Hosting a Charity Event

The only thing better than hosting a great party is planning one that benefits a worthy cause to boot. Any business, from a large corporation to a small startup, can make a difference and gain public brand awareness through a charity event.

Aside from the obvious benefits that comes along with hosting a charitable event (giving back to your community and/or charitable causes), cause marketing can also have a very positive impact on your bottom line, making it a win-win situation for your business and the charity of your choosing.

In a day-and-age when businesses really seem to only be out for themselves, showing that you care about something other than making money can do a whole lot for your image, which in turn, can do a whole lot for your success (hey, as a business owner in Phoenix, Scottsdale or Paradise Valley, you always have to have business on your mind, even when you are doing good for others). When your community sees that you are caring and compassionate, they will be more likely to want to visit your establishment.

Charity event planning takes a considerable amount of time, even more time if you’ve never run any kind of fundraiser.   The success of events depends on careful planning.  According to the Fundraising Authority, here are the ten major steps that you must incorporate into your event plan:

10 Steps to Charity Event Planning Success

You need to incorporate solid charity event planning to make your business’s time, effort, and budget worth it. As you read through the ten step guide below, jot down notes to strengthen your initial proposal when you bring it up in a board meeting or your close-knit office crew.

  1. Define a Purpose:  Before doing anything else, you must decide what the purpose of your event is. Is this truly a fundraising event? Or does it have other goals? Perhaps your organization may be hoping to raise money at the event, but the main function of the event is to gain publicity, or reach out to a new network. Many charitable events have more than one goal. Figuring out the details for your event will depend on knowing what goals you are trying to achieve.
  2. Decide on a Fundraising Goal:  In conjunction with the event host committee, organization staff, and key fundraisers, you must decide what amount of money you plan to raise at the event. If this is truly a fundraising event, then everything in the event plan will be geared to raising this specific amount of money. The amount you choose should be what you hope to net, that is, the amount you plan to raise after expenses are deducted.
  3. Set a Budget:  Every fundraising event plan should contain a complete budget listing all of the expenses that will be required to hold the event. Your budget should include staff, invitations, space rental, catering, entertainment, transportation, security, utilities, and anything else that will be required to make the event a success. Your budget should take into account your fundraising goal, ensuring that you raise that amount above and beyond all expenses. Be sure to leave a little extra room in your budget for unforeseen costs.
  4. Choose Leadership:  As part of your fundraising efforts, your event will most likely have a “host committee” and one or more “host committee chairpersons.” These people are responsible for contributing substantial amounts to the event and encouraging others to do the same. The host committee is generally composed of wealthy donors, business leaders, or local celebrities. The host committee and chairpersons are not responsible for actually running the event, but are integral to ensuring that you reach your fundraising goals.
  5. Decide on Target Audience:  Who is the target audience for your event? Is this a general fundraiser where everyone will be invited? Or is this event geared towards a specific group like business people, parents, or young professionals? In short, you must decide whom you will invite to your event.
  6. Plan Set – Up:  Your event staff should plan the event set-up well in advance. The set-up includes all of the particulars of the actual event: Where will it be? Will food be served? Will there be entertainment? What kind of dress will be required? What is the itinerary for the event? Do you want to use valet parking services or hire a caterer?
  7. Determine Marketing:  Just like a new product, your event needs to be aggressively marketed to your target audience. You need to convince your supporters that your organization and event are worthy of their time and money. Draw up an entire marketing plan for the event. Possible methods of “getting the word out” include: using your non-profit’s fundraising network, mailed invitations, direct mail, phone banks, word of mouth and the event host committee.
  8. Decide on Sales Method:  Once you market your event, there must be a procedure in place for making the actual ticket sales, or accepting donations for the event. You must decide whether there will be different contribution levels for the event (such as a flat ticket charge, an extra charge to be invited to a V.I.P. reception in addition to the event, etc.). You must decide who will sell the tickets, how they will be shipped or delivered, and who will be responsible for organizing the incoming information.
  9. Schedule a Practice Run:  While you probably won’t need a full run-through of your event, it is essential that everyone who is working the event know, ahead of time, what their responsibilities are, where they should be during the event, and how the event is going to “flow.” If you are having a large or unusual event, the key event staff may want to have a practice run to make sure that your operation is running smoothly.
  10. Send Thank – You:  One of the most oft heard complaints from contributors to charitable fundraising events is, “They never even said ‘thank-you.’” Ditto for your event volunteers. Make sure that the organization takes the time to send thank-you notes to everyone who is involved in your event, including contributors, volunteers, staff and vendors. Keep your donors happy… you’re probably going to be asking them for another donation sometime down the road.

Once you have made these decisions, the step is to implement your plan.  You’ve chosen an event space and a set your itinerary, but have you thought about how guests will be welcomed? The first impression sets the tone for your evening, so you should choose a team of hosts to represent you at or before guests reach the entrance.

American Valet has partnered with charity organizations in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Paradise Valley throughout our 37 years in business.  We understand what it takes to impress your guests.  American Valet employees can run a smooth car check operation and utilize the available parking lots to their fullest. This alleviates guest concern for finding parking or having a long walk to the venue. In addition, valet services establish a level of luxury from the moment a valet opens the car door and greets each individual with a smile.

 

Please contact American Valet to arrange parking for your next charitable event or private party in Phoenix, Scottsdale or Paradise Valley.  Call us at (602) 424-8347 to learn more.