In principle, it’s a fantastic idea. Actually organising the event? Now it gets tricky. Feeling like you have so much to do in so little time can be overwhelming. But never fear; we have all the tips you need to get your event off to a flying start.
Lets start at the very beginning.
What do you want to achieve?
Seems simple, but failing to pinpoint key goals from the start can leave matters very confusing. If your ambition is to collect lots of lovely donations, how will your event achieve this – through tickets on the door, a quiz, a raffle?
Or maybe your motive is to raise awareness of your cause and bring the community together; how do you intend to spread the word of your event and where’s the best place to host it? These are all factors to bear in mind before putting pen to paper.
Think very carefully about your budget
Be realistic. Whilst everyone loves a good shindig, achieving amazing things for your cause should be top priority. Be frugal; don’t waste money on niceties you don’t really need. Ticket prices shouldn’t be extortionate to compensate for your excessive budget. You need to be fair and honest with attendees, and be clear about what money you’ve spent and what money you intend to raise.
If you need help raising cash for your fundraising event, get in touch with local businesses and CEOs for potential sponsorship opportunities.
Plan to perfection
If you’ve big dreams of organising the event of the year, but don’t know where to start, brainstorm! Ask yourself the major questions: who will be attending and how many, where will it be held, what costs are you looking at, and of course, does it have a theme? If you’re struggling for inspiration, check out our fundraising ideas & tips section for some suggestions. There’s an event to suit all budgets; it’s just having the confidence to see it through.
The bigger the event, the more help you’ll need on hand so don’t be afraid to call on the assistance of family and friends.
Before you throw yourself into event organisation, all guns blazing, triple check that you’re not treading on any toes and don’t need a licence/permit. Most charity events don’t, but on the off chance that yours does, be aware of what’s what.
This is especially important if you’re looking to organise a charity event abroad. Different countries have different legal requirements, so it’s imperative that you do your research beforehand – one slight mistake could get you in a lot of trouble! When in doubt, speak to a legal advisor to ensure that your event complies with the law.
Check safety measures
Safety is of the utmost importance at every fundraising event. Ask yourself the basic questions: are there any risks of guests being harmed by a potential hazard, is it possible for accidents to occur and what steps do you need to take to ensure everything is A-ok?
Think about the number of people attending, how many of which are children, if disabilities are accounted for, and ultimately whether the place where you’re hosting your event is up to scratch. Keep the venue free of slips and trips, and double check that attendees are free to move about safely.
Put every aspect of safety under the microscope. We’re talking fire safety, food safety, first aid, checking the electrics are in order. Benjamin Franklin once said, “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” – the last thing you need is a fundraising nightmare on your hands!
In addition to safety measures, check whether or not you need to have insurance. If your event is open to the public, in some cases you need to have Public Liability insurance; ensuring financial protection in the event of an accident or damage to property. Speak to your insurer for the best advice.
Once you’ve a blueprint of the event and a date/ location in mind, start setting the wheels in motion. Delegate tasks to others, to ensure that everything is ticked off the to-do list in a timely and effective manner.
If the event is quite big, consider assigning volunteers to specific tasks, e.g. marketing, PR, finance, safety and logistics. This way you can rest-assured that everything’s being taken care of by those who know best.
Make marketing a priority
Try not to get bogged down with costs and budgeting – easier said than done, we know. Instead concentrate your efforts into promoting your event. After all, what would it be without its attendees?
Really try to get to know your audience; what will attract them to your event? Once you’ve found a hook, reel attendees in with an impressive marketing strategy. Get in touch with local newspapers, make posters, and spread the word amongst friends and family. And it goes without saying, make your event visible on social media in the run up to the event.
Timing is everything
Make the most of key dates. Dig out the calendar and circle the days that could potentially increase your fundraising success. Is Christmas around the corner? Planning an Easter blowout? Feeling spookily charitable this Halloween? Special occasions always encourage event goers to donate more generously to an amazing cause.
Tell everyone about your event well in advance. Many don’t have much time to socialise, juggling busy careers and home life, and it takes something really special to lure them away from their limited free time.
Say thank you
Make note of everyone who’s contributed to your event, whether they’ve volunteered their services or made a donation. Then, once the event has been a huge success, remember to thank them.
A quick thank you – be that a note through the door, an email or a post on social media – definitely goes a long way! If you’re thinking of organising something similar in the future, you can call on your army of supporters to back you all the way.
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