Party Ideas

How to Host a Successful Charity Event

By Shawna Batty

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 corporate event 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.


Need to book some entertainment or event services for your charity event? At GigSalad, we’ve got you covered.


  1. Olivia Krout December 8, 2015

    Thank you for these tips!

    • Tessie Barnett December 8, 2015

      It’s our pleasure, Olivia! Whatever we can do to help you plan your events :)

  2. Lillie April 20, 2016

    Please assist me with my situation. I was asked to do a clean up after a Gala event. I never have done one before. I do not have any idea of how to charge for the clean up services. We are to keep the beverages chilled, make sure there’s no trash can overflow. At the end of the night clean up and toss the trash bags in the bin. There will be more then 350+ people at this event, it lasts for about 5/6 hours. How much or how do I charge them? Please send me an email. I will be more then graceful and would appreciate your assisting me.

    Thank you,


    • Tessie Barnett April 21, 2016

      Hi Lillie!

      I’d be happy to email you some average rates for event clean up services. Hopefully, this will help you put together a promising quote!


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