Hosting a Charity Event on a Budget

Many nonprofits make money as a result of their business activities. For example, Red Cross makes money by charging for training courses and products, but they also accept donations. Other nonprofits have to rely largely on fundraising efforts to pay their expenses. And fundraising can be grueling. Making phone calls, handing out flyers on sidewalks, and going door-to-door can make you feel a little like a used car salesman. But for most nonprofit companies, it’s one of the necessities of the business. In fact, without a certain amount of donations every year, these companies would have to close their doors almost immediately. And one of the classier ways they do this is by hosting charity events. They can be auctions, balls, sporting events, and more. If you’re hosting these events to raise money, the last thing you want to do is spend a fortune on putting them on. If you follow these tips, you’ll be able to host a great event without breaking the bank.

Use a free venue

If you run a nonprofit, you may already have access to a free space to host an event. But even if you don’t, there are probably plenty of businesses in town who would love to help out. One example would be the local country club. You may be able to use their golf course free or for a portion of the proceeds to host a charity golf tournament. Other places you could check into are community centers, Boy Scout buildings, or hospital event rooms. And rather than buying everything you need for a one-time use, consider renting. For example, if you’re hosting a children’s charity event in New York, you can check into a throne chair rental NYC. You can use a throne as a photo booth opportunity, a “queen or king for a day” event, or even a place for Santa to sit at a Christmas party.

Use free entertainment

Rising talent and area bands are often willing to perform for charity events at no cost for the chance to be heard. But that’s not the only type of entertainment you can use. Another idea is a silent disco. Attendees wear headphones and dance to tunes on their smartphones. You either have them all tune into the same song or they can listen to their own. You can also hire a DJ to pipe music into their headphones if you wish. The point is that anyone not wearing headphones can’t hear a thing. But as an alternative to music, you can use magicians, comedians, or motivational speakers. The best entertainment might be the ones who will volunteer their services for free.

Host a cook-off

A cook-off can include one type of food or several categories. For example, you might host a barbecue cook-off on one side and a bake-off for desserts on the other. The participants can be charged a small fee to enter and then you can combine those fees for the prize. If it’s local businesses participating, however, they are sometimes happy with a newspaper write-up in lieu of a cash prize. And you make money from the fees you charge patrons at the door. This is a great way to offer food and fun for little out-of-pocket cost for you.

Find inexpensive decorations

The decor you use for charity events doesn’t have to be expensive. Keep your eyes open all year for bargains and sales. For example, you might find a Target liquidation sale where you can purchase a pallet of regularly used items, such as chairs and tables. Or you might find a going-out-of-business sale at a local party supply store. Just try to collect things over the course of the year that you can use again and again.