Party for charity

by Talisha
(atl, ga)

My friends and I are part of a non-profit organization that is sponsoring a cotillion this year. In order to raise money for it we have decided to throw a party and charge people admission. The problem is we don't really know what to do or where to go from there. We need some serious HELP!!!!

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Jan 23, 2010
Party for Charity - Getting Started
by: Krista Blaes

If I understand correctly, you need advice on how to plan the Cotillion? Or, a pre-fundraising party? Either way, I believe some of this advice will prove helpful. Raising money through an event requires many steps. If you need to raise funds in advance, start networking. Make a list of potential sponsors and providers. Many businesses will step up for the visibility and recognition. Approach hotels, caterers, florists, entertainment providers, etc. Seek in-kind donations such as the printing for the invitations. If you can get businesses to provide you the services or goods for free or a reduced rate, you?ll stand to gain more profits.

Decide your target fund raising goal. And, the amount you?ll need to spend to pull off the event. Be very careful to watch these numbers. It can be very disheartening to work so hard on an event that doesn?t yield much for the organization. Look to other fund raising events in the area to help you set the price for tickets or corporate tables. And, the expectation of what guests will get for their dollars.

Give yourself plenty of lead time. Form a planning committee and assign Chairs. This will divide the responsibilities and allow each person to stay focused on their assigned areas. Keep in mind you?ll need plenty of volunteers, so sign them up early. Write Public Service Announcements and send to local media to get the word out. Try to get appearances on local radio and television talk shows to create interest.

Check out for books on how to plan this type of event. There are also websites that offer information. Try, they have a fairly good article on planning a wine tasting event that covers some of the logistics you?ll need to know. I also recommend you check out the website for the Association of Fundraising Professionals at

Krista Blaes, Party Consultant

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