Preparing a charity event for your organization? If you want to know how to plan a non-profit event like a pro, start with these preliminary steps and advice to get you going!
The very first thing you must decide is what the purpose of your event is for. Is it only a fundraising event? Many non-profit events have multiple goals and figuring out the details for your event depends on knowing what you are trying to achieve.
If a fundraising goal is what you’re after, then everything in the event plan will be geared to raising a specific amount of money. Use this goal in your budgeting process but keep in mind that the goal is the total amount after all expenses from the event have been deducted.
Every event plan should have a detailed spreadsheet listing out all of the expenses that will be required to hold the event. This list should include staff, invitations, space rental, food cost and catering fees, entertainment, transportation, security, utilities, and anything else that will be required to make the event a success. For many non-profit events, you can trade out or enlist donated services and goods from other businesses, which will ultimately help your bottom line.
You will need to choose a host committee and one or more chairpersons. These are the people who will be responsible for contributing considerable amounts of time and resources to the event while encouraging others to do the same.
Your event should be planned and set-up well in advance. You need to know details such as: Where will it be? Will food be served and if so, what kinds? Will there be entertainment? Will there be a dress code? What is the agenda for the event? Additionally, if this is a large event, you might consider the assistance of a professional event planner like Lucky Events.
You need to know who your audience is going to be and then convince your supporters that your event is worthy of their time and money. Put together an entire marketing plan for the event. Ways to market the event include using your organization’s fundraising network, mailed invitations, direct mail, phone banks, word of mouth, social media campaigns, and the event host committee.
Once you market your event, you need to have a procedure in place for making the actual ticket sales or accepting donations for the event. You should decide whether there will be different contribution levels for the event (such as a flat-rate ticket charge, V.I.P. reception, etc…). Provide as many ways as possible to collect donations and sales for the event.
Make sure that your organization sends out thank-you notes to everyone who is involved in your event. This includes contributors, volunteers, staff, and vendors. You’ll want to make sure to leave everyone in good graces, especially since you’ll probably be asking them for another donation for another event sometime down the road.