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Four Kinds of Fundraising Events - Find Your Type!

We are nearing 1.5 million registered 501c3 organizations in the United States, offering a kaleidoscope of needs-based programs and services to support everything from poverty and healthcare to arts and education. And they all have at least one thing in common, the need to fundraise.  As an Orlando based event planner and nonprofit marketing consultant, you may be surprised to hear me say that a fundraising event is NOT AN IDEAL strategy for many nonprofits. Events can be expensive and time consuming if they aren't planned, executed and marketed well. 


I wanted to pass along a few key event distinctions that may assist you to better plan and market your next charity event. Or if you are looking to donate time or money to a local charity, this will help too. There are four main distinctions for fundraising events:

1. Nonprofit Event - In the truest sense, an event that is developed by a 501c organization in which NET proceeds generated from the event directly benefit the nonprofit organization by funding their mission-centric social service programs. These events are usually organized by a combination of paid staff and non-paid staff such as: boards of directors, planning committees or other volunteers. 2. Foundation Event - An event that is developed by a 501c3 organization (such as a foundation or community organization) that is not directly benefiting from the NET proceeds. A private foundation is a legal entity set up for solely charitable purposes and don't typically execute social service programs, rather they support those who do. 3. Corporate Philanthropy - An event that is organized by a for-profit company in which all or a very large portion of the NET proceeds will benefit a selected 501c3 charity.  Often times a corporation (or a small company) may zone in on a specific need. For example, things like an event golf tournament to raise funding for a new wing of a hospital or an event that collects donations of food, gifts or backpacks.

4. Hybrid Charity Events - An event designed by a for-profit company or group of individuals with the specific goal to generate revenue.  Here the group will leverage a charity's brand and mission to generate support for the event, then make a (typically unspecified) donation to the charity based on event profits. 


And remember that the most important thing about any charity event is that it's NOTHING BUT NET! There are two sides to every event planning budget, combine the two and you get the NET Income. 

  • Income - Includes all cash income: sponsorship, ticket sales, auction proceeds (live auction, silent auction, online auction), online donations, cash calls and crowdfunding.

  • Expenses - Includes all cash expenses: marketing, venue rental, food and beverage, entertainment, decor, insurance - everything (that isn't donated) that is needed to execute the event. 

Income - Expenses = NET Income Let Posh Able Events co-create your next fundraising event. We have the expertise and experience to take your next event to the next level. Using the Posh Signature Event Plan we offer a truly full-service approach to the event planning process, from concept to clean up! Our diverse portfolio highlights our exciting event stories.  We do the work, you get the credit! Anything is Posh Able Established - Valentine's Day 2008.

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EST 2008 - Orlando, Florida