Plan a charity evening in 8 steps

Done well, organising a charity can become your best source of financing. Conversely, your event can reflect poorly on your cause if your attendees consider it a failure.

In this guide, we will help you design, plan and organise an event that will attract attendees and boost your charity.

Step 1: Decide on the format and the theme of your event

Your charity evening’s main goal is to encourage donations, contributions and interest for your organisation. To achieve that goal, start with finding a format and a theme for your event that will boost registrations. Here are a few questions to consider:

  • How will you achieve your goals? If you focus on donations, do you have items to sell or can you offer an activity with a fixed admission price?
  • Who is your target audience? What kind of people are more likely to be attracted to your cause? Would they be interested in taking part in a charity run or attend a fashion show or a live music show?

These questions can help you find a format and a theme that will suit your goals.

Step 2: Create your event’s budget

Creating a budget for your event can help you assess the size, scope and feasibility of your event. Do your research by observing past events and their cost, and request quotes from suppliers and venues.

Leave room for maneuver in your budget for unforeseen expenses – unfortunately, there are always some. As your event planning progresses, keep updating your budget in real time to avoid surprises.

Step 3: Choose a venue for your charity evening

The choice of venue is perhaps the biggest decision you will have to make before you start organising your charity evening. Remember to look elsewhere than in luxury venues and conference centers when choosing a venue. Many charity nights are held at alternative venues such as airport hangars, farm buildings, rooftop gardens.

Here are a few questions to consider when picking a venue for your charity event:

  • Can it accommodate the number of people that you expect?
  • How much does it cost?
  • Does the venue offer any discounts for non-profit events?
  • What is included in the price? Catering, seats, staff, decoration, photographers?

Step 4: Choose your registration software

Once the details are set, you will need to offer your potential attendees a user-friendly way to sign up and book tickets.

Start by choosing a platform your participants trust, especially with regard to their personal and financial data. Look for a mobile-friendly platform because many people will discover the existence of your event using their phone – via email, social media, private message, etc.

Step 5: Launching your communication

Now that your ticketing is set-up, it is time to communicate and raise awareness about your charity evening. Here are some ideas about how to launch your communication campaign:

  • Create a Facebook event. Followers of your organisation will be aware of your event and can spread the word around them. Include a link to your registration page and all relevant details.
  • Advertise on social media – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube. These platforms allow you to target your potential attendees based on their location, demographics, and interests.
  • Send emails as soon as you know the day you will start selling tickets, starting with previous events’ attendees. If this is your first event, share the ad with your email contact list to generate awareness.

To help you with this task, discover our article on how to create a successful invitation email campaign.

  • Launch a retargeting campaign for visitors to your website who have not finalised their registration. Create a sense of urgency by reminding them of the end date of the sale, or that capacity is almost at 100%.

Step 6: Contact sponsors for your charity event

To find sponsors for your event, start with your circle of close acquaintances, and expand it little by little. Find organisations you have worked with previously. If your attendees are among their prospects or customers, you have common goals and it will be advantageous for them to sponsor you.

Then ask the members of your organisation – shareholders, directors, colleagues, etc. – if they have suggestions for partnerships. Finally, find out which companies are funding other charity evenings like yours and contact them.

Step 7: Choose your suppliers

It is in your interest to find suppliers that align with the objectives of your event. Do your research and find those who work with other event organisers in your area. Some may even offer discounts for charity events. It’s up to you to seduce them!

Step 8: Create a operations plan

All major decisions are made, now you can focus on the details. Create a diagram of your event: where will the suppliers be located? How will attendees move between different entrances and exits? You will have to recruit staff, design a contingency plan, and think about how you will face any unexpected event. Throughout this process, be sure to stay open to suggestions and communicate with the people involved in your event: volunteers, staff, suppliers, attendees.

Following all these steps to organise a charity event requires the right tools. Choose the right partner and organise your own charity event with Weezevent:

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