If you’re organising an event to raise funds for a good cause, then you’ve just hit the jackpot. We’ve packed everything we know about the topic into this ultimate guide to a successful charity event.
What you’ll learn in this guide:
- How to make the most out of the planning stage
- Ways you can promote your charity event for free
- What to do as a host on the day of the event
- How you turn guests into donors during the follow-up
1. Planning your charity event
Charity events are among some of the most difficult events to plan. Not only do you have to consider everything included in other events, but you also have to support a good cause.
Here is a brief summary of all the aspects you need to cover during the planning stage:
Make sure that your event theme aligns with the charitable cause you’re raising money for.
Set a measurable target for how much money you want to raise or how many donors you want to sign up.
Create a budget that considers the entertainment, venue, catering, staff, marketing, and security of your event.
Recruit volunteers to help you organise the event and make sure it runs smoothly on the day.
Approach potential sponsors to help cover the cost of the event in exchange for brand exposure.
Find a way to accept donations, such as ticket and merchandise sales.
Research event vendors, such as caterers, photographers, equipment rentals, and media planners.
Recruiting volunteers can often be the very first step. It will enable you to delegate the many other things you have on your to-do list.
What to do now
We’ve put together an extensive article that details how to go about each of the points outlined above. We’ve also got a list of fundraising ideas for you to be inspired by. Read both to make sure that you’ve covered all bases.
2. Promoting your charity event
Charity events have to be promoted like any other kind of event. But when it comes to supporting a good cause, one has to be much more careful with where the money goes.
Here are some points worth considering when you promote your fundraiser:
Be careful about how much money you invest in promotion and which channels you promote on.
Be selective about where you advertise, and make sure your marketing aligns with the charity’s brand and voice.
Ask your event volunteers to act as a street team and help you post both online and offline.
Include the core message of your charity event in all your promotional material to emphasise the good cause.
Use social media for some free promotion to maximise the exposure your event gets.
See if you can get social media influencers who have sympathy for your cause to help you promote the event.
Find a ticketing partner that offers you a discount for being a charity event.
Radio and newspapers
Ask local radio and newspapers if they’d be happy to feature your event for free or at a discount.
The advantage charity events have over others is that many people and institutions are happy to help out. Don’t be afraid to ask for favours and discounts!
What to do now
We know it can be difficult to promote with a minimal budget, so we’ve put together a comprehensive guide for you. Click the link below to learn how to promote a fundraiser.
Further reading: 20 Ways to Promote a Charity Event.
3. Hosting your charity event
As the host, your job is to make sure everyone has a good time: both the guests and your volunteers. But you should also be in promo-mode on the day of the event.
Here are some of the tasks for your to-do list as a charity event host:
Brief your volunteers on how to greet and register guests, prep them on the schedule for the day, and what to do in case of an emergency.
Prepare the venue by making seating arrangements, setting up the branding, and providing guests with directional signage.
Prepare logistics by checking if there are any last minute changes to the traffic and weather that could cause delays.
Set up the stage and technical equipment, such as microphones, sound systems, stage lighting, projectors, and computers.
Greet the guests when they arrive, offer them some nibbles and maybe give a short welcome speech.
Ask your volunteers to help you take pictures and video of the event, and encourage the guests to share their pictures on social media.
Once the festivities are over, it’s time to clean everything up and say goodbye to the guests.
You should also take the opportunity to ask your volunteers how they got on during the event. That way, you gain some insights while their memory is still fresh.
What to do now
We’ve put together a step-by-step guide on how to host a charity event so you get the best results. The link below will take you straight to it.
Further reading: How to Host a Charity Fundraising Event (In 9 Steps).
4. Following up after your charity event
Now that the event is over, you’ve hopefully met your fundraising target. However, you should follow up with the guests to see if you can still convert a few more to donors.
Here’s what to look at in the follow-up phase of your charity event:
Look at how many funds you’ve managed to raise and analyse any additional metrics like social media engagements.
Once you know how much you’ve raised in donations, it’s time to close the books and calculate the final amount you’ve got.
Donors, sponsors, and volunteers alike will enjoy seeing highlights from the fundraiser. Compile a good reel with the content you have.
A big “thank you” to everyone is in order. A personal touch goes a long way to make your volunteers, sponsors, and donors feel special.
In addition to the gratitude, people involved in your fundraiser will also be interested in the results of it.
When you send your thank you messages and share the results, take the opportunity to collect some feedback as well.
Debrief your team
Finally, it’s useful to debrief your volunteer team to see if you achieved your goal and determine what could be improved going forward.
What to do now
If you want to make sure that you turn the guests into charity donors, you should read the guide below on how to do just that.
Further reading:8 Ideas for Donor Cultivation in the Charity Event Follow Up.
Charity events can be difficult to pull off because of the restrictions on budget and—often—branding. But now you’re much better equipped to tackle these challenges.
Here are the main points you should take away from this guide:
- Make sure that everything you plan for the event aligns with the charitable cause.
- Recruit volunteers early on to help you with all the tasks that need to be done.
- Utilise as many free marketing channels (such as social media) as you can.
- Follow up with the guests to see if you can turn more of them into donors.
That’s the gist of it! Do you have anything you’d like to add to this guide? Drop your suggestions in the comments below.