Building Successful Non-Profit Events

Committing time and efforts to a charitable organization to plan the event of the year can be a daunting task. However, when built correctly from the ground up, it is a well oiled machine year after year. It all begins with a good cause and ends with the ability to give.

Let’s talk about the keys of success when building non-profit events. 

Be passionate about your cause.
First of all, know what you stand for! Whatever your charity may be, know it and own it. Be passionate about it and share that passion with others. Use your cause to pull at the heartstrings of your guests. Incorporate a speaker, video, testimonial, or guest that will allow your guests to feel the passion of the organization. We live in an unbelievably giving society. The fact that so many have the means to be on multiple sides of organizations and lend a helping hand is a beautiful thing.

Build your team.
Build your committee and vendor team. If you are producing the same, or similar events each year, don’t reinvent the wheel. Find your vendors who fight for you and jive with you and they are your ride or die. An all star vendor team should take your event to the next level, while keeping your numbers in check.

Be goal oriented.
Set real numbers. Whether it be people, money, phone calls, or total donation, know your goal. This will help to keep track of the overall progress. Most people are competitive by nature, giving your committee members something to strive for, making the end result even better.

The end result should be to give back. Don’t lose site of the goal.

Know your budget and limitations.
Every successful event needs a budget as a foundation. This helps keep areas itemized to know what should be raised, as well as, allows your committee members to have professional meetings with vendors to set expectations. This way your vendors know if it is within their realm to produce what your event needs are, and everything is black and white. If you are asking for a higher budget item remember, something must even out on the other end for a compromise.

Assign committees with dedicated members and leaders.
Break up tasks among committees with driven members who all have the same goals. Make sure everyone has their own strengths but is equally driven to be involved, and be clear with their tasks.  This allows for event committee meetings and sub committee meetings to optimize the work. The committee chairs should report back during event meetings with updates.

Committees may include
Food & Beverage
Ticket Sales & Seating

Think outside the box.
What is your draw? That unique element sets your event apart from the others in the area and makes the tickets sell like hot cakes. This can be the location, auction items, entertainment, food, decor or sold out guest attendance each year, but having that special something will keep the event hot year after year.

Wow your guests.
Create the experience that will leave your guests asking for dates for the next event and asking how they can get more involved. If you can create instant buzz post event, it makes marketing for the next that much easier. Make sure your guests feel like VIP’s from the entrance on and know that they are attending a well produced event. This will make them comfortable and willing to donate more throughout the night, creating more success in the end donation.

Stay on your path.
Last, when you think you are done, think again. Upon the completion of your event, calculate the result of what was raised, will be donated, and give everyone a congratulatory pat on the back. Assess the planning and overall event with a SWOT analysis.


This will give you a good grip on where the direction needs to be placed for the next function. Now, set the next date to start the planning all over again!

At Ashley & Co. , working with non-profit organizations drives our passion. We look forward to watching the production of each event go above and beyond the last.