The day of your charity event is finally here. But do you even know how to host a charity fundraising event?
If not, then this guide will explain how to…
- Brief your team
- Prepare the venue
- Sort out logistics
- Prepare the stage and equipment
- Greet the guests
- Cover the event
- Clean up and debrief
Time to raise some funds, so let’s get right into it.
1. Brief your team
Your volunteer team is the backbone of your charity event. It’s important that you spend some time to focus on your common goals to build team spirit.
It’s essential that everyone is on the same page before it all kicks off. Make sure you have a team meeting and go over what each member is doing.
Here are some topics to discuss during the meeting:
- How to greet and register guests
- Social media activities (like live streaming)
- The schedule for the day
- What to do in case of an emergency
You should print out an event programme for yourself and your team. That way everyone knows when the doors open, the speakers are on, and dinner is served.
Tip: You can easily make a programme with one of these free templates.
2. Prepare the venue
It’s a good idea to prepare the site before the day of the event. However, there can be circumstances where that’s not possible, such as the venue being used for another function.
You should take care to decorate the venue, so it’s in line with the theme. Make sure there is no way to miss the charity you’re raising funds for.
If you have some branding materials available, then use them as much as possible. If you’ve been given additional materials from sponsors and donors, make sure you put them up too.
You may also have to arrange the seating so that it suits the format of your event. If you’re doing presentations or hosting a live band, you need to organise the seats accordingly.
If your budget allows for it, plan for an event decorator to do the work on the morning of your event. Try to find a decorator that specialises in helping charities — they’ll give you a better deal.
Tip: Use this directory of event organisers and function planners to help you find a decorator.
3. Prepare logistics and check with vendors
Check in with any third parties for your event on the day. Make sure that any speakers, entertainers, caterers, and decorators are on time.
It’s also wise to check the weather forecast if your event is outdoors. It can change on a dime, so make sure you and the vendors can prepare accordingly.
You can also account for delays in transportation by checking Google Traffic. That way, you can organise for everyone to leave earlier, so they’re sure to be on time.
You’ll also need to confirm parking and access to the venue. Make sure you assign some team members to meet the event suppliers when they arrive.
4. Prepare the stage and technical equipment
If your event features speakers or live entertainment, you should prepare the stage. Make sure that it’s raised, visible, and has all the correct event branding.
You should also test any technical equipment to avoid any hiccups during the event. See if you can do a full technical rehearsal before the guests arrive.
Here is some of the equipment you should make sure to test:
- Sound system
- Stage lighting
It’s also a good idea to have spare cables for everything in case they give out.
5. Greet the guests
Not all your guests will arrive at the same time. That’s why it’s smart to open the doors 30–60 minutes before it all kicks off, so late-comers have a small buffer.
There will be guests who arrive on the dot. You should make sure there are things for them to do while they wait for the actual event to start.
You can provide them with welcome drinks and prepare a short welcome speech. You could spend the time thanking everyone for coming and talk about the charity you’re supporting.
If your charity event is more formal, then you can ask guests to register. That’s also a great way to collect contact details so you can promote future events.
Tip: Here is a list of welcome drinks you can serve when you greet the guests.
6. Take pictures and video
Photos and videos from the day will be a goldmine in terms of securing more donors for the cause after the event.
Do your best to arrange for a photographer or videographer to be on site. As with the event decoration, it can pay off to find a photographer who is already into charity events.
If it’s not possible to recruit a professional photographer, ask someone from your team. Amateur footage is better than no footage at all.
Tip: You can read these tips to a successful event video to make the most of your coverage.
7. Encourage sharing on social media
Social media should be an integral part of your branding efforts. Include links to relevant social media account anywhere the charity or event is mentioned.
It doesn’t have to be your personal accounts. If you want to focus on the charity you’re fundraising for, get their permission to promote their profiles.
It will help them raise awareness, which means more people will sign up to support them.
It’s incredibly powerful if you can get attendees to help you promote the event on social media. It’s like having an extra digital street team.
8. Clean up
Once the event is over, it’s time to clean up. Part of your event preparations should include a cleanup plan so everyone can get home in a timely fashion.
Identify nearby waste containers and places you can recycle any paper, plastic, and glass. Find out if there are any good ways to dispose of leftover food.
Tip: Use this checklist for cleaning up after large events.
9. Ask for feedback on the day
Thank your guests for coming, your sponsors and donors for supporting, and your team for their efforts. Your team will especially appreciate some recognition for their hard work.
But why not kill two birds with one stone?
Use the opportunity to ask everyone what they thought of the event. It doesn’t have to be formal or detailed feedback, just a few pointers.
It will do two things. First, it’ll give you a general idea of how it went. Second, it’ll mentally prepare everyone to give more detailed feedback when you email them post-event.
Tip: Use this list of questions to get an idea of what to ask people on the day.
You did it!
Congratulate yourself, because you just successfully pulled off your charity event. Hopefully, you’ve raised a lot of funds and spread some awareness about a good cause.
If you’ve followed this guide, you’ll already know what to do next. You’ll have a lot of visual content from the event you can use to spread further awareness online.
Pat your self on the back…and get ready to follow up with everyone who attended your event.