It’s almost 2017! With New Year’s Eve just around the corner, many of us will be making our new year’s resolutions, and although hitting the gym, being healthier or getting that promotion at work might be high on the agenda, it’s also the perfect time to sign yourself up to volunteer.
Charity work and volunteering can be much easier than you first expect. Whether you have a few hours a week or a few hours a month, there are lots of worthy causes that would appreciate a little helping hand.
To help inspire you, we’ve put together a quick guide to throwing a charity fundraising event and have included everything from setting up to getting as many donations as possible.
1. Choosing Your Charity
Fundraising on behalf of a charity can be a really great way to give back to the community as well as having a fun day out. Before you go running full pelt into the planning stage, you need to decide the purpose of your event.
To help you decide, think about what you care about or are passionate about. Is there a national charity that you would like to contribute to or would your efforts be better put to use by volunteering for a local charity? Running through these questions should help you decide who you would like to raise money for.
Once you’ve chosen, get in contact with the charity, letting them know your ideas, and ask how you can help out.
2. Decide What Event to Hold
Making the decision about what kind of event to throw can be difficult, especially as there are so many factors that can influence your choice. You’ll first need to decide how much time you’ll be able to commit and how much help you will be able to get as this will affect the size and scale of the fundraiser.
Other things to consider include who the charity’s audience is so you can target the event to them, what time of year you’ll be throwing the event and whether you’re planning an indoor or outdoor affair.
Popular ideas that can bring in lots of people and donations include races, bake sales, car washes, dog shows, talent contests and parties. The sky is the limit!
3. Set Your Fundraising Goal
Setting a fundraising goal early on is a great way to help keep the event on track, encourage donations and generally get people more engaged and motivated. Consider setting up a Just Giving page ahead of the event so you can start accepting donations from the beginning, keep loyal followers updated with news and promote to potential attendees.
4. Set a Budget
Although throwing a charity event is all about raising money, sometimes you’ll need to spend a little bit in order to make a lot. Setting a budget not only helps fundraisers to keep track of things but also helps you to work out how much has been made at the end when all the donations are tallied up.
Costs to include could be venue fees, food and drink, entertainment and insurance. This may sound scary but don’t let it put you off. Many businesses are happy to donate items or services in kind for charity or at a discounted rate. It’s also worth checking if the charity has a contact list of other volunteers or donors in the area that might be willing to help out.
5. Get Planning
Now for the fun part! It’s time to set a date, make arrangements for where the charity event will be and do other jobs such as how you will accept donations. Many of these jobs will be supported by the charity itself.
If you’re planning an indoor event, consider using a local village hall or church, whilst outdoor events might able to be hosted at the charity venue itself if they have a field or garden. Outdoor events are perfect for bigger crowds, where you can invite lots of people and suppliers and perhaps set up with pop-up gazebos or marquees.
6. Check for Paperwork
As you will be throwing a public event on behalf of a charity, a lot of paperwork, such as risk assessments and public liability insurance, will often be required. Most of this will be completed by the charity itself, but you will need to liaise with it directly and double-check that you have completed everything correctly.
7. Determine How You Will Raise the Money
Will you be taking donations at the entrance or charging an entrance fee? Will you sell goods or charge additional costs? Make sure this is all decided and also work out how you will take the donations. If you’re accepting donations, make sure you have enough collection boxes and, if you are charging fees, ensure that you get yourself a float for change before the event starts.
It’s also worth considering where you will keep the funds raised throughout the day to ensure they are safe.
8. Decoration and Supplies
Do you need to decorate and who will be supplying this? Branded pop-ups, promotional sail flags and banners are all a great way of attracting attention, whilst balloons and bunting add great touches.
If you are offering food and drinks or selling any goodies, make sure all arrangements are made and collected before the day.
9. Spreading the Word
You wouldn’t want to do all the hard work to arrange the charity event and then have nobody turn up, so make sure you promote the event beforehand! Use your Just Giving page, set up social media events to promote online, put up posters and get flyering in the local community to advertise how wonderful your event will be.
10. Have a Great Day
Once the day arrives, make sure everyone helping out knows their jobs and roles and that you set up early. Get to know the people who have attended, have fun and, most importantly, enjoy the day. The more fun people are having, the more they will donate and your event will be a flying success!
Good luck with hosting your charity event and let us know how you get on!