Planning a charity fundraising event? It takes passion, patience, persistence, and an enthusiastic team!  Here are our 7 tips for hosting a successful charity fundraising event!

1.) Fundraising takes time

The dynamic era we live in might make people think that they can do anything overnight. However, like anything well-executed, events for charity require preparation and planning. Give your team enough time to plan, prepare and raise funds and gifts. If possible, give them a six-month lead way before the event date.

Keep in mind that it takes time to gather volunteers and even more time to collect donations for the event. Volunteers with a sales background are always more effective in resourcing and fundraising pre-event. If you’re accepting volunteers without any experience, make sure a more experienced one works with them, ensuring the donation campaign is successful. Sometimes, a person with a passion for the cause can be a great salesperson without previous sales experience! Look for those types of individuals to recruit!

While planning events for charity requires focus, it can be an excellent chance to give back and make a difference! 


2.) Find a bargain for your charity fundraising event

Pittsburgh can be a great location to host an event, as it has vibrant nightlife and gorgeous historical venues in the city.

Lock up the best event rental rates for an event during weekdays or weeknights.  Weekday events tend to be cheaper sometimes, even offering drink discounts or complimentary appetizers! Parking is usually more accessible during off-peak times too! 

Be diligent when making decisions: do your research beforehand to ensure the venue is a good fit (check if the place aligns with the budget and goals of your event). Also, book the space well in advance to guarantee you’ve reserved it for your party.

Consider if the place is easy for your staff, guests, and vendors to get to and if it can accommodate the crowd you’re expecting. Check the load in and out pathways, as you will be bringing in many gift baskets, auction items, and plenty of decor items too! 

Location is everything; evaluate yours carefully! 

3.) Entertainment makes more money.

It’s a wise idea to book entertainment to keep your guests engaged and having fun; people spend money when they’re drinking and having fun! Interactive entertainment such as fun casino games, magicians, face painters, or photo booths does the trick. Businesses like Elite Casino Events are a one-stop-shop for this type of entertainment sourcing, making it convenient. They probably offer charity weekday discounts too, so be sure to ask!

Charity Fundraising Event
Charity fundraising event entertainment

Have faith in selling sponsorships

Also, find businesses to sponsor the events’ entertainment and acknowledge them with signage (e.g. ”these fire entertainers’ performance is sponsored by X company”) to show gratitude.

Don’t lose hope if you can’t find a sponsor right away. Be persistent; follow up! Businesses like getting involved and helping causes; they will be happy to help you achieve your goal! Make sure to follow up post-event with thank you cards too! 

4.) Be direct; ask for what you need.

During this journey, you will be asking for help, donations, volunteers, and event day help. Make a list of all the things you need help with, and create a spreadsheet to assign helpers for pre-event and event day support. Having notes or bullet points to refer to or even scripts will help them further your goals. 

For donations, clearly define what type of donation is needed. Perhaps, consider accepting in-kind or cash donations from local businesses. ‘In-kind’ could be gift cards, baskets, or other e-gifts. These will help, but cash donations help offset the expense for the venue, food, drink, and entertainment. The more, the merrier, but put extra focus on cash donations – and get them!

Fundraising Raffle Basket

5.) Market your fundraising event!

Like any new product, marketing the event to target audiences on social media will help. Convince people that your organization and fundraising event is worthy of their time and money! In addition, ensure they learn the positive change their donations can do. Offer a small discount for pre-sale tickets; it works!  

Share the event on all social outlets (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok) and ask volunteers to share for maximum exposure. In addition, consider creating a contest on social media (for instance, whoever shares the event the most, receives an e-gift).

Here’s an extra tip: get the word out there early. This way, you can determine your RSVP count in advance, which will save you money in the long run with the venue, vendors, food, and beverage!

6.) Have a funding plan prepared.

Let’s assume you’re aiming to raise $10K. Divide the total funding goal by the number of tickets you expect to sell (in this case, 100). So if you divide $10,000 by 100 people, you need to acquire $100 per person in donations/sales/event revenue. 

Now you’ve determined you’re hoping to raise $100 per person, ask what items participants would need to purchase to achieve your funding goals? Ensure your event offers enough things so guests can spend to equal this amount per person or more. 

For instance, the goal is more than met with $35 profit on the entry tickets, $30 on raffle baskets, $10 donations on interactive entertainment, and $20 on auction items, $10 on 50/50. 

It’s easy when you know your goal per person through the door and then work backward! Now you have a funding plan! Here’s another tip, set up a square or PayPal system for event day to take e-payments and credit cards! It will surely boost your fundraiser by at least 20%! 

Charity Fundraising Event Help
Charity Fundraising event baskets

7.) Time is money.

Assign roles, write down your charity fundraising event ideas, draft a floor plan and a timeline. After all, you will have a short period event day to execute your fundraiser and make everything fall into place perfectly—schedule your dinner/food, beverage, speakers, entertainment, auctions all on a strict timeline. Set up a time to receive and set raffle baskets, 50/50, door prize tickets, auction items, and such. 

Tip: Christmas lights make your raffle baskets displays look fantastic! 

People make your event shine!

For a successful fundraiser, make sure you have plenty of smiling faces at each station, so you hit the target. Rotate volunteers, so they can have a break and stay hydrated. After all, they have to feel their best to make the event a win for your charity!

This plan is a sure-fire way to host exceptional charity fundraisers, and the city of Pittsburgh is well known for the generous souls who live there, so success surely awaits you. All you need to do – is put the plan in action!

Charity fundraising event photo fun
Charity Fundraiser Event Round of Applause
Charity fundraiser event

Start Planning Your Charity Fundraising Event

Whether you’re planning to host a charity fundraising event soonish, keep on track of things, market the event properly, choose the right venue, put people in charge of different tasks and target the right audience.

Keep in mind that event volunteers are the secret to your successful event, be sure to acknowledge them with a round of applause event day! Follow up by sending them thank-you notes. They will cherish it, and it will be a reminder that their time and kindness made a difference! 

Remember: if you plan ahead of time and keep your eye on the target, there’s no reason why you can’t host a successful charity fundraising event. 

Learn more, request a quote, and book the perfect entertainment for your fundraising event.