How to organise a charity event
A charity event can be a great way to raise funds for an important cause that is dear to many peoples’ hearts. However, it’s important to organise it well to avoid making critical mistakes that may ruin what would otherwise have been a successful fundraising. To help you plan your charity event better, we’ve put together this short guide to help you.
Having a big enough why
Why you’re doing something is an important motivator that can drive your actions emotionally or logically. The idea is to connect the time and effort you’ll need to put in to pull off a successful event in aid of one or more charities with the cause.
For instance, when you have a strong belief in the need for first responders in a national crisis to deliver potable water, food supplies and set up latrines, then raising funds for Oxfam makes complete sense. They’re often one of the first organisations with a convoy of trucks getting to the affected areas around the world.
Raising funds for this cause then becomes a chief motivator to create an enjoyable event that raises as much money as possible. This way, they can help more displaced people.
Decide on the amount to be raised
When you set a fundraising goal, it acts as a collective force for good. People who get involved with the event planning can jump on the goal and rally behind it. Without a fundraising goal, it’s like someone who wants to do something but hasn’t planned how they will actually achieve it. Far less is accomplished that way!
Also, when there’s a goal, it gets the attention of people who will attend the event. Other people who cannot attend due to location or a scheduling conflict may feel compelled to contribute anyway because they too wish to help reach this lofty goal. That allows them to get involved and feel part of the effort.
How much will it cost to put on the event?
Depending on what the event is, the cause and who will be attending, it will cost different amounts of money to launch it and promote it.
When calling around, there might be corporate sponsors who wish to both sponsor the event and donate to the charity to get the ball rolling. Other companies might just wish to offer goods or services to help out.
Prepare a careful budget. Make sure that you don’t forget any necessary categories of expenditure. Search for sample charity event budgets online to see what you can find. If you know of previous successful charity events, see if you can get in touch with the organisers to ask if they’ll share their budget or advice about expenditures with you.
Also, consider things like transportation. Depending on where the event will be held and who is attending, it might be necessary to look at minibus hire to pick people up and take them to the venue and return them later. So, check out the different capacity sizes of minibuses to determine how large a minibus will be needed to lay on private transportation.
Where will the event be held?
When thinking about venues, the venue does matter. It relates to the scope of the fundraising and what is to be achieved.
For instance, when a political party does a fundraiser, they don’t tend to do them in small locations that provide little inspiration.
When you’re working on a smaller budget, then choose an unusual or quirky venue that’s a little unexpected. While it shouldn’t be too wacky, the idea is to get around the lack of funds for a large venue by standing out in a different way. One thing to be aware of is, if you can allow the venue to provide dates to you, often you can get cheaper prices on dates they’re finding hard to sell.
Check dates for issues
Also, consider dates that will clash with your likely audience. If there’s a major event that will overlap on that date and they’ll be interested in that, then you have a problem. Also, check for national holidays for the nationalities of the people most likely to attend, and don’t forget sporting events. This helps to avoid booking a venue for a date without realising few people will make it that day and the booking is non-refundable. It’s a regrettable mistake that you only make once.
Offer many ways to pay and donate
If the charity event is one where you pay to attend, it is a good idea to provide many ways to pay. This might be online through PayPal, directly through a website set up especially for the event, or another payment method.
The same goes for donations which should be flexible enough to accept how people wish to provide to a worthy cause. The last thing you want is to have to turn down a possible donation because they can only pay with one method and you’re not set up to accept it.
While you could rush off to get that set up within a few days of the event, that may be too late and they could have lost interest or donated elsewhere by that time.
Do a rehearsal
Just like other types of events, without a rehearsal, things tend to go wrong. It’s never a good idea to be in front of many people doing something for the first time.
If you have a speech to give, or you’ll be presenting and guiding proceedings, then practice your speech. If you haven’t used a live microphone before and want to look professional, find a studio to practice beforehand. Or, at least, go to the venue early on the day with allocated time to improve your use of the microphone well and project out to the audience.
Once you have everything set up, you should be ready for the big day. If you can find a mentor who has created this type of event before, soak up as much knowledge from them as you can. This reduces your nerves and avoids forgetting something important too.
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