How to Plan the Perfect Fundraiser

When hosting an event, you want to ensure your guests enjoy the experience and have a memorable time. Fundraising events, in particular, are one of the most engaging and fun ways to raise cash for a cause and you want everyone to enjoy themselves in the process.

Putting together an event takes careful planning, especially if you’re trying to raise money. Here’s our guide to how it’s done…

Step 1: Be clear on your cause

First things first, you need to be clear on why you’re raising money and who you’re raising it for. You want everyone involved – organisers and guests – to be motivated and energised by the prospect of supporting your chosen cause. Take time to make the right choice, for the right reason and everything will flow from there.

Step 2: Your fundraising goal

Now it’s time to work out how much money you want to raise. Set a clear goal that isn’t unrealistic, but isn’t too modest either (people might be excited by doing their bit to raise a life-changing sum). Again, many more decisions will flow from this – ticket prices, event budget etc – so take time to set this before you begin.

Step 3: Your event budget

You need a clear idea in mind of what you plan to spend. It’s easy to get carried away and we can probably all think of elaborate ways to spend cash if we had a bottomless pit. You need to set your budget – building in some contingency in case. Base this figure on a rough estimation of the cost, including practicalities such as venue rental, staffing etc.

Step 4: Entertainment/speakers

Your event might well need after dinner speakers and some entertainment to keep people occupied and explain your message more clearly. Think carefully about the message and the audience and think of entertainment that would be a good match.

When choosing your after dinner speaker, your ideal person would be someone who supports the message of the cause you are supporting or has a story that fits nicely.

Step 5: Your guests

The most important people, of course, are the guests. It’s important to spend time thinking about who to invite and, once you’ve got your ‘audience’ in mind you can plan the menu, entertainment, dress code etc to fit their tastes. Fundraising events can take on a momentum of their own if you have the right people in place to get things going, so think carefully about who can help to embrace the occasion.

Step 6: Choose a venue

You want to choose a venue you can make your own so that you’re not limited in your theme. Shop around and don’t settle for the first one you see. If you can be flexible with your event date, it may help to secure the venue at a lower price.

Make sure you ask questions when choosing your venue because knowing exactly what’s included in the price is crucial.

Step 7: Market your event

Your event needs marketing – without it, you’ll struggle to attract guests and reach your fundraising goal.

Social media is something you should definitely be using. Twitter and Facebook are great for advertising your event, speaking about the charity and generally getting everyone involved and excited. They’re also cheap to use. Word of mouth is crucial for any event and social media makes this type of recommendation easier.

Create a website, email your contacts and use printed posters in appropriate locations to spread the word.

Step 8: How are you going to accept donations?

You want to make life as easy as possible when it comes to accepting money. Look into ways that you can accept mobile and online payments so that a lack of cash doesn’t hold people back. On the other hand, don’t ignore cash – some people will prefer to hand this over.