Top 10 Tips for Organising a Charity Event
Bio: A freelance writer, Sally spends her free time thinking up new and exciting ways to get her kids to eat vegetables, walking the dog, or camping (or if the weather is really too bad, thinking about camping).
So you want to raise some money? You’ve chosen a charity and have the best idea ever that’s going to get people inspired and help you raise funds. What next? Whether it’s a coffee morning or a fancy dress bungee jump, you’ll pretty much need to do the same things to organise your event and make sure it’s a success. Here at HugoFox we’ve put together a list of 10 essentials you will need to think about for organising a charity event.
1. Decide on a date – stating the obvious, but how are you going to publicise it without a fixed date? The sooner you decide the date, the sooner you can get publicising it. Give yourself plenty of time, too!
2. Decide on a venue It may be your kitchen, but if you’re expecting (or hoping) that lots of people will come to support your event, you need to make sure there’s enough room. Check out local village halls and community centres, and ask if they will offer a discount (or even donate the venue) in support of your efforts.
3. Contact the charity you are supporting – you may already have done this, but if you haven’t, get in touch with the charity you are supporting. You may find that they can give you a huge amount of help and support, from providing template posters to publicise your event, advice about collecting funds and may be able to help you publicise the event too.
4. Get some helpers on board – no man (or woman) is an island, and regardless of what your event actually is, you’ll need some help, be it collecting sponsorship, selling tickets, making cakes, or holding your hand as you edge to the door of the aeroplane before that jump…
5. Publicity is of course key. Whether it’s word of mouth at the school gate, by the coffee machine at work, or a full-on campaign, you need to get the word out there. Design some posters and ask local shops to put them up in their windows. Use community noticeboards, both actual and ‘virtual’, and get on social media. Facebook and Twitter can be powerful tools to publicise your event. Contact the local press and see if they will give you some editorial space – and always remember that here at HugoFox news we’re always happy to publicise fundraising for a good cause…
6. Contact local businesses. Not only may they be able to help you publicise your event, they may be a source of support in other ways. A local printer might be able to discount the cost of printing posters for you. Supermarkets and shops may be able to donate materials you need for your event such as tea bags and coffee for a coffee morning, raffle prizes, or even bodies to help out. Some companies offer to match funds raised by their employees, so if you can bag someone to help out, you could double your fundraising for no extra effort.
7. Don’t forget the boring stuff. It’s easy to get carried away with the excitement of what you are doing – after all, it’s a huge buzz to organise something that’s going to raise important funds for your cause. Check if you need insurance, and if you need to notify anybody – the council, the police – about your event. Remember to include any charity names and numbers on publicity and obtain any necessary licences e.g. if you will be selling alcohol at your event.
8. How are you collecting the money? It may be worth setting up an online donation page for your event such as Just Giving to make it easier for you to collect money in. If you have a page like this, you can email the link out to potential sponsors/supporters, making donation a matter of a couple of clicks.
9. Thank yous are as important as the ‘please comes’. Don’t forget to thank everyone who has supported you. This could be on the day itself, or by writing an open letter for a local newsletter with a description of what happened and any specific thank yous. Remember that you may want to do it all again, and people will be much more likely to help and get involved if they feel appreciated.
10. Have fun At the end of the day, it’s your event for a cause that’s close to your heart. Once all the hard work of organising your event is over, and it’s underway, make sure you enjoy it!
Whatever your event, we hope it goes well, and that you raise lots of money. And don’t forget to tell us at HugoFox all about it.