Lesson 5: Staging a Fundraising Event

Events are probably the most well-known tactic for fundraising. Although great events can generate revenue for your organization, they require extensive planning and cost-containment to ensure that outlays for a venue, invitations, entertainment, etc. do not consume all of the funds raised. This lesson will guide you through the process of staging a successful fundraising event. For additional tips, please see The Fundraising Authority's website.


Choosing What Type of Event to Host

According to Joe Garecht, founder of the Fundraising Authority, “every type of event takes the same amount of preparation, planning, and hard work.” Therefore, it is important to design and organize an event that will best appeal to your prospective attendees; that is, the type of event that will both raise money and guarantee that a good time is had by all.  

Below is a list of some of the more popular types of events that can be organized:

  • Informal Dinners – This type includes BBQs, buffets, pub grub, etc.
  • Formal Dinners – You might also choose to have a more formal, sit down dinner.
  • Receptions – This is one of the most popular types of events, and includes cocktail hours, hors d’oeuvres receptions, meet and greets, etc.
  • Breakfasts – Sit down or buffet.
  • Sports Events – This might include a friendly soccer tournament or a 5k fun-run.

This list reflects a partial sampling of options. Keep in mind the fundraising target for the event, your budget, the people that you are inviting, and the facilities that are available when choosing the type of event you are planning to organize and host.

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