Planning a corporate event for fundraising

Posted by Jo Kelly

Holding a corporate event for fundraising can be a great way to raise money for your business or a charity that your company supports.

Fundraising corporate events can help you pay for an extension to your office building, pay for repairs, or fund new resources. They can even help you raise money for particular issues or concerns that fit with your business values, or are close to the hearts of key people in your company team.

There’s a lot to think about to make sure a corporate event is a success. So, when it comes to planning a fundraising event, what should you consider? What should your planning involve to make sure your corporate fundraising event runs smoothly and you raise the funds you need?

Set your fundraising goals

It’s important to first think about the purpose of your fundraising event and your key goals. While it will primarily be to raise money, you could have other objectives in mind that can benefit your business. This could include helping your company to gain publicity or reach a new network of potential clients.

You should also think about how much money you would like to raise at the event and how you plan to do it. For instance, you could find event sponsorships, hold an auction, or arrange other activities at the event to encourage donations. This could include having a local band perform, a sit-down meal, or inviting a celebrity guest.

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Select your audience

You should also think about your target audience for the event – who, specifically, you want to attend. This can also depend on your goals and the focus of your corporate event.

For instance, if you want to gain wide-spread attention you might want to invite the general public. Whereas, if you are primarily focused on raising a large sum of money, you might want to attract wealthy high-end business executives. The event might also be geared towards a particular group of people that you’d like to attend, like self-employed people or young professionals. So it’s a good idea to draw up a list of everyone you want to invite and prioritise them.

Event structure and set up  

It’s important to think carefully about the structure of the event, its set up and what it will involve. Ask yourself questions like, how long will it be? Will there be a theme? What entertainment will it include and what type of food will be served.

Think about the event itinerary too. Will there be an opening speech or a disco at the end? Perhaps you’d like ample time for a buffet or meal, or for your celebrity guest to sing or perform.

When considering all this it’s important to keep your budget and audience in mind. So think about what will attract the right people to your event, keep them there, and encourage them to donate.

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Select a time

The timing of your fundraising event – time of year, day of week, and hour of day – can make it more or less successful. This is in terms of how many people attend and how much they donate.

If you hold it at the height of summer, for instance, many people might be on holiday. If you arrange it for the start of the year, attendees might not be to donate much because of spending heavily over Christmas. And if you hold it at night on a working week day, some people might not be able to stay for long. It’s also important to set a future date that give people plenty of notice to make sure they can attend.

Choose a venue

Selecting a good venue to hold your fundraiser is also important. This can be determined by things like, how many people you want to invite and your budget. You should also consider destinations that are easy for your attendees to reach, which have good parking and other transport links, especially if you plan to make money from selling alcohol.

If you’re inviting a high number of people you will need a big space to accommodate them. Whereas, if you want to attract socialites or high-end business types, you might want to choose a stylish venue, like a museum or art gallery. If your budget is tight you could consider hosting your event outside or hiring a marquee.

Appoint an events team

Like any event, it’s essential to have a strong team that can help make your corporate fundraising event run smoothly and be a success. Appointing approachable individuals, who are good with people and good at selling, is important when raising funds.

You should also think about appointing caterers, waiters and waitresses, and people who can greet your guests when they arrive. Also, consider security attendants and appointing any reliable volunteers that can help. As the event draws near, it’s important to make sure everyone in the team knows what their responsibilities are and what they need to do on the day.

Put together a host committee

It’s important to also have a host committee. This should include people who can help get the ball rolling in hitting your fundraising goals. They are responsible for contributing cash donations to the event and encouraging others to do the same.

Your host committee can consist of wealthy donors, respectable business leaders and local celebrities. These people can also help you get some much-needed media attention ­– see marketing, below ­– so think carefully about who you should ask to be part of the committee.

Marketing your event

Putting together a good cost-effective marketing strategy can be the key to gathering interest in your fundraising event, and making sure your target audience attend, while keeping within your budget. You could send out invitations and personal emails, mention the event in your company newsletter, and use your social media channels to promote it.

It’s also a good idea to try and get the attention of the media to generate publicity and help promote it. To do this you could send out a press release to selected newspapers and online news sites, or get your host committee to talk about it. For instance, your guest celebrities could mention it at a launch or premiere, attended by the media, while your chosen business leaders could include it in their relevant company news stories.

How we can help you plan corporate events

When it comes to running any kind of corporate event, the planning is crucial in making it a success. CR Events can help you, right from the planning stages, to make sure your corporate events run smoothly and hit your key business goals.

We’d love to help you engage, motivate and inspire your team with our innovative team events services. To speak to a member of our award-winning team: