How to organise a fundraising event

For many people, a fundraising event such as an international evening, quiz night or curry night is all that they need to reach their fundraising target.

A fundraising night can sound like hard work but if you think about the network of friends you have, and ask those with talent or experience in running events it can suddenly be very easy. Those around you will want to help.

Patricia Doyle, VSO volunteer

Whether you’ve held an event before or are a first-timer, the below checklist will help you ensure that the event is as successful as it can be!

Choosing the right place
• Is the venue easy to get to?
• Does it have parking?
• How many people can it accommodate?
• Does it have the correct licences for the event? (check out our keeping it legal guide)
• Does it have a sound system that you can use?
• Will you have access to the whole venue, or will you have to share it with others?
• Will the venue provide staff – such as waiters/cleaners/security?

Making sure people attend

• Use all communication channels available to you to promote the event well in advance. Find out more about spreading the word through local media and businesses, social media, your workplace, friends and family.
• Make it clear how fun/unique/interesting your event will be – be enthusiastic!
• Contact us for balloons, posters and flyers to decorate your venue. See if you can place these outside the venue to drive interest from the public.
• Send out your invitations early! Give as much notice as you can.
• Talk about the good cause that people will be supporting by attending your event.

Boosting how much you raise
• Sell tickets in advance! This way you avoid the uncertainty of people saying they will attend and then forgetting or making other plans. You will also get an indication of numbers attending.
• Promote your tickets everywhere, including at your workplace. Think about doing this around payday when most people have more disposable income
• Make it clear to the venue owners that you are running a charity event. They may make a donation, or offer venue hire for free.
• Can you take a percentage of the bar takings or organise a deal on drinks and food for your guests?
• If you do sell tickets on the door, keep a list of how many tickets have already been sold and how many you have left to sell so that you do not exceed the maximum amount of people allowed in the venue.
• Set an appropriate ticket price for what you are offering and what people can afford.
• Think about extra events you could hold within the event itself that could boost your target. What about a raffle, guess the pennies in a jar challenge, or let people pelt you with wet sponges, all for a pound a go?

Paying in your funds
• Don’t forget to pay in any raised funds to us as quickly as possible and to find out how, please visit our how to pay in your funds page.
• Please note that for events such as this, you cannot claim Gift Aid on the money raised.

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