corporations are often willing to giving nonprofit discounts on products and services; however, we have noticed that nonprofits often overlook negotiating when it comes to special events – something corporations have been doing successfully for years.
This blog outlines a few areas when organizations can negotiate when it comes time for hosting special events.
Food & Beverage / Room Rental
Many event centers will put in all of the costs in a quote when it comes to hosting an event since they want to ensure that they capture every dollar possible – After all, they are in business as well. When it comes to events, there is often unspoken rules when it comes to certain types of fees that you can often negotiate you way out of when it comes time to create the contract. The main one that we find many nonprofits overlook is catering and facility rental. If an event center requires that you use their on-site catering staff, or strongly recommends it, then negotiate out of the room rental. Catering is where event centers make the most money, so they are often willing to drop the room rental if you agree to use the in-house catering team or agree to a certain food minimum. In most cases, this can often save you $500 or more for an event.
Decorating well for an event can transform a local community center into whichever theme you are shooting for when it comes to your special event. Whether you are shooting for Under the Sea or Under the Stars, you want to make sure you do not go overbudget with your decorating. In many cases, event centers will allow you to bring in your own centerpieces – which can save lots of money. We recommend working with a sponsor to get centerpieces donated, or maybe the supplies at least. If you are crunched for time, see if you can negotiate with the event center to include centerpieces that they may already have in storage. Even the most creative minds can change a basic candle into a simply centerpiece. Even better, if you operate a program, such as an afterschool program, have the kids assist in making the centerpieces – A fun arts and craft project, centerpieces connected to your mission, and likely to keep the costs low. Win-Win-Win!
Taxes & Fees
Remember that nonprofit organizations are exempt from paying sales tax when negotiating your contract. Nonprofits are required to pay food and beverage taxes; however, they are not required to pay sales tax. It may seem like a small percentage; however, on a $30-per-plate-meal this can save you $2.00 or more per person!
We are not recommended that you nickel and dime your events; however, we are urging you to consider where you might be able to save money when it comes to your events. Your event can still be spectacular without the large sticker price. When it comes to events, saving every little bit where you can truly help contribute to the bottom line which means more money to dedicate to your mission.