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Charity Event Ideas

How to Host a Successful Charity Event

Portrait Of Two Female Charity Volunteers On Street

We’d like to start by saying, thank you. You truly deserve the highest accolades for all that you’re about to take on in the name of charity. We commend you. Your charity event can be as simple or as complex as you’d like, from a small bake sale to a grand gala. So don’t let the word “event” intimidate you. Your work will be deeply appreciated, no matter the scale. Whether your project is big or small, we believe the key to hosting a successful event is organization and passion. We’ve put together a basic list to help get you started.


Choose A Charity

Choosing a charity is where your passion comes into play. With so many things that can pull on a person’s heartstrings, it may be difficult to choose just one. We suggest brainstorming with a small team of volunteers to ease the deciding process. As you discuss different organizations that you’d like to donate to, keep in mind that charity events require a lot of volunteer work, so the best way to enjoy this process is to choose a charity that you and your volunteers feel passionate about and connected to. Once you have chosen a charity, research the process of donating and hosting events. When you choose to host a charity, there are often rules and guidelines to using their brand/logo and a certain way of collecting and giving your donations to the charity.  You will likely be in touch with a development director of some sort. They will be able to help guide you through the steps of donating.


Select An Event

This is a very involved step. Once you’ve chosen your charity and have researched and spoken to the proper people regarding donations and any rules, your next step is to choose the type of event you’ll host. When hosting an event there is often a level of personal risk. With events that are more elaborate such as Black-Tie dinners, or formal parties, you may need to rely on a high volume of volunteers and possibly even personal finances to secure a venue or entertainment. (Of course, this will be reimbursed to you from the donations.) If you know your volunteer count is low, you may want to consider a small luncheon or car wash instead. It’s important to weigh your personal risks and your available manpower and choose an event that fits the charity.


Organize Your Volunteers

Volunteers will be the lifeblood of this event. They are essential to making your event successful and maintaining momentum when tasks pile up. Organize your dedicated volunteers into positions, or committees and sub-committees. Distribute tasks to each committee or position equally to keep your volunteers from becoming overwhelmed. For larger tasks or events that require an extreme amount of direction, consider hiring an Event Planner.


Plan Your Event

With the help of your volunteers, begin planning the many details that will bring your event the donations and awareness that you’re working for. For large events, procure the entertainment you will need – from Caterers and  Musical Entertainment, to Speakers and Auctioneers. Make sure you give your talent ample notice, especially when asking them to volunteer. Use your team to help you organize invites, flyers or press releases about the event.


Promote Your Event

Whether it’s a small raffle or a sophisticated silent auction, the message is the same when promoting your event: you’re raising money and/or awareness for charity. People generally want to help local and even national causes when they’re aware of them. So make use of free local radio announcements, guerrilla team marketing, and/or word of mouth to get the word out.


Reward Your Volunteers

This is very important. It doesn’t have to be anything big or elaborate. It could be as small as an informal pizza party, or as grand as a banquet-style gala. But, showing appreciation for your volunteers is a great way to retain the ones you have, and makes it more likely that others will lend a hand.


If you follow these steps and stay strong, determined and passionate, you’ll be well on your way to a very successful charity event. Remember – you and your volunteers are changing lives, and we couldn’t be happier to help give you the tools to make your charity event a smashing success.

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Get the money flowing and party going, because it's times to raise money for your charity of choice! There's nothing better than eating, drinking, and partying with friends....especially when it's for a good cause. At an event filled with laughter, entertainment, and fun, there's no doubt everyone will be feeling generous!
Charity Event: Events for Cause

Planning a charity event, usually in the form of fundraiser, is a very difficult task because usually there is not a large budget to work with. Since most charities are Not-for-Profit, these events are how they make money to do the good deeds that they do. It takes a lot of skill on the planner’s part to get items donated, entertainment discounted, and use the budget efficiently and appropriately. Use these tips from GigSalad to help you plan a successful charity event.

So Many Options!

You must first start with the type of event you want to hold. There are a variety of charity events, such as, golf tournaments, poker runs, silent auctions, 5K/10K run/walks, fish fries, pancake breakfasts, scavenger hunts, etc. The type of event you choose has a lot to do with the amount of budget you have to work with. With any charity event, you will need to have a solid staff of volunteers; these people need to be dedicated to the charity and the cause. Also, one can quite often get local businesses to sponsor the event or donate food, beverage, or other items.

When choosing what type of event you want to host, you will need to consider a variety of factors. Where will this event be held? If you have connections with a convention center or banquet hall, you may want to host some sort of dinner. If the event is going to be held when the weather is nice, you may want to go for an outdoor event like a golf tournament or 5K run. Another factor is volunteers. If you are going to have a lot of volunteers, you can staff something like a pancake breakfast where your volunteers help cook, serve, and clean up. Lastly, you need to consider how much money you want to raise. If this is your one big annual event to make money for the charity, you may want to go for a gala or dinner. If it is just one of your smaller events, go for a fish fry or something similar.

What’s For Dinner?

For food themed events like a fish fry or spaghetti dinner, you can often get volunteers to help cook everything up and serve it to your guests. For events like this, you usually make your money by taking donations for the meal. For an event that is a little more formal, like a charity dinner you will want to hire a caterer. If the venue doesn’t provide servers, be sure to hire a professional wait staff to take care of your guests. You also need to take care of everyone on the drink front. Try to get a local distributor or spirits company to donate or discount alcohol in exchange for a sponsorship. All you have to hire then is a bartender to serve up the beverages. At events like this, you will sell tickets in advance; the tickets will be priced at a much higher margin than the actual cost per plate. Another way to boost the funds raised at your charity dinner is to accompany it with a silent auction.

Other types of events don’t require planning a meal; however, they have other needs. If you’re hosting some type of run/walk event or golf tournament, you will need to rent tents, tables, and chairs for your registration area. If you want to save a little money, you could ask your volunteers and staff to see if they have any of these items that you could borrow for the event. To boost the money you raise at a golf tournament, have local businesses sponsor the holes or have some sort of game at various holes. For example, at a certain hole if you pay $5, the golfer play some sort of game that could get you on the green on your first drive. Another fun event would be a scavenger hunt. Get a local business to donate an extravagant item and then charge people to participate in the hunt. You can also make some profit by getting sponsorship money from the businesses who are stops on the hunt.

Set the Mood for Your Event

For most of these events, you will need some entertainment to keep your guests occupied. At an upscale dinner or gala, have some dinner music in the form of a piano, jazz band, or string ensemble. If you are hosting an auction after the meal or by itself, you will need an auctioneer to make sure the auction is run smoothly.

For more lively events, such as a themed dinner event, you will need more than just background music. Consider hiring an aerialist, magician, comedian, or a casino party. Each of these options provides a different style of entertainment, so choose the entertainer that best fits your event. Another route you can go is to have a band. Fun options would be a cover band, gospel group, or maybe even some world or cultural music. Regardless, make sure the entertainment fits the theme and tone of the event.

Does this all seem really overwhelming? Get in touch with other charities or non-profits who have hosted charity events in the past. They are usually more than willing to give a fellow charity tips and tricks for how to plan, budget, and get sponsors. If you’d rather leave it to a professional, hire an event planner to do the formal planning. Don’t forget to use GigSalad for any entertainment or services you need for your event!