Would you like to streamline your event planning process?
Big fundraising events can be complex, with lots of moving parts and plenty of details to coordinate. Having a clear idea of which roles need to be filled will help you create a top-notch committee with the right people in the right positions.
Here is a guide to the types of roles your committee will need. Depending on the size of your event and the people you have available, you may decide to choose an individual or a team to fill each role.
Your logistics person (or team) oversees the event from start to finish. If you choose to fill this role with more than one person, make sure they work together very well and communicate closely. The logistics person needs to take a high level view:
- Generates the budget.
- Appoints committee chairs.
- Maintains communication with staff.
The Event Planner handles the details of the event itself. This person needs to be really good at keeping several balls in the air and following up with people:
- Coordinates with the event committee.
- Contracts with vendors.
- Coordinates with businesses.
- Coordinates with other personnel.
- Selects the menu.
Corporate Relations and Sponsorship
You’ll need a person or team with excellent relationship skills to develop a rapport with corporate sponsors and get them onboard with your event:
- Identifies possible sponsors for your event.
- Develops a strategy for acquiring sponsors.
- Delivers the promised benefits to sponsors.
Most big events rely on an army of volunteers to make it successful. You’ll need someone (or a team) who is great at working with and motivating people, solving problems and generally helps people feel they are part of the team. This person:
- Recruits and energizes volunteers.
- Works with all event committees.
- Identifies volunteer needs and figures out how to meet them.
- Communicates with volunteers.
- Organizes and delegates event night tasks.
This person or group is responsible for getting the word out about your event. They need to be creative, understand how the media works and even come up with a few novel ideas about how to spread the word and attract people to attend:
- Decides how to promote the event.
- Works with media sponsors.
- Creates press releases.
- Manages various methods of communication: TV, print, web, email and social media.
In order to hold a successful auction, you need a stock of highly prized items. This team is in charge of gathering and organizing all the items for the auction. They need to be creative in coming up with ideas and persistent in pursuing them. This team:
- Holds a procurement brainstorming party to identify items to target for donation.
- Locates and gathers items for both the silent and live auctions.
- Creates an item request letter to be sent out to possible donors.
- Creates an item donation form for tracking purposes.
- Packages items together as needed for both the silent and live auctions.
- Sends thank you letters to item donors.
Guest Experience/VIP Committee
A successful event is one where everyone has a great time while supporting a cause they care about. This team’s job is to make sure all your guests have a positive experience. Choose individuals who have excellent people skills and can manage details well. This job can also include Décor (see below):
- Signs up attendees.
- Coordinates registration.
- Coordinates admission, check-in and check-out.
- Organizes seating arrangements.
- Hires photographer.
Part of helping your guests feel special is to create a beautiful environment. When your guests see that you’ve put some thought into the setting and ambiance, they’ll know they are at an event and will want to participate. Choose people who are artistic and who love to get the details right. This team:
- Determines which decorations are needed based on your theme.
- Coordinates table settings, place cards, centerpieces, etc.
You’ll want a beautiful way to invite people to your event. Find your best artistic talent, as well as people with the persistence to follow up with people. This team:
- Designs event invitations.
- Mails event invitations.
- Follows up with invitees.
You want your event to be beautiful, but also fun. With the right people in charge of your entertainment, your guests will be looking forward to coming back again next year. Choose people who have a good sense of your audience, their interests and tastes. This team does a lot of coordinating, so they’ll need to be good at managing details as well:
- Determines and contracts the entertainment.
- Sets up the event night program.
- Works with the logistics committee.
- Selects the entertainment, the emcee, the guest speaker and the auctioneer.
- Works with the lighting, AV and sound crews.