How to Host a Fundraiser

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Whether you're trying to raise money for your organization or a charity, fundraising can be difficult if not planned right. Many people avoid hosting a fundraiser because they see the task as too overwhelming. But you can successfully host a fundraiser by following these tips.

Pick a theme. Before holding your event, choose a theme that will represent your cause. If you're raising money for an international adoption, bring in food and decor from that country. If you're trying to raise funds for a charity, come up with ideas that tie into your cause. Even the invitations or fliers should reflect the theme of your event.

Create a budget. Remember that you're trying to raise money, so you are going to have to work within a pretty tight budget. Ask vendors in your area if they would be willing to donate food, raffle prizes or other items for your fundraiser. Some may not have anything to donate but will give you money towards your cause.

Prepare a menu. Depending on your cause, you need to choose between a casual menu or a formal dinner. Some great fundraisers have featured a barbecue, while other successful events have included a 5-course meal. Since you are working within a limited budget, your menu will depend largely on what you can afford to spend. You can have an elegant meal on a small budget just by shopping around at warehouse grocery stores.

Plan the entertainment. You should have something planned besides just a dinner. One great way to raise even more money for your cause is to have a silent auction or even a public auction. You can ask local vendors to donate items to auction. You can also invite a band to play or have a talent show. Try to do something that ties into the evening's theme.

Present your cause. With all of your planning for the fundraiser, it's easy to forget why you are inviting these people here in the first place! Prepare a short presentation about your cause, showing everyone why you are desperate to raise funds and how they can help.


  • Don't be discouraged if you don't raise all of the money; sometimes people will donate after they've had time to think about an amount.

  • Don't pressure people into donating if they don't offer money at the event.


  • Ask others to help you in planning your event.

  • Set a goal of how much money you want to raise.

  • Give people opportunities to donate to your cause after the event.

  • Create a website for your event, so people can easily access information online.

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