How to Host a Fundraiser
10 basic steps to a successful event
Fort Wayne, Indiana (September 28, 2010) — Whether you yourself are a survivor, or you have a family member or friend who has breast cancer, you may be wondering what you can do to help raise money for breast cancer research. With a bit of advance preparation, you can host a fun, fabulous fundraiser that will raise money and create awareness.
Whether you’re planning an intimate gathering of close friends or an event for several hundred, here are some ideas to assist you in your planning.
1. Select your cause and set a goal.
Every fundraiser needs a specific purpose. What will the money benefit? How much money would you like to raise? Check in with the charity, family and friends for feedback. Keep your eye on that goal from start to finish. Jot it down and place it where you’ll see it every day for inspiration!
2. Choose a type of event.
Big or small? At home or at work? Are you doing this alone or with a team? What’s your budget? Plan something that you know you’ll enjoy to help keep you motivated.
3. Create a timeline.
It’s important to stay organized. Set your event date, and work backward. Depending on the size of your event, and the amount of time you can devote to planning, you may need anywhere from two months to a full year to plan a successful event.
4. Determine activities.
Decide on what you will do to raise money, such as an art auction, games, food and drinks for sale and an admission fee.
5. Pick a space.
Where do you want to host the event? How many people do you expect? What will your guests experience (live music, activities, food, etc.)? You’ll need to keep these details in mind in order to secure the right-sized space for the number of guests and activities.
6. Get donations.
Ask people you know to donate time or services. If you plan to have an auction, ask friends to donate artwork. If you know a band, ask them to perform. Or, consider finding a sponsor to underwrite expenses so all funds raised go right to the cause.
7. Make a list of people to invite.
Invite anyone and everyone you know who is interested in your cause or project. For big events, ask your friends to pass along information and event details to their friends and spread the word.
If this is a private invitation-only affair, plan carefully to invite the number of people that will result in your planned attendance. If it’s a more open event, use social media, posters, fliers, and the local newspaper to get the word out.
9. Have a team on hand to help at the event.
You will need (at the very least) someone at the door to collect admission, people to sell or serve food and beverages, and people to help with the auction or entertainment. Be prepared with more helpers than you think you’ll need.
10. After the event, send thank you notes.
Include updates on your project to anyone who attended the event, and check in with the charity about your success when you make your donation!
Fun Fundraising Event Ideas
- Host a house party/tea party or picnic.
- Organize a health and wellness day at your local gym.
- Set up an outdoor event. (ex: walking, tennis, biking, canoeing, yoga in the park)
- Plan a fun activity. (ex: skating, dancing, bowling, fashion show)
- Hold a bake sale.
- Arrange a contest or dress-down day at the office.
If you're interested in hosting a fundraiser to benefit the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer, please contact email@example.com.