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How to celebrate a charity anniversary

Action on Hearing Loss (previously RNID) celebrated its Centenary in 2011.  We started planning two years in advance to make our milestone birthday as successful as possible. Here are some points to think about when planning anniversary activity or other significant birthdays.


Planning activity and your messages

Decide what you want to achieve from your milestone birthday. Is it publicity, increasing your fundraising income, reaching more beneficiaries or perhaps all three?

Begin the planning process early and get input from departments all across the organisation. At Action on Hearing Loss we had a brainstorming process which generated a huge array of great ideas.

Work out what your anniversary means for different stakeholders and adapt your messages accordingly.

Can you use the anniversary to launch a piece of new research or a project or service? An anniversary in itself is unlikely to be newsworthy.


Involve everyone

A milestone birthday is a great way to enhance staff morale. Make sure all staff are involved in someway and feel part of the celebrations.


Be open to new partnerships

Use the opportunity your anniversary provides to create new partnerships with companies and other organisations – used the right way it really can open doors.



You may want to consider holding a gala event.  Make sure you are clear on exactly what you want to achieve from this and understand the resources it entails. If managed properly it can be a great way to further engage with your supporters and raise funds.


Examples of anniversary celebrations

Action on Hearing Loss

We kicked off its Centenary year in June with the launch of our new name and a reception at Buckingham Palace hosted by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. We were fortunate the occasion was also combined with HRHs 90th birthday and we held parties and celebratory events in all our locations across the UK.  To add to this, among other things we have forged two new major corporate partnerships for our centenary year, held a unique centenary challenge event: The BT Tower Climb, and will be holding a Centenary Conference for our members and supporters.

Further information

Guardian article by Anna Brosnan of Macmillan Anniversary celebrations need to be thought through.


Page last edited Jun 23, 2017 History

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