Fundraising Events

Holding a fundraising event can be a great way of generating funds for your community group. 

Ideas for fundraising events might include:

  • treasure hunt

  • auction

  • fashion show

  • face painting

  • beach clean

  • gala

  • car boot or jumble sale

Whatever you decide to do – your event needs to be fun. Make it enjoyable for everyone – including your volunteers.

Planning your fundraising event

Planning is the key to making any event a success. You want to encourage as many people as possible to take part, and maximise the opportunities for your group to benefit and raise money.

Who do you want to attend?

Start by thinking who you want to attract to your event – who is your target audience?  Are you wanting to aim at a particular age range or do you want it to be a family event? 

Knowing who you are aiming at, will help your group decide on the type of event you hold. It may also affect the timing and promotion of that event.

When to hold it

  • is there a particular time of year  which you want to aim for? For example, are you thinking of an outdoor summer event? Can you time the event to maximize on any other recognised event or holiday? For example, holding a themed event around Halloween or St Valentine’s Day?

  • check what else is happening in your local area – it would be good idea to try and avoid clashing with a similar event, especially if yours is a small community

What resources do you need?

  • are you going to need any equipment? Do you need to hold the event in a village hall? Will you need costumes or props?

  • be realistic about the number of volunteers you will need to run the event

How much will it cost?

Even the simplest of events will require some outlay. Potential costs might include:

  • venue hire

  • equipment

  • costumes and props

  • advertising

  • insurance cover

Identify costs beforehand. How much do you anticipate making from the event?  Make sure that your outlay does not outweigh the potential income – remember that the aim is to make money not lose it.

Insurance cover

  • your group will almost certainly need Public Liability Insurance cover

  • if your event is quite large and/or involves significant outlay or is particularly weather dependent you may also want to take out specific events insurance to cover any potential losses if the event has to be cancelled at short notice

How will you know how successful you have been?

Consider the most appropriate way to gather feedback from your event:

  • how will you be able to identify simple statistics such as the number of people attending your event?

  • will you include a feedback form to gather people’s comments?

Organise someone to take photographs of the event. Having a pictorial record will help you illustrate follow up reports to funders and the press. You do not necessarily need a professional photographer – perhaps someone on the committee or board  or one of your members would be willing to act as designated photographer?

Publicity for your event

Always factor in the costs for promoting your event and start planning your publicity well in advance of the event itself:

  • make use of any free opportunities to make people aware of the event. Write press releases and send to the local paper, radio or television

  • supplement free advertising with posters, adverts and online marketing appropriate to the size and scale of your event

After the Event

Schedule a committee or board meeting for after the event. Use the feedback and statistics you have gathered to help you evaluate:

  • what worked well

  • what worked less well

  • whether or not you will hold the same event again and, if so, what changes you would make

Make sure that you thank everyone for their involvement in the planning and hosting of the event. Your list of people to thank will typically include:

  • our volunteers

  • funders

  • venue provider

  • equipment suppliers

  • the people who attended and helped your group to successfully raise funds

When you are thanking people, say how much has been raised but focus on who will benefit from this and how they will benefit.

Write a press release about the event, again outlining who will benefit and how. Include a photograph from the day to encourage the media to pick your story.