When and where your event happens have a big impact on its success.
You've decided on:
- your fundraising goals for the event,
- the audience you want to target with the event, and
- the kind of fundraising event you want to host.
Now: based on those decisions, when should event occur and where?
Setting the Date
A little research can avoid a big disaster. It's important to know what else your target audience is doing before you decide on the event date.
- If families are involved, consider school schedules.
- Be aware of religious holidays.
- If you're reaching out to movers and shakers, avoid orchestra nights or other major benefits.
Many communities maintain calendars where you can check for other
events and post yours. Poll your board and committee members to avoid
conflicts with major arts or sports events.
Be sure to factor in:
- When you will need the event income
- How long it takes to plan and promote the event
Choosing the Location
Keep in mind that many popular locations are booked months in advance. You'll want to consider the following:
- Appeal: Your location can be part of the draw, especially if
it hasn't been used for events in the past or is generally available
only to members.
- Accessibility: The location should be easy to find and within a reasonable driving distance for most of your target audience.
- Space and Flow: Make sure there is enough space to
accommodate planned activities in a way that allows your audience to
move around easily and get to everything you want them to experience.
- Parking for volunteers and attendees.
- Cost. In addition to the actual cost of renting the
venue, be sure to consider what it will take to make your event happen
there. For example:
- Are you required to use their catering or can you bring in your own or donated food?
- Will you need a tent, rented tables and chairs, a generator,
valet parking, liquor or other special permits? All of these items can
blow your budget.
With the event, audience, date, and location lined up, you are ready to create a budget and determine how you will staff your fundraising event.
Photo courtesy Kristen Limbert