Family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and even local businesses and organizations can all fall victim to accidents, illness, disease and catastrophe. When someone is overwhelmed by a difficult situation, a kind-hearted or civic-minded person or group can hold a benefit to raise money to help the recipient or recipients to overcome a challenge.
How to Begin
Before any fund-raising or benefit activity, identify the needs of the recipient. Tactfully and sensitively ensure that the individual, family or organization wants assistance by communicating with them first. An organizing lead who is the main liaison between the benefit's volunteers and the individual or group who will be helped can ensure respectful charitable efforts and be a key to the success of the activities.
Setting a target goal will help you to visualize the event and its components. A bake sale to raise $500 for a Girl Scout field trip will require different planning than a dinner and silent auction to raise $25,000 to pay hospital bills for a friend who's been in a car accident. A target goal for how much is required from the benefit will help determine how to advertise, whom to approach for assistance with planning the benefit, and what types and how many activities or events are appropriate for the situation.
Use the power of the Internet to publicize your benefit and invite the community. Sites like GoFundraise.com, YourCause.com and CrazyFundraisers.com can boost charitable efforts through the worldwide web and extend the reach of any benefit events or campaigns. Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube are more Internet avenues to consider to get the word out about fund-raising events.
Communication is Key
Getting the word out is an important part of organizing a benefit. The more people who know about the situation and the effort, the more people can participate in the event(s). Signs, posters, fliers, newspaper ads, announcements, meetings, agendas, schedules. and phone calls are all important elements in planning and organizing a charitable benefit. Effective publicity and marketing are essential to a successful fund-raising event, and are ways to involve the community in the benefit, as newspapers and local businesses may want to donate advertising or materials and services.
Always thank everyone who helped to plan and organize a fund raiser, including advertisers, large donors and any organizations involved. Most people enjoy a "pat on the back," and everyone should be thanked for their contributions publicly, if possible.