Hosting a benefit gives you the opportunity to raise money, without spending a lot of money on the event. Benefits can be as simple as dinner offered in the community, or as complex as a benefit concert to raise money for a charity or organization. To cut back on your overall costs, you ask for donations. Request donations from everyone involved in the event and a large number of others in the community.
As soon as you decide to host a benefit event, make a list of charities and organizations in the area that might help. For example, if you're hosting a benefit to raise money for the family of a firefighter that died of cancer, you might ask for help from cancer societies and local fire companies. Write a simple letter explaining the reason behind the benefit and where the proceeds will go. Send letters to organizations in your city and state, with details on when you need donations and the type of donations you need.
Solicit donations from local businesses for your benefit. Make a list of everything you need and divide volunteers into small groups, sending the groups to different businesses. Include smaller and less expensive items, such as napkins and food donations, as well as larger items. Some businesses and stores might want to help, but can't afford to donate any of the larger items you need. You can also ask the businesses to hang posters or flyers for the benefit, gaining advertising for the event.
Ask for help from people in the community, especially those connected to the event. Volunteers can donate their time, working during the benefit to seat people, serving as security guards, making food or taking care of children. You also need people to donate smaller items, especially if you can't get enough donations through other means. Community members might donate ingredients for a benefit dinner or bottled water for a benefit concert that takes place on a hot day.
Never underestimate the power of local celebrities, including radio DJs, newscasters, reporters and athletes. Ask celebrities to donate their time to appear at the benefit, signing autographs for fans or giving a short speech before the benefit begins. You can also ask famous people to donate signed memorabilia and offer those items for sale during a live or silent auction to raise additional money.
Jennifer Eblin has been a full-time freelance writer since 2006. Her work has appeared on several websites, including Tool Box Tales and Zonder. Eblin received a master's degree in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design.