Want to put on your own fundraising event but not sure how to make it into a roaring success? Our 6 tips below look at real life examples of award-winning events to help you organise a fun and successful event.

Amnesty International UK have been acknowledging their Most Creative Fundraisers in this years’ Youth Awards. The winners, Ashford School in Kent, hosted a Dare to be Different Day which involved students organising fundraising activities related to a human right.

Each participating student was told to look through the articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to choose one that they were interested in promoting. They then had to be creative in thinking of a fundraising activity which relates to that particular article. For example, doing a sponsored silence would relate to Article 19 ‘Everyone has the right to freedom of expression’.

The Dare to be Different Day not only raised well over £1000 for Amnesty International UK, but it also spread awareness of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights throughout the school in a creative and memorable way.

Amnesty International UK have been so impressed by this fundraiser that they are planning on creating a new youth fundraising product based on it.

How To Put On A Fundraising Event

It can be hard to know where to start when putting on a fundraising event so if you are feeling inspired by the students of Ashford School, here are 6 steps to get you on your way:

1. Pick your charity

If you can’t immediately think of a charity to support then try your council’s website which should have a list of non-profit organisations that are based or work in your area. Fundraising for a local charity is a great way to give back to the community and drum up support from local shops, residents and media.

Once you’ve chosen a charity get in contact and let them know your plans as they will likely be able to provide support and possibly even send you materials to use at your event.

2. Decide on the event

The next step is to decide on the type of event. Common fundraising events include dinners, concerts, quizzes or coffee mornings; but you can be as creative as you like. Make sure it is an event that you would go to yourself and would find fun.

Boughton High School, one of the runners up of the Most Creative Fundraisers Amnesty Award held a ceilidh dance, something which proved a great success and might turn into an annual event!

How To Put On A Successful Fundraising Event

Clevedon School, also runners up, put their own spin on the Amnesty classic the amnesTEA event. They combined a cake sale with a concert and promoted the event to the local community, extending the reach of the group beyond Clevedon School.

3. Make a plan

Once you’ve got a charity and decided on an event you are ready to go. A great place to start is to make a plan, decide on details like date and timings and list all the things you will need to do. This will likely include finding a venue, someone to host the evening, raffle prizes and volunteers to help you on the night. Remember to keep things simple to make your job easier.

4. Don’t be afraid to ask

Sourcing out various elements of your event as donations, such as the venue, food or prizes, is a great way for you to increase your fundraising profits.

Asking for freebies can be really daunting but remember that you are doing it for charity. Make use of the contacts you have and get in touch with relevant local businesses. Be sure to tell them a bit about the charity and emphasise that you live locally. You will get rejections but will likely find that lots of individuals or organisations are happy to donate for a good cause.

5. Sell, sell, sell!

Now for, possibly, the most important part; selling tickets. Ask your friends, family, colleagues and get them to pass on the details of your event to all their contacts. Put posters up in busy locations, open a Facebook page and ask local press to help promote the event. Don’t get too worried if not many tickets sell straight away, people generally prefer to buy last minute so be ready for the rush.

6. The follow up

Hopefully your event was a huge success. It can be tempting to pack all your event plans away but it is really important to follow up with acknowledgements. Count your total takings and make sure it gets safely to the charity then send ‘thank you’s’ to everyone who donated or helped out. Now you can relax!

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About Author

Bex Band works as a Community Fundraiser and Events Manager for a small international development charity. She is passionate about charity work and enjoys volunteering for a number of charities in her spare time.