Nothing grabs the public’s attention quite like a charity event. From glitzy charity balls to massive sporting events, a charity event is the perfect way to make money for your fundraising cause in a big way.
Types of Charity Events and Fundraisers
There are so many large-scale charity events you can hold for your fundraising cause. Here are some popular ideas:
- Charity dance or ball
- Sporting event, tournament or race
- Charity concert or variety show
- Shopping fair or fête
How to Plan a Charity Event
The first, and most important, step of planning any charity event is more advice than action:
- Plan everything
- Stay organised
- Give yourself plenty of time
Before you begin, set goals for the event and recruit several trusted volunteers to take on different tasks. Buy a day planner and mark down contact details, deadlines and to-do lists for everything. You don’t want to forget anything!
You will also need to create a financial plan. Create realistic estimates of the costs of the items you need – including the venue, rentals and permits – and make sure you can cover your costs either from the charity event itself (you may need to stipulate this to donors if the cost is high) or through separate donations. Also plan how you will make money from your fundraising event.
Because you are planning in advance, you may also need “float” – money to pay bills in advance of the fundraising event. For example, most venues will require a deposit ahead of the event day.
Step-by-Step Charity Event Planning
Planning a charity event is a lot like planning a wedding – you need a venue, key people to help, food, extras and guests.
Large-scale charity events can require up to a year of planning. The amount of planning, and your steps, depend on how big the event is: a pub quiz doesn’t require the same attention as a city run or marathon. However, there are several general steps to consider.
The first thing to do when planning a charity event is to choose your venue. Be sure to do this as soon as possible; that way, you can begin publicising the location of your event.
A lot of your logistics will depend on where the event is being held. Speak to the owner of the venue to ensure that everything you need is included – for example, sound systems, kitchen facilities, and staff – and make sure to rent or hire anything else you need. You should get all of these details in writing so there are no surprises on the big day.
After your venue is chosen, begin recruiting the important people you will need for the event, such as master of ceremonies, musicians, caterers and even celebrity guests. Every charity event will be different here but make this a unique affair that no one will forget.
Publicity – Bringing the Press to Your Charity Event
Once you have the basic plan laid out, begin sending press releases and making phone calls – you want to pique the attention of media folks who can help publicise your cause.
It’s important to promote your event early and often; the sooner donations or pledges start rolling in, the easier it will be to plan your event. Remember, publicity isn’t just about getting a write-up telling people how great your event was – you need to convince people to come out and support your cause!
Depending on the type of event, you can also send out invitations or an email to your charity’s mailing list to bring in guests or participants.
Final Thoughts on Charity Event Planning
Many people choose to hire an event planner to help them with the details of their charity event. Whether you choose to do this is up to you, but remember: most charity events end up costing more in time and money than was initially planned. Also, an event coordinator may have connections that you don’t. It is definitely something to consider if you are worried about having the time to do justice to your charity event and cause.
In the end, remember that the most important step is to make a great event for your fundraising cause! Keep this in the front of your mind when you get stressed negotiating with all the different people who will ultimately help make your charity event a success.