We’ve all attended or performed at a benefit show for one cause/charity or another. Some are huge successes and some are mediocre and we walk away thinking, “It’s the thought the counts”. Not anymore. I’m here to give you the steps necessary to plan a successful benefit that actually makes money for your charity. I have perfected this plan over the last 6 years and it’s always been a great money maker for the charity. It’s all in the planning. You MUST have a plan of action! Here are my 6 Steps to hosting a successful benefit show! Don’t forget to download the free checklist!
Let’s dive in!
1. Choose A Date
Ideally, you will have a few months to plan everything out. You can scale your timeline to what is needed. While I realize sometimes life happens and we need to put something together quickly, if you do this piece too quickly, you might be doing a disservice to everyone. Take the time to do it right. Give yourself at least a few weeks to put it together. Don’t try to set it up with only a few days notice. You won’t be able to promote properly. Saturdays are a great day and you can do it during the day or in the evening. Sundays during the day is also an option and is sometimes easier to find your venue, which we’ll talk about next. I like to choose three possible dates so when I contact venues I have some choices just in case they already have something booked.
2. Find A Venue
If you are having bands/musicians, you will want to find a venue that hosts bands regularly as they will probably have the needed sound system for your event. This is also one area you will probably have to fork out some money for the sound man’s time and use of the equipment. Don’t be afraid to ask if they will give you a deal since it’s for charity. The worst they can say is no and that’s okay too. (You definitely want to stay on this person’s good side as they can make or break your event!)
3. Book Bands/Musicians/Talent
Now that you have your date and your venue, it’s time to start contacting bands and musicians. If you know some bands, go ahead and ask them if they would be willing to donate their time for your show. You can also use Facebook as a great search tool. There are many, many Facebook groups for all cities and towns where bands post their shows. These are great leads and also great places to advertise your show, which we’ll talk about in Step 6.
4. Get Volunteers
Then it’s time to start advertising for some volunteers. You will want a few volunteers to help bands load their gear in and out of the venue and on/off the stage. This will make things move along at your event and hopefully keep everything running on time. You will also want a few volunteers to help with the raffle items. These volunteers can help sell the tickets and man the tables and they will also help with the drawings and make sure people get their raffle items when they win.
5. Get Donations for Raffles
Now we need raffle items to get people to give up more of their money for your charity! Always ask your friends and family if they have anything they want to contribute. You will also want to call local businesses.
- Example items for raffles can be:
- Gift Certificates and Gift Cards from local restaurants and tattoo shops
- Mary Kay, Avon, Tastefully Simple, Scentsy, Partylite
- Local crafters are always willing to get their name out with gift baskets
6. Promote Your Show!
There are a few things you want to do when you get to this step. You can get your event listed for free in many print and online calendars. The local TV stations usually have a calendar of events on some of their shows. You can contact them to find out. Sometimes this may turn into an actual story on your event which will also help get the word out. You will want to create a public Facebook event and invite as many people as you can. Add members of the bands as hosts so they can invite people as well. Make sure everyone is using one event. It gets too confusing if there is more than one event and this way you can keep all pertinent information about the event in one place. If your event is an annual event, you may have a Facebook page for it. If so, you may want to consider doing a Facebook ad and targeting your fans as well as the fans of the venue and the musicians playing. Make sure that all of your bands are promoting as well to help get people to your event.
These are my steps to hosting a successful benefit show. I hope they help you as much they’ve helped me. If you have any additional questions, please contact me here. Don’t forget to download your copy of the checklist!