Event Planning 101
Choose a Good Event Fit and Make the Most of Your Fundraiser
If you are new to planning fundraisers or just looking for a quick refresher, the Guild Association team offers these general guidelines to help you choose an event that best fits your guild’s interests, networks and budget:
- Always be clear with yourselves and with your guests that you’re raising money for Seattle Children’s. Guests should be aware at every turn — from the title of the event to table decorations to opportunities to give — that you are raising money for a cause you care about.
- Next, think about your members’ resources and interests. Planning a large-scale event is a big commitment for an all-volunteer group, and we encourage you to consider an event your guild will enjoy planning! Guilds hold many types of events based on member interests and their supporter base. At your initial planning meeting, think about ways to raise funds and awareness that suit you as a group — something that will continue to inspire you over the coming months as you plan and execute the event.
- This is also a good time to brainstorm a list of your networks — the audiences you have access to are an important factor in choosing the best type of event for your guild. For example, guilds with younger members and children may host a fun run, carnival or dance. Those who have access to businesspeople and corporate sponsorships might hold a golf tournament or more traditional dinner and auction. Think about what kind of fundraiser will best leverage your relationships.
- At the same time, it’s important to consider your budget. Sponsorships can be a great way to defray the cost of an event, as there are upfront costs you’ll want to consider depending on the type of event. The Guild Association asks that event costs not exceed 35% of the total raised, so keep this in mind as you determine the best event fit for your guild.
Find the Event That Fits
There are so many ways to support Seattle Children’s!
- Fun runs, swims and dance competitions
- Product sales
- Chili cook-offs
- Fashion shows
- Speaker events
- Benefit concerts
- Golf tournaments
- Reception, luncheon or dinner with a “raise the paddle” appeal
- Reception, luncheon or dinner with a live and/or silent auction
- Non-events such as online, letter-writing, company-matching and employee campaigns