The Ultimate Fundraising Event Planning Checklist: 1st Steps

The Ultimate Fundraising Event Planning Checklist: 1st Steps

When it comes to fundraising, a well-executed event can make all the difference. Not only can it help you raise money, but it can also create new donors and increase retention rates among existing donors. 

However, it can also be stressful! So much goes into a nonprofit fundraising event, and keeping everything in place without a clear plan is like trying to wrangle a herd of cats — you’ll end up with a lot of holes.

Our fundraising event planning checklist is the perfect tool to help you keep your event organized and ensure you cover all of the important details. Whether you’re planning a small charity event or a large gala, this checklist will help you stay on track and get your event planning rolling.

Select date

The first step in planning a fundraising event is to select a date. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s an important step to take care of early in the event planning process.

Consider the following factors when choosing a date for your event:

  • Previous years’ fundraising goals and activity levels
  • Major donor availability
  • The fundraising calendar of other nonprofit organizations
  • The overall fundraising strategy of your nonprofit

Select location

The next step in planning your fundraising event is to select and reserve a location. The location you choose will be based on several factors, including the type of event you’re planning, the size of your guest list, and your budget.

If you’re planning an intimate event, consider holding it at a private residence or a small venue. If you’re planning a larger event, you’ll need to find a venue that can accommodate your guest list. Consider holding your event outdoors or at a community center to help keep costs down if you’re planning on a tight budget. 

No matter what type of event you’re planning, be sure to choose a location that is convenient for your guests and easy to access.

The Ultimate Fundraising Event Planning Checklist

Pick event type & theme

Now that you’ve selected a date and location for your fundraising event, it’s time to pick an event type and theme. The type of event you choose will be based on your fundraising goals, your target audience, and the resources you have available.

Some popular fundraising event types include:

  • Galas
  • Auctions
  • Cocktail parties
  • Golf tournaments
  • Fashion shows
  • Trivia night

Once you’ve chosen an event type, it’s time to pick a theme. Your event’s theme should reflect your organization’s mission and values. Keep your target audience and fundraising goals in mind when choosing an event type and theme and you can start fleshing out the details.

Set financial goals

Your fundraising goal should be based on your event budget, your target audience, and your overall fundraising strategy.

Once you’ve set a financial goal for your fundraising event, you can start planning ways to reach it. Consider a live or silent auction, sponsorship options, raffle tickets, or item sales. 

Select fundraising platform

Choosing a fundraising platform like MaxGiving allows you to focus on planning your event and your donors without worrying about details like tracking donations, tickets, auction items, and sponsors. This software takes the stress out of event planning and helps you run a smooth, organized charity event with real-time donation reporting and a user-friendly interface.

MaxGiving Fundraising

Create fundraising page

Once you’ve selected a fundraising platform, it’s time to create your fundraising page. This is where potential donors will go to learn more about your event and make a donation.

Include all the important details about your event on your fundraising page, such as the date, time, location, and event type. You’ll also want to include a brief description of your organization and its mission.

Add photos and videos to your fundraising page to help give potential donors a feel for your event. MaxGiving offers a fully-customizable plug & play fundraising page where you can provide event information, sell tickets, offer live and silent auctions, and collect donations and payments. Plus, you can upload your organization’s brand colors, fonts, and logos with the click of a button. With MaxGiving’s fundraising software, you can create a beautiful page for your nonprofit event — even if you know nothing about web design.

Creating an event fundraising page through Max Giving is especially useful because it allows you to start selling tickets as soon as you have a date, time, and location for your event. The sooner you can start selling tickets, the better! 

Develop a marketing plan

Allocate enough money in your budget to cover the cost of marketing and promotional materials. After all, you won’t get any guests to attend your event if no one knows about it!

There are several ways to market your fundraising event, including social media, email marketing, direct mail, and print advertising. The most important thing is to reach as many potential donors as possible and get them excited about your event. Be sure to promote your fundraising event well in advance so you can maximize attendance and donations.

Planning a fundraising event can be a lot of work, but it’s also a lot of fun. By following this simple checklist, you can make sure your event is a success. And remember, with the right software in place, fundraising doesn’t have to be difficult. MaxGiving makes fundraising easy — so you can raise more. Stress less. Check out to learn more about how we can help!

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