Checklists, tips and resources for hosting a successful fundraising event.
Form a committee
No matter what type of event you are throwing, the more people who are involved in the planning process the better. Even if it’s just a two-person team, having an extra set of hands can make all the difference. Your committee should meet regularly — once a month or once every two weeks — to discuss needs and next steps, and to delegate responsibilities.
At your first committee meeting, put together a schedule with your planning/fundraising goals and assign certain tasks and deadlines to your committee members. Sample goals include (but are not limited to): send save-the-dates to invitees three months prior to event; secure a sponsorship to cover costs; and reach out to local businesses for donations for a silent auction.
Set a budget
Consider all the moving parts of your event to get an accurate picture of your costs. Such costs could include (but are not limited to): event space, food and beverage, and printing of invitations. When your budget has been set, think about how you will cover your costs so that you won’t have to pay out of your own pocket. If a portion of the dollars raised will be used to offset your costs, adjust your fundraising goal accordingly.
The best way to cover your costs is through sponsorship from local businesses or large corporations. Think about people you know in your community who may be willing to help or consider businesses that may have a connection to your event. For example, if you are planning a golf outing, seek a sponsorship from your local sporting goods store or from a golf gear manufacturer. Or, if you know someone who owns a restaurant or catering company, see if they can help with food and beverage.