Do you need a program?

I often get asked the question “Do we need a printed program at our event?” And the answer is...

Yes, you do.

Having a printed program is another way you can engage your guests at your event and provide another avenue to showcase your mission, thank your sponsors and volunteers, show broad community support for your work, and if you have an auction it gives you another great way to highlight and market your live auction items.

What should every program have in it?

  1. A welcome letter from your leadership team. This could be your Board Chair or Executive Director. The welcome letter should highlight the top achievements of the organization in the last year as well as provide inspirational and visionary messages of the work ahead. Remind donors what you have done with their gifts and what you can do with continued support. Keep it short, succinct, and high-level.

  2. Include a story, images, or even an infographic that demonstrates your impact in the last year. Frame it to your donors as “look what you made possible.”

  3. Include the names of your staff, board members, and event committee volunteers. It’s helpful for donors to see who is a part of the organization. And the more names they recognize and trust, the more likely they are to feel good about supporting the organization.

  4. Include a sponsor recognition page with logos and names of your sponsors. Also, have a place to thank all in-kind donors.

  5. If you have a live or silent auction this is a great place to post your auction rules and liability statements. Not sure what those are or if you need them? Reach out!

  6. If you have a live auction use your program to market each item with a series of full-color photos and a full description of the item including any restrictions (and also a good place to thank that item’s donor).

  7. If you are including a special appeal AKA fund a need in your program, include a section that lists all the levels you’ll be asking at and what that gift could help you achieve. Keep it simple and inspirational.

  8. Bios and headshots of your emcee, auctioneer, and any special keynote speakers. Most require it as part of their contracts, but it’s also good to add that element of professionalism to your event.

Tip: Be sure to make your font readable for your donors’ eyes. Many times organizations will reduce the size of the font to make printing cheaper. Don’t go less than 14pt font and usually, you will want to go at least 16pt.


Bonus Tip: Have your event planning team or auctioneer (or both) review your program before it goes to print--they go to a lot of events and can catch things that you may not.

Want another set of eyes on your program? Want additional support on your event? Schedule your free 15 min consultation today.