Powerful things can happen when communities come together. Whether you want to raise awareness for environmental causes, animal rights, or humanitarian reasons, events are a great way to rally others for your cause.
To be successful in creating awareness or fundraising for a specific charity, it is important to do some careful planning ahead of time. You’ll want to create promotional materials, plan how you will publicize the event, secure a venue and organize event logistics for your overall event description and timing.
Ask yourself, “What type of event am I going to plan?” This will determine many other details for your event. If you are planning an event for an environmental cause, you might not want to offer plastic cups for your refreshments. If you are planning an event for animal rights – i.e. for your local Humane Society – you might want to pick a venue space that is dog friendly. The type of food you provide is also an important factor. Will there be vegetarian or vegan options available for your guests?
Free or Paid Tickets
Is your event free or are you ticketing the event and raising money? Free events are generally referred to as Awareness Events, whereas events that have ticket costs are commonly referred to as Fundraising Events.
Fundraising Events are a great way to give back to your cause, through a specific charity. Most organizations rely heavily on their communities to help raise money. It’s important to note, that if you are raising money for a Charity or Non-profit, that you check-in on their brand guidelines and do your due diligence to follow their fundraising best practices. Unless you work directly with the organization, there will be rules on collecting cash donations on their behalf. You can avoid any conflicts by opening up communication early or checking online to see what resources are openly available.
For paid ticket events, make sure to layout a budget for yourself early. Determine how much of the ticket price will be donated back to your chosen charity – i.e $1 from every ticket or 50% of all proceeds.
Keep Costs Low
Set event goals, determining what you hope to achieve. Goals provide a structure to layout plans for your event. How many guests would you like to attend? If you are planning to have a smaller, intimate event, perhaps you can explore event ideas to host at home, cutting out venue costs altogether.
There are a lot of fun and creative events you can plan at home. You could host a dinner party and charge per delicious plate of home cooked food. Show off your bartending skills and charge you friends for overpriced fancy drinks. You could produce a House Concert in your backyard. Find a local band who wants to support your fundraiser and is willing to play for free. Consider some of the activities that you are already doing and how they can help you raise money for the causes you are passionate about.
If you are planning an event that involves a larger venue space, look for venues in your community that could offer a discount or venue sponsorship for your fundraising goals.
A solid sponsorship package can keep costs to a minimum, especially if you consider local businesses and talent who are looking to increase exposure in their geographic area. In your Sponsorship Package, layout the terms of recognition that your event sponsors can expect. Include their name and logos on posters, online, their handles in social posts, and in email communications. Clearly communicate to your sponsors how many people you hope to attend your event and how many impressions you can expect from your promotional efforts.