8 Tips to Organising a Fundraiser

Fundraisers are a great excuse to hold a party. Not only can you and your guests have a great time, but you can also raise some much needed funds for your favourite charity. Aussies in particular are very generous when it comes to supporting and shelling out the big bucks for worthy causes, but you can’t rest on this alone. Fundraisers require careful planning and organisation.

To do list

  1. Before you plan anything, define the cause, set your goals and determine what charity will get the money you raise. In terms of your charity, it’s a good idea to be specific – it’s fine to, say, raise money for bowel cancer, but raising money for bowel cancer research or in support of the families of the terminally ill in a specific state can bring a nice personable touch to the event and create a talking point.
  2. Hold your fundraiser in association with local businesses. They can support your fundraiser by contributing free products and services to giveaway at the event, such as gift hampers. This will help to create greater awareness of your fundraiser and the charity you are supporting. Put all the auction items into a professionally printed book so that all of your guests can peruse the products – a lot of printers specialist in booklet printing and they may even be happy to give you a small discount given that it is for a charitable event.
  3. Decide on the type of fundraiser you want to hold. It can be a low scale event like a brunch or a car wash, or a large-scale event like a dinner or auction. Whatever you decide, make sure you have plenty of time to organise it properly.
  4. Setting a budget is vitally important for the success of any event, especially one in which you are trying to make money from. Your budget should keep operating costs to a minimum so that you can make a considerable amount to give back to your charity. No matter how big or small, everything should be budgeted for including decorations, refreshments, printing, mailing expenses and so on.
  5. Set the date and the venue, but make sure you do so well in advance because you need enough time to create a buzz about your fundraiser. When setting the date for your event, make sure that it doesn’t conflict with any local or national events.
  6. Put out a call for volunteers to help you organise different aspects of the event. If you can, look for people with specific skill sets who can bring expertise to the event.
  7. Secure entertainment or, at the very least, an MC. It’s always good to get a high profile businessperson or celebrity who can bring an element of glamour to the event. Failing this, why not contact your local real estate agent and ask if their auctioneer would be able to help – they are almost always happy to lend a hand for a good cause and the exposure might even drum up a little bit of business for them.
  8. Get the word out! Now that you have a date, a venue and an MC/entertainment, it’s time to tell the world about your fundraiser. Make sure you create a good PR campaign and get details out onto the street via event listings on websites and through flyers and personalised invitations. It is a great idea to invite prominent and well-known people in your local community – think councils, reporters, sportspeople and celebrities.

Another good touch is a small lucky door prize so ask people who have business cards to pop them into a bucket when they arrive. Oh and make sure you decorate the venue with charity specific talking points. It’s a great idea to profile those who are currently fighting the illness. Fundraisers are meant to be fun so make sure you enjoy the planning process.

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