Plan a charity evening in 8 steps

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.
  • 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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