Is putting on a charity event right for you?

by Daphne Kirkwood

Since 2011, Daphne Kirkwood and iDaph Events have been designing and producing events and have successfully implemented many different tactics for designing, planning and organizing events so that on race day, the event runs smoothly and as stress-free as possible.

iDaph’s new educational series, iDaph iNsight, is designed to help you enhance and grow your existing events. If you’re looking to learn more about event planning and growth strategies, please read our blog and subscribe to our iDaph Events YouTube channel. 

As a Race Director, I get a lot of questions about how to run an event — ESPECIALLY charity events.

People often say to me, “Hey we really want to raise money for our non-profit organization. Can you help us?”

Before you start your planning, here are the top five things you need to think about to determine if starting up an event for your non-profit is right for you.

#1: Do you have a supportive organization with a good leadership team and lots of volunteers?

Hosting an event for your cause requires solid leadership, organization, and a committed leadership team. Do you have a leadership committee in place? If you build an event, you want to make sure you have a group of people who are dedicated to seeing the event through and ensure its success.

Does your organization have lots of supportive volunteers? Volunteers are the backbone of your event! They will help keep your event running smoothly and reduce a lot of stress. Most 5k events require at least 25-40 volunteers, so keep that in mind in your planning.

Hosting a 5k run sounds like a good idea and most people think it is a great way to raise lots of money for your organization. But realistically, communities are saturated with 5k running events, and sometimes there are multiple 5ks on the same day. Which leads us to #2.

#2: Do you have a date in mind?

Having a season in mind and then honing in a few different date possibilities that work for your organization are key. Once you have these dates in mind, look at the community calendar and see what other events are happening that same time of year and date. The worst possible thing you can do is create an event that happens on an already existing event in the community. It will further saturate the event community and weaken your event participation.

The next thing to consider when determining if a charity event is right for you is:

#3: Have you determined the preferred location for your event?

If so, have you secured this spot? Finding a location and gaining permission and access is key to hosting a charity event. Before you spend a lot of time determining your race date, make sure that the location is available that you are looking for. And as mentioned in Tip #2, find someplace original to host your event. This unique location alone will help boost participation numbers and make the event a success.

#4: Make sure your event format is ORIGINAL and UNIQUE!

Instead of spending all your efforts on a typical event that is already happening in your community, determine a new and creative race format and idea. Whether it is a running, cycling, multi-sport, kids, themed event or during a holiday, creating a unique style of event is key.

#5: Finally, ask your organization what is the fundraising goal for this event?

If you have a solid leader, event committee, group of volunteers, a unique format and an original location and a date for your event that doesn’t interfere with existing events, you are on your way to have a successful event. Organizations hosting inaugural events should be realistic about their fundraising goals for the first year. You will want to bring enough revenue to cover expenses and to hopefully have a little bit of profit. Typically, events take 3 to 6 years to see financial growth and for organizations to reach revenue goals. Your two main sources of revenue for an event will be participants and community partnerships.

I hope this video helps you determine whether a charity event is right for you. Please feel free to share it with your event planning team, and if you have more questions or would like more information, please reach out to me personally at daphne@idaph.net. Drop a comment below and let us know how we can continue to support you and your team with your event planning.

I will see you in the next iDaph Insights Video.


Past iDaph Blogs

Wave Starts for Light Up the Night 5K

Wave Starts for Light Up the Night 5K

The 2nd Annual Light Up the Night 5K looks quite different from last year's 5K. Due to COVID-19 and the guidelines we are putting in place in order to adhere to the current NC guidelines AND encourage social distancing, PLEASE READ AND FOLLOW THE RULES AND CHANGES TO...

2020 Asheville Off Road Series: We will see you in 2021

2020 Asheville Off Road Series: We will see you in 2021

The Asheville Off Road Series at Biltmore Estate is a unique, challenging event that has grown into a local and regional favorite over the years. Our 2019 event was our biggest event to date, and we were anticipating an even bigger number in 2020. We were looking...