Fundraisers and Charity Events

Fundraising & Charity Event Ideas and Planning Tools

Planning a fundraiser or charity event can be both rewarding and exhausting.  Gather a great group of volunteers and read through these fundraiser party tips and you're off to a great start with your big day!  The advice is free, and we're glad to help. In fact, if you can't find the answer on these pages, just ask the Party Girl!

organizing your benefit or charity event
When you're planning a benefit, you want every big challenge and every little detail to turn out absolutely perfect. But you'll be counting a great deal on lots of volunteers, and you can't be assured that all of them will do everything 100% accurately, on time, or to the satisfaction of the Executive Committee. 
  • Event Chairs - oversee the entire event
  • Executive Committee - help coordinate with the chairs
  • Ad/Program Book Committee - help solicit ads and help with layout of programs and ad books
  • Auction Committee (Live And/Or Silent) - solicit live and silent auction items
  • Corporate Underwriting Committee - help solicit sponsors for the event
  • Decorations Committee - in charge of food and decor for the event
  • Table Host Chairs - responsible for finding people who will fill individual tables
  • Invitation and Publicity Committee - in charge of invitations and marketing

theme ideas for your benefit or charity event
Choosing a theme can turn a fundraiser into an extra special event everyone will remember.  Here are some of our favorite themes:

  1. rock n' roll fund raiser - A rockin' party at a bowling alley with the lights low and disco balls spinning will put everyone in the mood to celebrate and raise money.
  2. scavenger hunt - A photo scavenger hunt where friends or co-workers team up to take pictures of themselves accomplishing outlandish feats of wit and wisdom as outlined by a list of clues provided by the charity. The team with the most points wins.
  3. you oughta be in pictures - YOU OUGHTA BE IN PICTURES is a fundraiser that includes the world's greatest photo opportunities (if you do it right!). Turning various portions of the room into different movie scenes where guests can step in and become part of the film on film makes this one interesting evening.
  4. popcorn ball - Using the always fun circus theme that brings out the kid in everyone, you'll entertain your guests from the moment they walk in the door until they leave. They'll clown around and have three rings of fun all for a good cause-and have the memories to prove it.
Also, take a look at these corporate event theme parties for more ideas:

No matter what theme you choose, your guests will love going to a party that is anything but average.

money making ideas for your benefit or charity
publish an ad book - Sell advertisements for your program. This is a fabulous way to make money. Here's a sample ad book sales letter that can be used for your book. Don’t forget to contact the following people who are affiliated with your organization:

  • Vendors (e.g., your accounting firm, etc.)
  • Board of directors
  • Friends committee
  • Members who use your services
  • Local banks and hospitals
  • Personal contacts
hold a silent auction - This is also a great way to add dollars to your bottom line. Here's a sample silent auction request letter that can be used for your book.  You'll also need a donation form. Don’t forget to solicit gifts from:
  • Vendors
  • Local merchants
  • Personal contacts
  • Members who use your services
  • Vendors involved with the event (e.g., the caterer)
hold a live auction - Have a fabulous emcee, and use your best items to get attention. Don’t forget to list the most dynamic items in your invitation so that your guests know to bring their checkbooks or charge cards. If your organization does not take credit cards, a local bank will set up a temporary account.
add a raffle to the festivities - Allow guests to buy raffle tickets at a lesser price if they are purchased with the RSVP to the benefit. This allows those people who cannot attend the event the option of buying a raffle ticket and thus making a donation to your organization.
At the event itself, put the raffle prize on display. (Try to make the raffle prize great, like a fabulous cruise or large screen color TV. Sell the on-site tickets for 25 percent more.
Another hint? Use your Board members’ kids to sell the raffle tickets at the event. What adult can say no to a precocious 10-year-old dressed in a tuxedo or frilly dress?
favors for your charity or benefit event
Don't forget to thank your guests for coming with a personalized party favor.  Here are some fun ideas your guests will be sure to love and can be themed to match any party:

We hope you have a wonderful fundraiser!  Don't forget, we're here to help if you have questions.  Just ask the Party Girl!