A Guide to Planning and Preparing a Successful Charity Event preparation
With our partners we have helped plan and organise hundreds of Charity Events. We believe passionately in this sector, in its vibrancy its diversity, in its ability to match and in many ways better the private sector. We want charity events to be as successful as possible, to this end we have compiled this guide – hopefully it will prove useful.
To make sure an event is successful, good planning is essential. Take the time to thoroughly plan all events to consider the costs, complexity and logistics. It can be a good idea to:
Venue and location
Where you host the event will have a big impact on what kind of event it will be. Will you use your charity’s premises, rent a high-profile space, or partner with a company or other organisations to put the event on? The cost, location and access will all be determining factors to bear in mind.
On the day – successfully running the event
Make sure that the event runs smoothly by ensuring:.
It’s worthwhile to ensure that the organisation has a written contract with every sponsor. This need not be a complicated document and could be a letter of agreement. The contract should set out clearly what funding is being provided, when payment will be made and what the charity will provide in return.
Usually the charity will display the sponsors’ logos and there will often be strict branding requirements to follow for both parties. The contract may also specify other benefits such as a number of complimentary places or tickets.
For best practice, organisations should put in place appropriate financial procedures. These will depend on the nature of the event but may include:
When transporting monies after the event, it’s a good idea for organisations to use a night safe facility at a bank or a suitable safety deposit box. If money is to be carried by an individual, it’s best for care to be taken with personal security. Individuals should be encouraged to always use a safe route, and be accompanied and/or carry a personal alarm.
It is good practice for monies to be counted, recorded and banked as soon as possible after the event, and at least two people should be present when counting cash.
Event organisers should ensure compliance with insurance policy terms in the case of a theft.
If it is not possible to bank monies immediately, arrangements should be made for monies to be kept in a secure place or preferably a safe.
Recovery of any outstanding money from participants should be made as soon as possible after the event. If monies are not collected within the specified time frame, it is worthwhile organisations contact the participant and request money to be submitted. If payment is still not forthcoming, you could give consideration to the amount outstanding, the time and effort that may be required and the potential reputational risk to the charity when deciding upon a further course of action.
Taking money on the day
If donations will be collected at or in the near vicinity of an event, organisations must check whether any of the legislation concerning public collections applies. In particular, organisations ought to always check the licensing requirements with the relevant local authority(ies) beforehand.
Third party events and working with partners
If an individual or group contacts the organisation to put on a third party event, there should be clear identification of the body responsible for the event and that the event is ‘in aid of’. The individual or group is responsible for having its own insurance and for entering into all contracts. Organisations ought to consider the fit between the activity proposed and the organisation concerned and, agree with the volunteer fundraisers what support will be provided in light of this fit. The relationship between the organisation and any other person or body should be clear and documented in writing. It is a good idea for organisations to consider providing third party event organisers with a checklist of issues to consider.
You should encourage third parties to state that they are organising an event ‘in aid of’ an organisation if this is their relationship to the organisation, ensure the logo is used correctly and that any branding guidelines are made clear and adhered to.
Organisations must have written contracts with commercial participators and professional fundraisers, and ensure an appropriate statement is made.
It is important that organisations ensure there is proper arrangement for monies to be transferred to the organisation as soon as possible after ‘in aid of’ events.
If the event is being staged by a person who is a commercial participator or professional fundraiser as regards the charity (ie. an ‘in aid of’ event), the charity and commercial participator must have an agreement complying with section 59 of the Charities Act 1992 and the Charitable Institutions (Fund-Raising) Regulations 1994.
Commercial participators and professional fundraisers must make a statement complying with section 60 of the Charities Act 1992. In Scotland, similar provisions relating to agreements and statements are contained in sections 79 to 83 of Part II of the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005. The Act places on a statutory footing certain requirements of the Code of Fundraising Practice, ‘Scottish Charity law in relation to Fundraising and Public Charitable Collections’. Further guidance is available in the Charity Commission publications CC20 (Charities and Fund-Raising) and RS2 (Charities and Commercial Partners) (see www.charitycommission.gov.uk).
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