Special fund-raising event checklist

Special fund-raising event checklist

All special fund-raising events are different. Each will have its own special set of circumstances and requirements. They do have enough in common for ourcommunity.com.au's event management team to pool their many years of experience into the following checklist. It is not meant to be definitive, nor will all sections of each category apply to all events. Use it as you would any planning tool, adapt it to your needs and tell us how it worked for your next fund-raising event.

Name of Event:

Number expected:
Estimated cost:
Projected income:
Key players:
Expected Profit:

The Details


  1. Has a running sheet been developed for the event?
  2. Has it been distributed to:
    - The board/management committee
    - The CEO and senior staff
    - All staff involved
    - Event Volunteers
    - Sponsors and other partners
    - Media (attached to press release and in press kits)
    - Contractors for the event
    - VIPs
    - Speakers/Entertainment
    - Venue and catering management
    - Local council/shire and local traders(if road closures, use of public spaces or other traffic/transport/crowd management issues are likely)
    - Police/SES/St John's Ambulance/ Transport companies (as above)
    - Other key community members, including Indigenous representation?
  3. Have any necessary pre-event briefings been held with stakeholders and participants? (see above)
  4. Do you have sufficient volunteer support for the event?
  5. Do all participants have written instructions and understand their tasks before, during and after the event?


  1. Have promotional fliers been sent to as many outlets as possible?
  2. Have all people on your database received a flier well before the event?
  3. Have paid advertisements been designed and space? booked, with careful attention to publishing deadlines?
  4. Have free advertising possibilities been explored and booked eg What's On columns in the local and daily newspapers?
  5. Has a media release been written and sent?
  6. Have key individuals from the media been sent formal invitations?
  7. Are media kits organised?
  8. Has a media strategy been developed to handle enquiries if an unplanned emergency occurs?
  9. Are posters designed, printed and placed in appropriate venues?
  10. Are event programs designed, approved and printed?
  11. Are all printing costs and schedules closely monitored?


  1. Is the invitation list/ database up to date?
  2. Has artwork been approved by management and sponsors?
  3. Are printers booked?
  4. Is the mailout organised?
  5. Is the office ready to accept RSVPs? This would include booking sheets and information sheets about the event at each person's desk.


  1. If outdoors have all appropriate permits been confirmed?
  2. If necessary have liquor/gaming licenses been obtained?
  3. Has parking been organised?
  4. Is space appropriate for your purposes?
  5. If outdoors, has a wet weather contingency been planned? Is venue booked?
  6. Is it clean?
  7. Have deposits been paid?
  8. Are all audio-visual requirements, including portable microphones and lighting available? Adequate? Booked?
  9. Will there be any other events occurring at or close to the venue that may impact on your event?
  10. Are decorations, including floral arrangements confirmed and booked?
  11. Is directional signage organised?
  12. Has the venue set up been organised and confirmed, including bannering?
  13. If necessary, has an area been assigned for a media conference?
  14. Have you organised a media table?
  15. Have banners and other promotional material been collected from sponsors and other partners?
  16. Has a seating plan been organised and approved by management, sponsors and other partners?
  17. Have table hosts been assigned?
  18. Are table lists printed and displayed at the venue?
  19. Has an event registration/welcome table been organised at the venue?
  20. If necessary have marquees, trestles, seating and portable toilets been booked?
  21. Do you need two way radios?
  22. Have refreshments been organised for workers?
  23. Is there a place for volunteers' bags and other belongings?
  24. Is there a comfortable, separate area for volunteers to meet?


  1. Is the menu, including alcohol costed and confirmed?
  2. Are special dietary requirements available?
  3. Have you communicated these options to VIPs and guests?
  4. If necessary, have catering concessionaires been approved by yourselves and any other official groups eg Council, Health Dept?

Talent and VIPs

  1. If you're using celebrities or other performers have all activities and contracts been agreed and signed?
  2. Has standard of transport and accommodation been agreed, costed and booked?
  3. Are performing spaces adequate?
  4. Do performers and or their staging requirements need special set up and set down times? Has this been negotiated with the venue?
  5. Staging and AV equipment agreed and booked?
  6. Is power supply adequate? Safe?
  7. Have speeches been written?
  8. Do you know and can you accommodate the audio-visual requirements of guest speakers?
  9. Have gifts been purchased?
  10. Fees or honorarium agreed and budgeted?
  11. Have VIP refreshments been booked?
  12. Has appropriate security arrangements been made?

Recording the event

  1. Has a photographer been booked? or Has someone been designated photographer?
  2. Will you be videotaping?
  3. Has film/videotape been purchased?
  4. Has a brief been written for the photographer, including key people and activities you want photographed?

Prizes/Auction items/Giveaways/Awards

  1. Have all items been picked up?
  2. Appropriate recognition given to donors in programs, speeches etc and post-event?
  3. Are rules for winning prizes clear and communicated to all?
  4. Has the method for giving away prizes been decided? For example raffle, door prizes, seat designation, show bags?
  5. Have all equipment and stationary been organised?
  6. Plaques/certificates/awards etc designed, ordered and picked up?
  7. Gifts donated or bought?
  8. Has a presenter/s been designated and informed?

Will there be exhibitors?

  1. Are space and power requirements confirmed with venue?
  2. Have exhibitors confirmed display requirements?
  3. Are contracts and fees finalised?
  4. Are all exhibitors aware of parking, set up and set-down times?

Risk Management

  1. Is the event's insurance coverage adequate? Check with insurance provider.
  2. Is there adequate first aid?
  3. Have traffic and crowd management plans been developed and communicated to all necessary authorities?
  4. Are emergency plans in place?

Acknowledgement of appreciation
At the event

  1. Plaques/certificates
  2. Flowers
  3. Name in program
  4. In speeches
  5. In media releases

Post event
  1. Special get-together

Evaluation and reporting?

  1. How will you know your event has been a success?
  2. What sort of information will you be collecting? From whom?
  3. How will you collect it? When?
  4. How will you report? When? To whom?