THE ART OF CHARITY EVENT PLANNING
THE ART OF CHARITY EVENT PLANNING
Most of us think of charity events as black tie galas with an amazing array of silent auction offerings. But many charity events today don’t always look like this. However, what will always stay constant will be the focus on raising money for a charity that requires financial and community support. Now is the time most business leaders in the corporate community start thinking about developing their charity events for the season, and what events they want to support financially.
Walk Now benefit’s Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center (SARRC) and brings the community together to support the cause at Tempe Beach Park. Photos by Sensational Events
Currently, Sensational Events is producing three very different charity events; a dinner gala and live auction to benefit a local foundation; a Patriot Day Celebration in honor of 9-11 that benefits first responders; and an Urbanathlon, a 5 mile and 10 obstacle race and festival that benefits the Arizona Make-A-Wish Foundation. These events couldn’t be more different, but they are all charity driven.
BE CREATIVE when planning a charity event, whether it is a small event of 50 guests or a large group of 500. Know who your audience is and speak to them when designing your event such as location, event format, color palette, entertainment and menu selections.
Goodman Interior Structures created “Goodmans Chair Hockey Tournament” which is a perfect example of developing a fun and creative charity event that speaks to their industry.
Photos by ILLume Photography.
BE WISE. There is an art to producing a charity event and ensuring that the charity realizes a profit. For every dollar that is spent you need to receive three or four dollars in sponsorships or event ticket sales. That is a great barometer on how to guarantee your charity event is a success. Your budget should be your best friend.
BE INCLUSIVE when organizing your committee and make sure that the charity itself feels and gets involved. The more people who feel involved the more invested in the cause they become. It’s also very important to make sure you have committee members who have a large network of people to draw from, so that they can reach out to those they know to be involved and/or be guests at the event.
DBL Distributing is a leader in charitable giving. This event raised $200,000 to benefit the Arizona Boys & Girls Club and Jewish Family and Children’s Services. Photos by Sensational Events.
BE DETAILED. Everybody always kids me about my time lines and production schedules because they are so detailed. But without those details how can my events run seamlessly and have everyone on the same page? That also goes hand-in-hand with email and verbal communication. Nobody has time to communicate directly with each and every person involved with a phone call or meeting, so email is vital to get a clear message out so that everyone hears the same thing. Yes, I may be an over-communicator but at least everyone involved in my events knows all the details.
BE MEDIA SAVVY. The beauty of producing a charity driven event is that the media usually steps up and helps market the events if it’s going to benefit a legitimate 501 3(c) nonprofit organization. After spending 18 years in public relations with a focus on media relations, I use my skills to help my corporate clients with their charity events. Working with the media is a delicate balance between giving them the event information without all the fluff. Opportunities to look at may include asking a local celebrity to be the host of your event, develop media partnerships with local print, radio and television organizations and promote your event with event listings and social media.
BE TRUE to the charity and what they represent.
If you are interested in learning more about charity event planning or need assistance with your next event, please call Sensational Events. Want to create a charity event designed to reflect your company or industry? Sensational Events is all about innovative ideas!