How To Organise A Charity Fundraising Or Community Event - Planning Checklist

Organising a charity fundraising, church or community event should be fun, but it needs to be done well to work well. This is a event planning checklist and ideas to make yours a success, whether it's a large charity gala dinner to local community sponsored walk.

Charity And Community Fundraising Event - Planning Checklist

Organising a charity or community fundraising event should be fun, but it needs to be done well to work well. This is a planning checklist and ideas for community events will enable you to make your fundraising event is a success.  There are sections for each event area to consider, with the actions you might need to take in each and links to other resources.  

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Organising A Charity Event - Planning Objectives

  • We are all clear on what the event is intended to achieve
    • Fundraising, raising our profile/PR, engaging our community and/or volunteers, launching a campaign
  • And the event has been planned to deliver on these priorities 
  • Taking into account the time and financial cost of organising the event, the fundraising and other benefits make it worthwhile to run the event 


Organising Staff And Volunteers For Events

  • Even if it's very simple, we have an event plan that ensures all relevant activities are identified
  • Everyone involved is aware of what their role is and when specific activities have to be carried out
  • We will have sufficient staff and volunteers to run the event well.
  • With the experience and skills needed.

If you need to recruit event volunteers this Charity Excellence resource explains how to do that and has links to a range of organisations that provide free help in finding volunteers. 

Charity Event Venue Checklist

  • Is fit for purpose, noting any restrictions, particularly fire limits on numbers
  • Disability access has been considered
  • Environmental impact has been assessed, particularly noise in a built-up area
  • For major events, police made aware and any advice complied with
  • Advising other groups, such as resident associations has been considered
  • There are adequate parking arrangements
  • Contingency plan in place, in case of cancellation, such as alternate location and provision for additional costs that may be incurred

Organising Open Air Events

In addition to the above:

  • Local Authority or other landowner permission has been obtained.
  • Permission for access has been granted, if necessary
  • Adequate provision for toilets, security, first aid and emergency service access has been made

Accessibility to Charity Events, Attractions at Events Or Food Available

  • Any limits on grounds of age, height or medical condition identified and complied with
  • Provision made for any special needs, such as dietary, medical conditions, or cultural/religious requirements
  • If applicable and subject to data protection consent being obtained - emergency contact names and numbers and/or details of medical conditions. 

Charity Events Safely Checklist

  • Comprehensive risk assessment carried out and documented
  • Adequate avoidance/mitigation action identified and implemented
  • Those involved fully briefed and competent to use any equipment required
  • Equipment appropriate and fully serviceable and free from defects

Vulnerable People Attending Charity Events

  • Any DBS and/or other safeguarding requirements met
  • Adequate, qualified carers for numbers involved
  • Any special needs considered, such as mobility/access

Young People

  • For fundraising, the Fundraising Regulator requirements will be complied with
  • Any applicable age restrictions on gambling, alcohol and collecting money complied with
  • Permission of parents/guardians obtained

Organising Volunteer Drivers For Events & Charity Trips

  • If drivers are using their own vehicles:
    • It has been adequately serviced, has MOT and road tax, and is insured
    • He/she has adequate business insurance to cover use
  • For minibuses, drivers’ licences include this type of vehicle
  • Drivers advised to plan suitable rest stops

Employing Contractors For Charity Events

  • Written agreement in place
  • If contractor responsible for any of the above, this has been specifically included in agreement
  • Contractor has adequate insurance
  • In the event of cancellation, the charity will not be subject to excessive cancellation fees

Serving Food At Events

Charity Event Insurance

  • Adequate insurance in place, including public liability insurance
  • Additional cover obtained, if necessary, particularly for challenges and overseas activities
  • Event cancellation insurance cover obtained, if appropriate

Events - Fundraising And Other Licences & Permissions

Any necessary licences have been obtained.  If you don't know, here's a Government Licence Finder. 

  • Local Authority licence for raffle or public lottery
  • For street collection, Local Authority licence obtained
  • Licence to sell alcohol
  • Licence for music/dancing
  • Gambling - fundraising lottteries, raffles, auctions, bingo, casino event nights etc.

And any other permissions.

  • Posters/flyers include charity number and permission to display obtained
  • If in a private location, owner’s permission for collecting money obtained
  • If offering and selling flights or flight-inclusive trips, we comply with ATOL guidance

Events Finance & Cash Handling

  • We have a robust costed expenditure budget and our income estimate is realistic
  • If applicable, action taken to reclaim VAT on a charity event
  • Adequate arrangements in place to safeguard cash and those handling it

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