Site Information

  • My Account
  • Gift Certificates
  • 678-235-3464

How to Plan a Charity Event

Posted by Clash Graphics on

Avoid getting fewer donations and not knowing how to plan your charity event. Knowing how to efficiently plan a charity event can supercharge your fundraising efforts while putting on an exciting series of events for your donors.

Planning a charity event involves establishing activities and donation goals gathered the following essential information on planning a successful charity event from concept to execution.

Charity Event Planning

Before beginning the planning stages of a charity event, you must determine the “why.” Why are you going to hold a charity event? Who or what organization will be its beneficiary? And, most crucial, How will the event be funded?

1. Charity Event Goals

Charity events may seem to be centered around fundraising, and to a certain extent, they are. However, a charity event can be carefully developed to cultivate any of the following:

  • Acquiring new donors
  • Cultivating repeat donors
  • Promoting your cause or gaining publicity
  • Recruiting new supporters, members, or volunteers
  • Increasing your cause’s awareness
  • Developing local and regional connections
  • Growing your email list
  • Engaging prospective major or corporate donors
  • Increasing social media, website, and brand awareness

Your event’s fundraising goals will play a significant role in shaping its size, content, and duration. A popular goal-setting framework is the SMART system. Consider the following:

Specific - The event’s goal should deal with a specific performance or a specific KPI. When setting your fundraising goal(s), clarify the overall context. What do you want to achieve with your fundraising? What is your final goal?

Example: The goal is to raise $50,000.

Measurable - The goal should be measurable. Without measuring progress, you won’t know if you’ve met or surpassed your fundraising goals. Not setting measurable goals can also cause your planning team to be on “different pages.”

Example: The goal is quantifiable and measurable (money raised).

Attainable - Strive to set goals that stretch you and your team, being ambitious enough to challenge you. However, those goals should not be unrealistic.

Example: The amount is more than last year but not unattainable (especially with recurring donors already committed).

Relevant - The event’s goal should be firmly connected to and supportive of the organization’s mission and vision. Before you invest any resources or assets toward achieving a fundraising goal, it’s crucial to verify that your goals are relevant to your organization’s mission and vision.

Example: The goal will provide assistance to the nonprofit’s target audience - single parents.

Time-Based - The goal should have a kickoff and a deadline. Every successful fundraising campaign has a beginning and an end. Campaigns without deadlines can become overwhelming and un-motivating for your team, volunteers, and donors alike. If a goal lacks a deadline, you can procrastinate your efforts indefinitely.

Example: The campaign begins on Thanksgiving Day and ends on Christmas Day.

2. Selecting a Theme

A theme makes your event appealing and offers a guideline for its attractions and events. This is crucial; people often believe that charity events raising awareness for a dire cause must be conducted in a serious or somber fashion. It doesn’t have to be that way; you can create a lively atmosphere with a relevant and fun theme. Consider these theme ideas:

Bowling Night - Bowling is cost-effective, family-friendly, and highly accessible. Most communities have at least one bowling alley within a reasonable distance. As an added plus, bowling is indoors, so severe weather won’t be an issue.

Casino Night - Set up various card game tables where guests can wager against Lady Luck. This type of activity helps bring in additional funds. Guests can always donate the money or prizes they win back to the organization.

Planning a charity event involves establishing activities like casino nights and donation goals

Gala - Galas aren’t for every organization but may be the best charity event for your brand if you want to host an annual, elegant event. As long as you have the budget, support from your board, and substantial interest from your audience, a gala is a winning option.

Carnival Night - This is an excellent theme if your guests are bringing their children or your organization benefits children’s causes. Attendees can purchase tokens for use at carnival game booths or special event seating.

Tip: Your event theme(s) should be fun, engaging, and inclusive of live or online audiences and multiple age groups.

3. Venue Selection

You want to find an impressionable venue, but remember that is typically the single most significant cost of the event. Consider the following:

  • Choose a venue that supports your theme. If it’s a carnival theme, for example, then there should be ample indoor and outdoor access.
  • Does the venue have enough space to accommodate your expected turnout, as well as any additional equipment, like lighting, cameras, game booths, etc.?
  • Consider venues routinely used for high-profile charity events (these will be familiar to your donors), and you can market the venue as such.

Tip: You can lower event expenses by seeking donor funding specifically for venue costs.

4. Marketing Your Event

Planning a charity event involves establishing activities donation goals and online marketing strategies

Social media is the best place to start promoting your charity event while keeping expenses under control. In the months leading up to your event, launch its website or go live with a page on your organization’s website, and in the weeks leading up to the event, create an event hashtag and use it on your posts across all platforms and encourage participants and donors to do the same.

Launch your direct mail or Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM) campaign so that initial flyers or brochures reach their destinations 7 to 10 days before the event. The second round of printed material should be sent, so it arrives 2 to 3 days before the event. This way, you have introduced the event to your prospective attendees and reminded them about it.

Launch an email campaign using your current database urging potential donors to attend your charity event in person or online.

Tip: Be sure to offer your online attendees a “one-click” way to attend your event and donate to your organization.

In the days leading up to your event, book radio ad time to promote the event and the charity. You can get this time discounted by offering sponsorship and even have the station remotely broadcast from your event.

5. Post-Event Promotion

Awareness and contributions can continue long after the event has ended. Continue using the event’s hashtag for a few more days/weeks, and encourage people to donate. You can do this while keeping your followers and attendees updated on contribution amounts and how the collected funds will be used.

Share news, pics, and posts related to any positive post-event activity. Show your audience what their donations have supported, built, or changed.

People donate to charitable organizations because they care about the cause or movement, so give them reminders of the change, betterment, and difference they are a part of.

Planning a Charity Event

In this article, you discovered valuable information to help you plan, market, and pull off a successful charity event.

Knowing how to efficiently organize and budget a charitable event will help you meet your organization’s goals and provide much-needed support to those it serves.

Ignoring the need to follow a well-structured plan for your charity event will result in an embarrassing and unorganized event that will struggle to get funding or donations.


Clash Graphics Print Shop Atlanta Flyer Printing

2233 Peachtree Rd NE Ste 202 AtlantaGA 30309
(678) 235-3464