July 2012 InTouch ENews- Step One: Creating a Budget

So you’ve decided to do a fundraising event. First – good for you! Second - Now what?
Deciding to hold an event is a big decision. There is a lot of work that comes with it but organizing a fundraising event can be one of the most rewarding, worthwhile and fun things you will ever do. No matter how much you raise, you can be sure that you are helping to make a real difference to patient care in our community.

The next few columns will walk you through the steps needed to make your event a successful one. While it seems like a lot of planning in the beginning, a strong foundation will help set you up for a very successful event.

STEP ONE: Create a budget

Budget accurately. Costs can easily escalate under the best of circumstances so detailed requirements need to built in at the earliest stage possible. I usually use a whiteboard (it can also be done with a sheet of paper) to map out the following:

• What can you charge per ticket
• What can you expect in terms of ticket sales

• If sponsorship is an option, what levels and the corresponding $ amounts?

• What kind of fundraising activities work best for the event? These activities could include an on-site raffle (with appropriate municipal licensing), silent auction or live auction.

There will be a cost to renting a venue, audio visual, food and beverages for an event. Depending on the event, you’ll have to decide if you want to provide food and beverages or if guests attending will pay for their own.

You need to figure out what you will need to decorate the venue to match the theme of your event. This can include centrepieces and stage decorations.

Anyone can make a poster in Microsoft Word but by using a professional service or at least someone who knows something about graphic design; your event will be taken more seriously.

You’ll need to decide what printing is required for your event. Typical expenses include tickets, program and signs.

There will always be expenses that relate directly to the type of event that you are holding. For golf tournaments, it’s golfer gifts. For dinner dances, it’s door prizes. Think about what things will come up specifically related to your event. This could include items like security or website domain purchases.

Click here to see examples of revenue generation as well as possible expenses laid out in budget form.

Remember that I am always here to help you through this process. Events can seem very overwhelming and whatever I can do to provide help, I’m happy to. Often having an experienced event person walk through how to create your budget is easier than tackling it on your own.

Happy planning!


Kristin Scarfone
Development Manager, Community Engagement
The Credit Valley Hospital Foundation
905-813-1100 ext. 5048