How to plan a successful charity event

The power and influence of a good fundraising event is undeniable. Done right, a successful event can attract new supporters, engage existing ones and create awareness as well as the all-important revenue. However, raising the most money possible isn’t your only goal – first you’ll need to get people through the door.

Here are 10 steps you should be taking to ensure a successful charity event.

1. Define your goals

It goes without saying that in order to start planning, you’ll first need to be clear on who you’re raising money for and why. Decide who you’d like to attend, what sort of event you’d like it to be, and what you want to achieve, including a fundraising total. Making these decisions will pave the way for all your decisions and help you create a plan of action.

2. Create a budget

Your main goal, of course, is to raise funds, so it’s important to keep your costs down where possible. Creating a budget will help you plan your costs to ensure you ultimately raise more than you spend on the event. Remember to factor in some extra budget for unpredictable costs and include every single detail so you don’t get any surprises further down the line.

The Just Giving charity awards event at The Brewery in 2018

3. Know your target audience

Establishing at an early stage who you want to attend your event will make it easier for you to both plan and market it successfully. Consider whether your charity appeals to a particular audience, and then think about what kind of event they’re likely to want to attend.

4. Find the right venue

When it comes to choosing a venue for your charity event, make sure you’re armed with all the right questions. Will it accommodate the number of people you’re hoping will attend? What’s included in the venue? Think outside the box and look into quirky spaces- choosing a unique and interesting venue is likely to encourage attendees to come along and create a real ‘buzz’ around your event.

The bespoke and unique event design

5. Establish a theme

Marketing your event solely as a ‘fundraiser’ isn’t going to encourage people to come. Inspire potential supporters by giving them a reason to check out your event, always keeping your target audience in mind.  Whether you opt for a silent disco or a tea party, offering your guests the opportunity to attend a fun day or evening out for a good cause will undoubtedly increase ticket sales.

6. Spread the word

When it comes to charity and fundraising events, marketing is particularly crucial. Utilise the power of social media as well as other digital channels, such as email marketing and content marketing to save on printing costs, and make full use of your online contacts and connections. Make a Facebook event, use advertising across Twitter and Instagram to target your audience geographically, and create a sense of urgency that the event tickets are in high demand to encourage people to grab a ticket while they can!

7. Make use of sponsors

When working to a budget, gaining the support of sponsors is vital. Luckily, many companies will already have some budget set aside for supporting events such as yours in return for branding, so don’t be afraid to get out there and ask the question. Start with local businesses and any that are relevant to the charity, and make sure that you thank them and maintain the relationship once the event has passed.

James Cordon high-fives on the event stage

8. Think about the details

Once your big decisions have been made, it’s time to consider the logistical details of the event. From layout and design to entry and exits, you’ll need to plan out everything in advance. Some venues for charity events will be able to take care of this for you, so make sure you ask what’s included at an early stage.

9. Choose your method of collecting donations

Try not to limit how you collect your donations, as you’ll want to make the donation process as easy as possible for your supporters. Choose an online ticketing platform for digital payments, and for those who can’t attend, or even for those that feel inspired whilst at your event, set up a ‘text to donate’ facility for easy and quick donations.

Johnny Vaughan comparing an event

10. Remember to say thank you

Whether you put together a thank you speech for the event, show appreciation on a website or send out a letter once the event is over, it’s important to express your gratitude for the generosity of your donors and sponsors. Recognition can even encourage future help and involvements, as well as solidifying relationships that can benefit both parties in the long-run.


The Brewery is a highly versatile event space which can a truly memorable backdrop for your charity event. We know that the goal of every event is different, and regardless of what you’re setting out to achieve, a dedicated member of our team will be at hand throughout the planning process, with your objectives as a priority. If you’re looking for a venue to hold your next charity fundraising event, get in touch with us today!