For many organisations, a fundraising event such as a quiz or games night is all that’s needed to reach their fundraising goals. But, if you’re looking to organise something really different and stand out from the crowd where do you start?
Whether you’ve held an event before or are a first-timer, the checklist below will help you ensure that your event is as successful as it can be and you raise as much as possible for your chosen charity.
1. Choosing the right venue to hold your event.
Choosing a venue is the one decision that will have the largest impact on your event. Booking a venue at least 4-6 months in advance will ensure you have enough time to plan other important things, such as food, activities and promoting your event. The date of your event, attendees’ and event program will all be affected by which venue you select. Start looking for your location as early as you can. Once you have a good understanding of budget, estimated event size, and space requirements you can start to consider the following:
- Will your chosen venue be easy to get to for your intended attendees?
- Can everyone access the building and its amenities?
- Have you visited the venue to check its suitability?
- Does it have parking?
- How many people can it accommodate?
- Does it have the correct licences or require insurance for your type of event?
- Does it have a sound system and other resources you can use?
- Will you have the whole venue, or will you have to share it with others?
- Will the venue provide staff – such as waiters/cleaners/security?
- Does it have the right acoustics, decor and feel for your chosen event?
- Do you need to carry out a risk assessment before organising the event?
2. Making sure people attend your event.
You’ve chosen the perfect venue, but how do you ensure that people attend? Holding a charity event is pointless if no one shows up. You've got to make sure that prospective attendees are just as excited about the idea of your event as you are.
- Send out “save the dates” as early as you can.
- Keep promoting. Most first-time events have a good buzz and momentum around them, so if you get stuck in the habit of only promoting your event one time, you'll set yourself up for failure/disappointment later.
- Host a free taster networking event first to let people know about your cause and event.
- Specifically, invite people. When people are specifically invited to an event, they feel special.
- Use all communication channels available to you to promote the event well in advance - social media is a great way to let people know about your non for profit event.
- Make it clear how fun/unique/interesting your event will be and build excitement around your event.
- Talk about the good cause that people will be supporting by attending your event.
- Approach local businesses for help and support.
3. Maximise your fundraising from your event.
Charity events are such an important part of fundraising and can take time and effort to organise, so how do you make the most of your events, and maximise the number of donations you receive?
- Sell tickets in advance. This way you avoid the uncertainty of people saying they will attend and then forgetting/making other plans. You’ll also get a good indication of numbers attending.
- Promote your tickets everywhere– think about doing this around payday when most people have more disposable income.
- Make it clear to the venue owners that yours is a charity event – they may make a donation, or offer the venue for free.
- If you do sell tickets on the door – keep a list of how many tickets have already been sold and how many you have left to sell so that you do not exceed the maximum amount of people allowed in the venue.
- Set an appropriate ticket price for what you are offering and what people can afford.
- Think about extra events you could hold within the event itself that could boost your target.
- Provide something new and exciting, for example, could you invite an unusual guest speaker?
Lime Venue Portfolio has a unique relationship with charities. Check out this great case study from the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) annual Spring Seminar at Yarnfield Park.
"Staff could not have been more helpful and it is crucial for our event to be able to accommodate everyone comfortably on site. They were most accommodating regarding accessibility issues and worked hard on the feedback we gave them in relation to the seminar. We will be coming again."
Mary Gillingham, Business Manager at ADASS
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