Planning your own event

Whether you want to hold a sponsored walk or a glamorous ball, read our top tips for holding your own fundraising event before you start.

1. Don't go it alone

Gather a group of friends or colleagues who can form the basis of an organising committee.

2. Decide what you want to do

Decide what would appeal most to the people you and the committee know. If your friends are out in the hills every weekend, maybe a sponsored climb would be more appealing than an expensive black-tie benefit. But if they're all party animals, a cycle ride might not be the way to go!

Rule No. 1: You should be able to name at least 50% of people who you know will take part in/attend the event before you start. Remember, advertising does not sell tickets and even a great idea does not sell tickets - only people sell tickets.

3. Set a budget and goals

Draw up a budget and goals for the event, including gross and net income, number of tickets to be sold, number of raffle prizes to be obtained, etc. Think how much you wish to raise for Leonard Cheshire; ideally your costs should not be more than 50% of what you raise. Think about how you will deal with deposits and up front costs if you will not receive revenue until later - perhaps you could have an 'early-bird' ticket price to encourage people to buy early, or perhaps you need a sponsor.

Decide how many people you aim to attend (remember rule no. 1) and how much you can sell tickets for (or how much you'll expect them to raise). Are there other ways you can raise income, e.g. by adding a raffle or auction, or by asking companies or friends to provide cash sponsorship? Then list all the expenses you can think of: rental of a location, invitation/ticket printing, food and drink (including corkage), insurance, flowers, entertainment/music, transport, etc.

4. Contact Leonard Cheshire

Contact the events team. We will give you fundraising materials such as posters, sponsorship cards, t-shirts and collection buckets for your event.

5. Draw up a plan of action

Draw up a plan of action with action items, a deadline for each action, and a person assigned to each action.

For instance, think of things like booking a venue, finding raffle items, designing materials, press releases for local paper's and radio stations, and then assign each responsibility to a particular person with a deadline to finish the task by.

Remember to check things like insurance, collection permits (for street collecting), how you will look after the money etc.

6. Anticipate the worst

Think about what could go wrong and always have a contingency plan.

  • Outdoors events - Is your event outdoors? What if it rains? Check the weather to see if you need to bring umbrellas or suncream!
  • Health and safety - don't forget to take fire hazards, first aid and the environment into account. Organise stewards to direct people in case of emergency and have St. John's Ambulance on standby for sporting events.

7. During the event

Will you need volunteers from the committee to take tickets, sell raffle tickets, make a speech etc? Will you need people to help clean up?

8. After the event

How are you going to look after the money you raise and get it to Leonard Cheshire? (Cheque or bank draft, safe/cash box, bank account?)

Don't forget to thank everyone who helped. A phone call is nice, a personal note even better.

9. Legalities

For a guide to the legal side of holding an event 'in aid of' Leonard Cheshire, please read our legal guidelines for events.