Tips for... Community Fundraising Events
Do you want to raise money for your organisation by organising an event in your community?
Events, of all sizes, in the community are a very popular way of raising funds.
There are many different types of event that you can organise in your community to help you raise funds for your work including, for example, a sponsored activity such as a walk or fun-run, or social events such as a street party or fête; a dance for young people, a coffee morning in your local venue, a car-boot or cake sale.
A well-run event can earn valuable funding for your organisation as well as make you better known in the community. However, sometimes they can take a great deal of effort on your part for little or no return. An outdoor event is also subject to elements beyond your control, which can affect its success, such as the weather.
Therefore, as part of your planning you should always evaluate the fundraising potential of the event against the risk of losing money and how much work you and your colleagues will need to invest to make it happen. Regardless of the size of the event you will always need good planning and the help of your staff or volunteers to make it a success.
Remember, the event should also be enjoyable for everyone attending – including your staff and volunteers! If people are enjoying themselves they will be more willing to donate to your cause as well as join in with future events you organise.
When thinking of the type of event to organise it is worth considering whether it will have the f-Factor! These are themes that have proved popular at attracting supporters to an event. For example, will your event contain elements of any of the following: Fame; Family and Friends; Fantasy and a Flutter; Farce; Fashion; Fear/Fright; Finding Out; Fitness; Food; or something for Free?
The Reading Half-Marathon is an example of one of the biggest and most successful sponsored events in the town, raising many thousands of pounds each year for a wide cross-section of local charitable organisations. In addition to the event itself being sponsored by businesses, many of the participants raise money for a cause of their choice by getting themselves sponsored by friends & family or work colleagues. Some local charities even provide marshals, stewards etc. for the event in return for resources from the organisers.
But you can also arrange a smaller scale event purely for your own organisation, for example, a sponsored walk around your local park. But you will need to consider your potential liability should anything go wrong, e.g. someone getting injured on a sponsored bike ride, and make sure that a full risk assessment is conducted first to try and cover all eventualities.
Good practice for sponsored events:
Think about whether any donors might be interested in taking part in an activity that they could also be sponsored in aid of your organisation;
Check that the event meets health and safety regulations and does not impact adversely on the local environment.
Why not arrange a more social type of event, for example: a small fête; a cheese and wine party; a tea dance; a dance for young people; or a celebrity/themed dinner and dance. You can sell tickets for the event in advance and, where possible, also organise to have other fundraising activities taking place during it, for example, a raffle; a fundraising auction; or tombola.
Good practice for public events:
Contact the Reading Borough Council - Licensing Team to check whether a licence is required for the event or individual fundraising activity – see Related Information above;
Ensure volunteers and staff attending the event are fully briefed;
Ensure the venue complies with health and safety regulations and is accessible for all;
See also the Institute of Fundraising's Code of Fundraising Practice section on ‘Events’ – See the link to the relevant Institute of Fundraising web page in External Links below.
Also see Attachments below for a list of community fundraising events, which may give you some ideas for your own.
If you are planning an event that involves others you should always give insurance proper consideration.
The first step in identifying and organising suitable, and sufficient, insurance cover for your event is to carry out a risk assessment. This will help you to identify any possible hazards to your team, participants and the general public. (For more information about doing a risk assessment please see External Links below)
Consider all the issues your risk assessment has highlighted and make sure you have sufficient insurance cover in place where you might be subject to a claim, for example, if something is damaged or someone is injured participating in the event. In some instances you can even insure your “outdoor” event against the risk of bad weather!
Also, make sure that any venue you are using has insurance that covers your event, particularly the type of activity you are organising, and if you are hiring any equipment or service ensure that they are fully insured.
Never take a risk – make sure that you have sufficient insurance cover in place for all eventualities. If in doubt always seek professional advice from an insurance broker. Insuring your event is sometimes surprisingly cheap and easy to organise.
For more information on any of our services use Contact this service below.
Reading Borough Council does not necessarily endorse or recommend any of the links or services below. Please note: when you follow these links you will leave this site.
|institute-of-fundraising.org.uk||Institute of Fundraising: Code of Fundraising Practice
|how2fundraise.org||Risk Assessments: Web guide from the Institute of Fundraising about how to carry out your own Risk Assessment
|gamblingcommission.gov.uk||Gambling Commission Website: Information about running a community lottery from the Gambling Commission
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