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How to Organise a Charity Event

The main aim for a charity event is to raise as much money as possible, drum up support and promote your cause.

However, you also want to attract guests to attend and make sure that the event is enjoyable.

People need and enjoy having events on their calendars, but there are a large number of charity events out there - the trick is to make yours stand out.

A charity event with a difference is also a clever way to attract the media to write about the cause - which expands your reach even further.

It takes more than a big heart to organise a charity event - successful fundraising takes organisational skill and awareness of the legal issues that surround the charity sector.

Here are some of the things to consider before you roll your sleeves up:


Don't Assume Anything!

Fundraising is as strictly regulated so make sure you abide by the Code of Fundraising Practice.

 Regulations that apply specifically to charity events include:

✔ Taking into account access for all, health and safety and environmental impact

✔ First aid must be present

✔ Risk assessment must be done

✔ Insurance policies must be in place

✔ The event must not exceed the maximum number of participants stated by the venue


Stick to Your Budget

It’s vital to budget when organising a charity event as you want the maximum amount of money to get back to the charity.

List all the things that your budget will need to cover - from venue to entertainment - ideally cost-cutting along the way.

Make sure you sell as many tickets in advance as possible, rather than only offering them for sale on the door. This will give you an idea on numbers to cater for and also an idea of how much money you will raise.


Fun on a Shoestring

Affordable entertainment ideas to maximise your profit include:

  1. Photo opportunities for guests to share on social media. Photo booth hire companies will often offer charities a discount on the hire and you can ask to add the charity brand to a backdrop with your charity logo and charity social media pages and hashtags.
  2. Glitter art and face painting - another fun activity to offer guests which will encourage sharing on social media
  3. A homemade cocktail bar - you can even name a cocktail after the charity!
  4. Chocolate fountains - affordable and always popular with guests
  5. Music - to play pre-recorded music at an event that is open to the public, check with your venue to make sure it holds licences from PRS (Performing Rights Society) for Music and PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited).

Cost-Effective Venue Hire

  1. Community buildings  are often very cheap to hire.
  2. Use venues that offer a minimum spend if you know that cost will be eclipsed - this way there is no upfront cost of hiring the venue.
  3. Ask local schools and universities who might have halls or buildings they can hire to you for a cheap price.

Consider Free Venues

  • A street party -  get in touch with your council at least six weeks before the date of the event and ask for  a street closure

  • Lotteries do not require a license or registration for a charity and no venue needed

  • Ask around to see who has a big enough garden space for a party, mini fair, festival or concert  - if using bouncy castles or other inflatables note health and safety standards

  • Free promotion

If you are going to include face-to-face fundraising to strangers promoting a charity event, follow the best practice given by the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association.

Using social media is a must. Fundraising platforms such as JustGiving are set up for sharing online - also include posts leading up to the event, fundraising target updates and sharing photos of the event.


Further information

Whatever you choose to do, organising a successful event will attract prospective donors who may not have thought or heard about your charity otherwise. People are more likely to give money in person than electronically.

It’s not just about money on the night - there are also long lasting effects - people are more likely to give again if they have had a good time. 


Page last edited Jun 28, 2018 History

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