How to plan a fundraiser event

Fundraising or awareness events are important tools in combatting rare disease by educating the public while raising funds for people in need. Below are some tips for getting started on hosting your own event.

Start here:

  • Come up with an idea. Use CVC’s Pinterest board for creative suggestions.
  • Pick a date and time. Check your local community calendar to make sure another major event the same weekend won’t deplete your potential attendees.
  • Pick and reserve a location. Consider educational institutions, outdoor community areas or local businesses.
  • Set goals for the event. Where will the money go? How will the money be collected? Find a 501(c)3 organization if you want donations to be tax-deductible.
  • If needed, find sponsors. Find out if an organization related to your cause can help. Visit local businesses or see if your friends and family have contacts that can help.
  • Gather a committee to help with planning.

Plan:

  • Make a timeline of when you’ll accomplish logistics like organizing a planning committee, securing sponsorships, marketing tasks, etc.
  • Budget your expenses. A general rule of thumb is to make your expenses 20 percent of dollars raised.

Tip: For your first event, get ideas and resources from those who have planned one before and who offer free advice online. Build on that in years to come.

Market:

  • Brainstorm who your audience is. Who will you invite?
  • Give the event personal appeal by telling a story about the event. Why are you holding this event? Use that story in every step of marketing.
  • Create an event logo. Put it on everything.
  • Take some photos that illustrate your story to include as you spread the word.
  • Create an event page on Facebook. Share on your page. Ask or incentivize your friends to post. Spread as widely as possible.
  • Contact local newspapers, TV and radio stations with event details, story, logo and photos.

Tips: Use numbers for credibility. Put a person at the heart of the story.

Organize:

  • Recruit volunteers to help with logistics.
  • Have a timeline of the event.
  • Thank people publicly at the event.

Tools:

To get started, check out this Pinterest board with tons of creative event ideas—from getting people to sponsor your next haircut to holding a festival in the park.

Toolkit

We’ve also put together resources for you to use in your own fundraisers. Click the button below to download a zip file folder of useful documents including:

  • Caring Voice Coalition logo in pixel and vector formats.
  • Email appeal template.
  • Press release template and tips.
  • Caring Voice Coalition brochure.
Download kit

For more on raising awareness, read CVC’s Advocacy & Awareness edition of Community magazine.

Some tips were inspired by helpful information from the Global Genes Project and the Pulmonary Hypertension Association.