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How To Organize A Fundraising Event: Our Step-By-Step Guide 


July 18, 2022

a team planning a fundraising event on a white board. There are four people sitting at a table taking notes, and one person at the white board pointing at one of many sticky notes used for organization.

How To Organize A Fundraising Event: Our Step-By-Step Guide

In addition to being an excellent way to raise awareness, support, and money for your organization or charity, hosting a fundraising event is an exciting and enjoyable affair. But just as the process goes with any event, organizing a fundraising event doesn’t happen overnight. Planning and organizing a fundraising event can take months to do. Still, the payoff afterward can bring so much success to your organization and will leave donors happy to have attended and grateful to be a supporter. 

Today we’re taking you through the step-by-step process of how to organize a fundraising event. From the early planning stages through execution, we’re breaking down the different types of fundraisers to help you start on the right foot towards a successful event. 

Step One: Setting Goals

It’s important to think about the type of fundraiser you want to put on. How will you measure success? What is the purpose of the fundraiser? Do you value raising awareness as a top priority? Or financial gains? 

Knowing your goals and the key metrics you’ll use to measure your success will influence the type of event you’ll want to put on, so make sure you’re on the same page as your team before diving too deep into an idea that is potentially misaligned. 

Step Two: Choose The Type Of Event

Fundraisers take on many different looks depending on the audience you’re catering to. From dance marathons to bake sales to soirees to concerts to contests and beyond, there are endless ways to get creative about ideas for a fundraising event.

To narrow down the best opportunities for your organization, we recommend analyzing the type of donors you want to attract. It’s easy to think that you’ll want to host an event that aligns with the people benefiting from the donations (i.e. your company’s interests or the interests of whomever you’re giving the money to). However, you’ll want to prioritize the interests of the people pulling out their checkbooks before anyone else. 

Would your donors enjoy a dinner party or wine tasting night? Perhaps something geared towards the whole family? Knowing the interests of your ideal attendees is a great way to choose an enjoyable and rewarding event. 

Other things to consider include the time of year and time of day you want to host the event, the number of people you’d like to attend, and the activities available within the area you want to hold the event. 

Step Three: Finalize Your Budget

Whether we like it or not, budgets play a big part in what the execution of an event will look like. Knowing yours well in advance can help you stay in check with expenses and optimize expenditures rather than over-stressing or having to pay extra last minute. 

Making sure you have an approximate budget outlined early on in the fundraising process can also help you set expectations among team members. Clear communication to make sure that everyone agrees with the allotted budget will save headaches down the road and will help you make buying decisions easier. 

Step Four: Decide How Many People Will Attend

Oftentimes, the number of attendees for a fundraiser is determined by the number of people a given space allows for, but if you have a general idea of how many people you’d like to attend the event, you can then go scout out an appropriately-sized venue. 

Having the earlier steps flushed out simplifies this step in the planning process. Given the set goals and the type of event you’d like to hold, how many attendees are required? 

Step Five: Book A Venue

Now comes the fun – booking a venue is an exciting step in the event-planning process because you can finally begin bringing your vision to life! Do you have a fancy fundraiser event in mind? Finding an event space that offers elegance and opulence will elevate your event to the next level. Ultimately, the venue helps set the scene and create the ambiance and atmosphere that will wow your guests. 

No matter the type of event you have in mind, The Centre Escondido’s indoor and outdoor venue spaces create the perfect canvas to make your fundraiser a smashing success. Located in North County San Diego, our eleven unique event spaces include floor-to-ceiling windows, views of the city, fire pits, state-of-the-art AV features, soundproof ceilings, views of the fountain, modern decor, and so much more.

Step Six: Get The Word Out

Now’s the time to begin advertising your fundraiser. You know the date and time of the event as well as the designated venue space, and once these details are sorted out you want to give attendees as much time as possible to mark their calendars and get whatever affairs are needed in order so that they can make it to the event. For some, this may mean making travel and boarding arrangements or scheduling a babysitter, which are better made with time to prepare. 

This step looks different for various types of fundraisers. For some, this looks like sending out invites, for others, this looks like opening up the online registration, launching ticket sales, and running ads. The bottom line is that at this step you should focus on making sure that the people who need to know and attend this event are given the opportunity to do so. 

Step Seven: Book Catering And Any Entertainment Or Activities

It’s always a good idea to book catering, entertainment, or other sorts of activities that require a reservation as early as possible, these details typically require a set date, time, and venue. In conjunction with Vintana, our in-house, award-winning restaurant, offering a delicious take on California cuisine, we’re thrilled to offer both venue and catering services to all of our guests–making the fundraising planning process that much more seamless and easy. 

Step Eight: Enjoy The Event

By this point, the big day is fast approaching. You’ve put in all your hard work to help raise as much money as possible and have gone above and beyond to ensure that the event will run successfully and be enjoyed by all. Now is the time to let everything fall into place and enjoy the fruits of your labor. 

If you have additional questions about planning your event, our team is here to help! With years of experience planning events of all types, from corporate networking to weddings and birthday celebrations, our experienced network has the advice and recommendations to make your fundraiser a success. Reach out to us today!