The Ultimate Fundraising Event Checklist

Hosting a fundraiser is a great way to get people together and raise money for a charity, foundation, school or individual close to your heart. Of course, you’re asking people to pay top dollar for a ticket — and hopefully shell out even more at the event — so careful preparation is a must.

Make your fundraiser an overwhelming success by consulting this checklist throughout the planning process.


NYC is a big place with lots of great venues, but the best ones book up fast. If you’re not hosting the fundraiser at your home, book a site at least four to six months prior to the big day, if not earlier. This is one of the most importance decisions you’ll make, so try to choose a spot central to where most of your guests live, at a venue they’ll want to visit.


Just as important as selecting the right venue, the food served at your fundraiser must be top-notch. Food is always central to any event, but at a party for a cause, guests actually pay to attend, so they expect their taste buds to be impressed. Secure a caterer four to six months before the fundraiser, at minimum, because top caterers book up far in advance.


Entertainment is always important at events, but it’s crucial for fundraisers, because the right acts can monumentally increase attendance. Keep your audience in mind when searching for a band, celebrity guest speaker or performer, and secure your choice immediately. This should be one of the very first things you do, along with finding a venue and a caterer. You’ll also want to have a representative from the organization on-hand to speak to the crowd.

Guest List

When it comes to fundraisers, the more the merrier, so start drafting your guest list and send invitations around three months prior to the event. This gives people plenty of time to clear their calendars, so they have no excuse not to attend. Allow them to RSVP immediately, but expect that many will not, so you’ll also need to draft a reminder or two to send closer to the day.

Event Staff

Having the right staff in place is crucial, so create a staffing plan and fill every position on the list immediately. Staffing is something you can never be too careful with, so in the days leading up to the event, confirm everyone can still make it.