How to Organise a Fundraising Event
As a Parents Association much of your work will involve organising events to raise funds for the school. If you are a new committee and haven’t organised fund raising events before we hope you will find the guidelines set out below useful. More detailed guidelines on organising specific fundraising events are available here on schooldays.ie.
In organising any fundraising event you must first and foremost, decide on the sort of event you want to run and what sort of people are likely to attend your event. Can you persuade them to bring their friends?
It is important to give yourself plenty of time to plan your proposed event. A well-planned event will lead to more support, more money, and will hopefully be more enjoyable.It is important to take the following into consideration when organising your own event:
Once you have decided on the event idea you need to work out a budget for your event, including the following as a guideline:
- Printing costs
- Hire of venue
- First Aid
You should try to cover the above cost with entry fees/ticket sales. Estimate how many you expect to attend your event, and the potential income. Don't worry if you don't have every thing you need, lots of local businesses will be happy to help with money to sponsor the event or loan of equipment etc., all you need do is offer them free publicity from the event. It is amazing how quickly it all adds up.
How do I organise the event
You've now decided on your chosen event and what you need for your event to take place. Hopefully have a team of people all willing to do their bit. Give yourself plenty of time so that you complete all required tasks. For example, you may need flyers/posters; you need to consider design time, printing time and delivery time.
Choosing the date
Choose the date for your event carefully. Consult with other schools or groups in your area who might be holding similar events. You do not want your date to conflict with another local school hosting a similar function. You also need to ensure that your school in not involved in any major sporting events away from the school on that date. Check also that you don’t coincide
with large/national sporting events which might mean that many Dads are ‘unavailable’ to participate in your event!
A sure way to a successful event is publicity. Depending on the nature of the event is may only be appropriate to send out notices to the parents in the school. If you are seeking to attract the wider public it might be useful to send out a press release to local newspapers. Things to remember when preparing a press release:
- What is the event
- What is it in aid of
- When is it happening
- Where is it taking place
- Include a contact name and address number for extra details
If you would like a photographer to attend your event, contact your local newspapers well in advance. Post-event publicity is often useful; so don't forget your camera and send your own photo after the event, with a summary of what took place - this is an ideal way to thank participants.
If you've never done a press release before here are some top tips:
1. Make the headline catchy (look at what the papers use)
2. In the first paragraph tell the whole story (briefly) make sure you include what, where, when and why.
3. Keep it simple, snappy and entertaining
4. Write about yourself as though you are in the third person e.g. St Trinians school will be holding a Summer Fair to raise funds for ……….
5. At the end of your release include contact details so that the press can call you for further information.
Posters/flyers are another effective form of publicity - local shops, libraries, community centres etc will display these for you. Ask for permission if you wish to display posters in a public area.
Sponsorship based events
If you are organizing an event that requires sponsorship, such as fun runs, bike rides, walks, etc, click here for some sample sponsorship cards
Check with the venue to see if you require a license for the sale of drinks/food or entertainment.
Click here for guidelines on running specific fund raising events such as fashion shows, school fairs etc.
A Friendly Disclaimer
We hope you find these tips useful. They are however only tips and we don’t claim to be experts or cover all the angles. We don’t accept responsibility for any loss where anyone acts or refrains from action as a result of material on this web page.