Fundraising and charity events are growing in popularity in cities all over Canada. Per plate events, sales parties, and gatherings with ticket purchases whose proceeds go to a specific charity fund are making their rounds in social gatherings in both metropolitan area and rural communities.
There are a million tiny details involved with the management and planning of a charity event that can lead to potential disaster if left unattended. First and foremost, you will want to ensure that you have the highest possible turnout for the event in order to make a good impression with the sponsors of the charity. There may also be financial data that needs to be recorded regarding possible tax exemption qualifications which very often occur with these types of functions. Charity event planning is unlike any other large corporate party of family celebration because so much more is riding on the final outcome.
Planning events of this type is slightly different than planning corporate and private events in that the budget constraints may be more stringent. Likewise, there will be added research requirements to be sure you are aware off the fringe details. When putting together a fundraising and/or charity event:
Hire a Professional Coordinator
Hiring a professional coordinator to help develop and oversee all of the minute details will ensure the overall success of your event. In some cases, it may be recommended to create a type of Board of Directors who will help to oversee the many financial obligations and management responsibilities involved with the process. However, sometimes “too many cooks in the kitchen” can lead to chaos and frustration. Always make sure to appoint one person as the Executive Director of the committee, one who has the ability to make the final call on all important decisions.
Plan Proper Entertainment
You will need to check the background and reputation of the entertainment you book to be sure that there is nothing that would impede their ability to be associated with the charity. You will also have to be sure that their material (music, comedy, etc.) is inoffensive to the charity you are supporting.
Be Mindful of Budget Constraints
When people are donating their money in the form of plate cost or purchased goods, they do not expect an extravagant expenditure on the part of the coordinators. Offer middle of the road food choices – tasteful but not expensive – so that cost can be kept at a minimum.
Get Help from Volunteers
The more people that get involved and volunteer their time and services the better for the fundraiser or charity. Ample involvement shows that people stand behind the specific cause and also serves to drive costs down. Large global events like Olympic Games can’t be organized without the help of volunteers. Recent Games in Sochi 2014 used the help of over 25,000 volunteers. Make sure you get the buzz out to those who want to support the cause and help the community. You’ll be amazed at how generous people can get when supporting community causes.
Tax Exemption Status
Perhaps the first assignment for your charity event planning committee will be to determine if your function qualifies as tax exempt. This can provide a decided advantage, specifically in regards to the amount of money that you can afford to spend. If for some reason the function or cause is considered not taxable, then it will be extremely imperative for all of the receipts involved in the purchasing of all items, vendors, furniture rentals, gifts, and door prizes to be saved and catalogued for future presentation to the required authorities. This is a good task to assign to the most highly detailed individual on your committee, although your professional charity event planning coordinator will usually offer to handle this difficult chore on your behalf.
Promote Your Event
The more people that attend the event, the better. Get the word out on the radio and in the local newspaper. Make sure you use your current social media presence, and your circle of friends for that matter. Promoting a charity event can even get you by on mass emailing to your friends and colleagues.
Professional charity event planning coordinators can even help you to get the word out about the coming function. In most cases, the success of the charitable event is directly dependent on the number of guests that you manage to attract. More guests means more financial contributions to your cause, after all. Professional party management companies have a great many interesting ideas that can help increase the turnout. Most of these events coordinators already have a system in place using social media. For example, they can quickly and easily create a Facebook Fan Page, listing the location, registration details, and dates of the event.
Have a Backup Plan
No matter how well you plan in advance, something is bound to go wrong. Charitable events are notorious for unexpected surprises, and professional event coordinators are expert at foreseeing these obstacles from miles away. They are also highly adept at resolving these problems on the spot. Hiring a professional provider of charity event planning will not only ensure a smooth running function, but will make the event itself a great deal more enjoyable for you and for your Board of Directors.
Modesty is important in planning these events. It shows that every possible dollar is dedicated to the charity and that the well-being of that fund is your only focus. Regardless of the many details that charity event planning holds; always keep an eye on the big goal – raising money for those who need it. As always, let us know if you have specific questions on organizing and running charity events and fundraisers. The crew at Simply Elegant has years of experience creating charity events. So, let us know if we can be of assistance.