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VOTI - voices of the industry

HOW TO RUN A FUNDRAISING EVENT

Organising charity events is a popular way to collect money to support various causes and/or specific organisations. It’s true that one can just contribute directly to an organisation on a regular basis, which not only lifts their regular donations, but also engages a supportive emotional and personal experience. Large charity events, on the other hand, can also create a personal connection, as well as enabling to collect more donations at once, and they can also bring much needed attention to a specific cause, influencing others to then also care and support (obviously not to say that individual donations are any less important).

 

It’s worth noting that, while 2020 was a difficult year for the music and events industries due to Covid, many businesses took advantage of the chance to launch virtual events, which we must say were a huge success! According to the UKFundraising, the UK’s top 25 events raised over £74m. This just shows us that even virtual events can be a great method to raise funds.

 

While both virtual and in-person charity events can be a great form of fundraising and raising awareness, it also requires very careful and attentive planning that can be both time consuming and expensive.

 

But don’t worry; we’re here to help you! Here are some ideas for your next fundraising event:

 

What is your cause?

 

The first and most important thing is to be clear who you are raising money for. Setting a clear event’s idea will inform your attendees not just of what they are contributing to, but also of the impact their presence will have. This part is important because, depending on the cause, it might even help individuals relate on a personal and emotional level.

 

In other words, the way in which you present and discuss your chosen cause might determine the success of your event. So it’s also worth asking yourself, ‘why is it important to me?’

 

If you’re unsure about the theme of your event, don’t worry; there are always lots of organisations seeking financial support.

 

Organisations to support:

 

  • British Red Cross
  • Mind
  • Cancer Research UK
  • Disasters Emergency Committee
  • Shelter
  • Etc.

 

Finding a venue

 

Now you have an idea – great! Next thing to consider is where your event will take place. There are so many beautiful venues all around the UK, but depending on location, they’re all quite pricey, which may be problematic if you don’t have sponsors. It’s also worth noting that, even if you’re organising a charity event, venues don’t usually provide space free of charge, although many often provide discounts for charity events.

 

One way to get free space is to try contacting churches that also serve as venues; churches are typically happy to support any charity related activities.

 

In any case, reaching out to professional venues without a sponsor is still a great idea; you never know who could be interested in supporting your initiative.

 

It’s true that many might say no, but there’ll always be someone who’ll say yes!

 

Collecting and transferring funds to charities

 

While planning and considering all the details for your event, it’s easy to forget the most important aspect – money!

 

What is the most effective way to collect money at your event? Here’s a few options:

 

  • Setting an entry fee – this way, even if people decide not to attend the event, the donation is already made
  • Making the entry free and collecting a voluntary contribution at the event
  • A mixture of both – selling ‘entry tickets’ and collecting money before and/or after the event

 

Have you checked to see whether your chosen venue has a card machine for extra donations (remember, nowadays many people don’t carry cash!). Please keep in mind that cash donations are typically not banked immediately after the event, making them less safe. Counting cash and online money takes time and might cause the entire transaction to be delayed. So, think about whether it’s even worth taking cash.

 

If you choose to collect money online, you can use one of these websites:

 

 

If possible, ask your venue to collect donations on your behalf. When money is collected by a registered venue, it might appear more professional and secure to others who don’t know you personally.

 

Promote your event!

 

It’s time to get the word out about your amazing fundraiser! Even though your event is a worthy cause, it still needs to be marketed in order to reach as many people as possible. Every day, more than 100 concerts take place in the UK; how will yours stand out?

 

Marketing has to sell your event and convince people that it’s worth their time and donations. It’s also about reminding them what difference their time and money can make in someone’s life.

 

It’s worthwhile to make some buzz before the event by sharing it on social media and getting others to discuss it. According to Eventbrite, which we mentioned above, 41% of the discussions take place prior to the event, and just 25% of traffic ticketing comes from social media.

 

Methods of ‘getting the word out’:

 

  • Social media
  • Your chosen organisation’s network of colleagues and other supporters
  • Facebook groups – groups based in the same location as your venue
  • Asking local churches to share with their communities
  • Local newspaper
  • Local radio station
  • Word of mouth
  • Mail-outs
  • Posters

 

Team = Success

 

Teamwork equals success. While you’ll be working alone the majority of the time, it’s still worth considering adding other team members. Managing a fundraiser is challenging enough, but you’ll quickly realise how much more productive you can be if you split some of your tasks with other members.

 

Team members can contribute to:

 

  • Solving problems
  • Sharing fresh ideas
  • Sharing the event with their network
  • Meeting short deadlines
  • Relieving your stress
  • Boosting efficiency
  • And much more…

 

Don’t be afraid to share your workload with others; it doesn’t imply you can’t manage an event on your own; on the contrary, strong teamwork may result in a one-of-a-kind and unforgettable event for everyone. 

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