We may only party for an hour a day (at lunch time) but we’re here 24/7 to help you plan and execute the best party ever. Whether it’s an engagement, birthday or leaving do we’ll support you every step of the way to make sure it’s truly fabulous!
This articles party focus is about how to run a successful charity fundraising event. Keep reading to uncover our top tips on how to plan an excellent party.
We’ll help you arrange a party that The Great Gatsby would be proud of.
A fundraising party, or fundraiser, is a gathering held to raise money for a beneficiary – it could be a person or an institution like a school, hospital or charity, or even political party! Often formal, these events usually consist of a dinner followed by speeches and presentations. Focusing on explaining why the cause is so important and what the collected funds will be spent on. But ultimately, they can be as formal or informal as you like. Ranging from a black-tie event to a barn dance. Be clear on your purpose
Ticket your event, this helps you to keep track of the attendee’s numbers and keep a handle of the capacity of the event venue. Keep track will also ensure you have enough support at the event to meet your fund-raising expectations and the costs of running the event. Good planning is key to reach your money raising objectives, have fun along the way, but plan, plan and plan!
Before starting your plan be sure to double check what your event objective is. ‘Raising cash’ might be king of the list but there are many other goals you could achieve at the same time:
- Raise awareness of the cause
- Reaching out and networking with new influencers/donors
- Seek media coverage for the event and cause
Positivity in the community by bringing people together.
Watch the penny’s! – keep an eye on your budget
Set a target figure in mind that you wish to raise and keep a careful tally in a spreadsheet. Then think about how much you can afford to spend on the event, and again keep a tally. There’s plenty freely available online like this one from Microsoft. Plus isn’t always good to include between 5 and 10 percent contingency within your budget, just in case you forget something from you list.
It’s important to record costs for:
- Venue – hire fees, extra staff fees, corkage
- Caterers for the food
- Bar fees, arrival drinks and an open bar?
- Staff costs – your team as well as the venue’s staff e.g. front of house, parked attendants, bar staff etc.
- Promotional marketing – tickets, advertising
- Music and/or entertainment – DJ, live band, magician
- Extras like photo booths, vendor stalls etc.
If your name’s not down, you’re not coming in
Who’s on the list and who isn’t? You may already have your own email distribution list, provided the recipient has given permission, you can use this. Use Mail Chimp to send out nicely styled emails at little or no cost. Additionally, Mail Chimp has a useful dashboard that gives you visibility of how many people opened, read and clicked through the invite, which gives you the ability to follow them up with a phone call.
Social Media may provide some free advertising but in a world saturated with all thing digital, don’t dismiss the power of print to help you stand out from the crowd. Designing a quality invitation/ticket then print them for a prestige feel. Plus, use print to dress your venue. Wide roller banners are great for creating a logo wall to advertise your sponsors, or to be used as a photo booth backdrop. Starting from £110 plus VAT they are a great ‘quick win’.
There are also great online tools like using Eventbrite to manage your RSVPs – fill in your event details, choose your ticket types, and voilà—your page is ready for action! Then promote it by inviting people to your event, and reach a new audience with Eventbrite’s promotional tools. Come the big day, check guest lists, scan tickets and throw a great event without a hitch.
Dress to impress
Consider a theme - FundraiserHelp lists over 50 great themes you might want to try but here’s our top 10 pick of the best!
- Wine tasting – Always popular
- Dance party – Bust a move
- Diva night – Get in touch with your inner biatch
- Celebrity lookalikes – Dress like your favourite celeb
- Secret agent party – James Bond and Mata Hari
- Crazy hat party – Everybody loves crazy hats
- Casino Night – Vegas baby!
- Disco Night – Saturday Night Fever
- Craft Beer Brewfest – A great time for all
- Movie party – Movie themed or movie screening/premiere
For more inspiration, take a look at Pinterest
Select a venue to match your theme
Once you know the potential size of your guest list and have a firm target for ticket sales, it’s time to find the right venue to host the party.
Richard O'Keef has published a very thorough checklist to help you decide. With over forty elements to consider including:
- Space - tables, chairs, aisles, stage, audio/visual equipment, silent/live auction tables, bars, entertainers
- Obligation to pay – what is the deposit, payment, and cancellation policy?
- View impediments
- Acoustics – is there a bad echo in the room?
- Climate control
It’s worth thinking about asking for sponsorship from the venue itself at this point. If your guest list includes the local ‘great and good’, then the venue has an opportunity to showcase their facility with an eye on future booking for corporate gigs or weddings.
Don’t forget to dress the venue
For a truly authentic eventing dress your venue to match your theme for a fabulous professional looking event.
Go for the double! Roller Banners UK has a wide range of banners available but one of our favourite is the double sided premium roller banner. It allows you to have great visuals on display from all angles. Roller banners are retractable, self-standing banner stands with multiply uses. Plus supplied in a carry case for storage and future use.
Roller Banners UK offer poster printing in a range of sizes from A4 to A0 therefore you can make sure you have posters that promo the night and some great visuals in the venue for on the night. We love the A0 poster for maximum impact and from as little as £18 plus VAT.
Use a pop up counter to create a branded podium. The Roller Banners UK mini pop up counter is great for use as a speakers podium or a product counter. Making you’re your branding or cause is always on display. With a 3 day turnaround from supplied artwork snap yours up today. Plus is you need help with artwork Roller Banners UK have a design services you can use.
Now that you have the inside of the venue looking fabulous, don’t neglect outdoor advertising. Outdoor vinyl banners are a great way to grab the attention of drive-by traffic and increase ticket sales or footfall at a school fete or bazaar. Printed, outdoor PVC banners are a printed in full colour with UV inks so they don’t fade. Outdoor banner printing is great value for money and our banners are made to last.
Top tip promotion tools
Social media a great way to promote events. But have you heard of Facebook for non-profits? The microsite teaches you the basics, shows you how to raise awareness, activate your supporters so they act rather than remain bystanders, and raise funds.
The Events section shows how to setup custom pages that help you organize supporters to participate in specific activities. You can set up public or private events quickly and easily and invite as few or as many people as you'd like.
- Let your supporters know about volunteer opportunities, fundraisers and other upcoming activities, both big and small.
- Build buzz around your event by sharing it to your Page’s Timeline.
- Let supporters know they can subscribe to your events and be notified when you’ve added new events near them.
- Share images and videos taken during the event with attendees.
- Automatically create an ongoing event calendar for your audience.
- Create events only visible to specific members of a group.
There are also helpful hints on how to raise money too.
With a mix of digital and printing items your event is sure to be a hit. We hope you hits and tips have been helpful, and wish you luck with planning your event.
Our next blog will focus on staffing and running the event itself – so look out for more coming soon.
Maximise the Impact
- Silent auctions are a popular
- Live music adds to a great atmosphere
- Promote on social media AND with printed invites
- Consider early bird tickets provided at a discount
- Raffles off prizes donated by your sponsors
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