Organise a successful charity ball as an alternative to a standard fundraiser. Charity balls are elegant events orchestrated to bring in a substantial amount of money for a specific organisation or cause. The ball should include dinner and dancing along with a certain amount of pizazz and glamour. The event should take place on a Friday or Saturday night to gather the best turnout and raise the most money. Gather your volunteer team and create an organizational system to arrange for a triumphant charity ball.
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Choose a theme for the ball to represent your charity selection. The theme can be based around the seasons, such as a winter wonderland ball, or something equally appropriate to coincide with the charity. The theme will set the tone for the entire event and the invitations, food, decorations and entertainment will circulate around the theme. If you are working in conjunction with a specific charity, be sure to speak with them about theme ideas.
Plan a budget for the charity ball. Budgets will keep you from overspending on unnecessary items and help you to determine what type of location, entertainment and food you can afford. List your necessary expenses such as location, decorations, food and entertainment -- these expenses are the highest priority. Other expenses will be determined by how much money you have left after the necessary expenses have been paid. Set ticket prices for the charity ball based on your budget needs.
Secure a location for the charity ball. Depending on the formality of the charity ball, the location may need to be secured far in advance. More formal locations may rent out faster than less-formal occasions. Compare prices and weigh your options on location choice and budget.
Determine whether the event will be private or public. The location will determine how many people you can invite. The guest list can either be made by yourself and your volunteer committee or it can be made public for anyone wanting to attend the ball. If the event is public, then ask for donated radio or television ads. Private events do not need to be advertised.
Select and secure a caterer for the event. The caterer will set the dining area up and serve the food to the guests. In addition to food, the caterer will serve the liquor and dessert. Speak with the location party planner to ensure there are no restrictions for caterers.
Purchase decorations to resemble the theme of the event. Seasonal themes, such as winter wonderland, may have snowflakes and strands of sequins hanging from the ceiling. Drinks and food may also be tailored around the decorations.
Secure entertainment for the evening. Bands are a more elegant and glamorous choice. Pick a band that plays a selection of appropriate music. The band should alternate between instrumental music and singing.
Send the appropriate thank you notes after the charity ball concludes. Supporters should always receive a thank you note for their ticket purchase and any other donations they contributed during the evening.
Tips and warnings
- Ask for sponsorships for the charity ball from local businesses.
- Always have a backup plan in the event something goes wrong.
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- The Chronicle of Philanthropy; Tips for Creating a Fundraising Gala for the First Time; Sharnell Bryan; February 2005
- New Jersey On-Line LLC: NJ.com; How to Throw Your First Fundraiser; Lawrence Kopp; August 2008
- American Association of Cancer Research; How to Plan a Fundraising Event; Alanna Kennedy; 2007