Special events can be a great way for organizations to raise funds, create public awareness and build volunteer base. They range from big to small, from car washes, to golf tournaments, charity auctions and gala dinners. Careful planning and execution are needed to ensure your organization achieves its goals for your event.
There are risks to holding an event. Identify those risks, plan how to address them, and then decide if the benefits of holding the event outweigh the risks.
The biggest risk is losing money. Calculate all the costs involved – variable [proportional to the number of people attending your event i.e. catering] and fixed [costs you must pay regardless of your turnout i.e.venue, promotional materials]. Determine if your projected revenues cover and exceed them.
Read the fine print in all the supplier contracts and understand exactly what you are committing your organization to.
Understand your liabilities especially where alcohol is being served. If your organization has an insurance policy check what your coverage is for events. If you don’t have insurance assess whether you will need to purchase it.
Creating a Critical Path will help you manage the logistics and keep you focused on everything that needs to be done to make your event a success. Here are some steps to get you started.
Having a sound and realistic budget and sticking to it is key to the financial success of your event. Begin by determining all your fixed and variable costs. List all of your projected revenues from ticket sales, sponsorships and partnerships, and donations of goods and services. When setting ticket prices keep in mind the costs you must cover as well as what your target market can afford.
If you are setting up a fundraising shop or have organized a few ad hoc fundraising campaigns or events and now you want to take a more measured and organized approach to your fundraising you need to do some careful planning to get ready to fundraise.
Sponsorship is not a gift – it’s a business transaction. Companies offer sponsorships that support causes they identify with [youth, healthcare], allow them access to a target audience, or because they want to be seen to be supporting an organization.