Events are an ideal way of bringing together potential funding and showing local people how your out of school club / school or playscheme is an asset to the community.

Many clubs have organised small fundraising events of some kind, serving a variety of different purposes. Everyone can get involved, they are fun and, most importantly, you can make much needed revenue from them. Any funds raised will be ‘free’ money, as it will not be earmarked to a particular project. Identify upfront if there is a potential funder or matched funder for an event you may want to hold. If there is, they might even get involved with generating ideas for out of school events from jumble sales to auctions and fetes. When you are considering potential events, try to keep in mind the following points:

  • Choose something which is popular with the children in your club
  • Give yourself plenty of preparation time
  • Set a date well in advance
  • Publicise the event you are running – use social media to generate interest
  • Talk to local companies and shops about supporting the event with donated prizes, money or matched funding e.g. Marks and Spencer / Debenhams or even smaller local businesses like Bristol Boats or Avon Railway etc.
  • Would other schemes in your area want to join in?
  • Produce forms or leaflets that can be distributed if you are seeking sponsorship
  • If you are running a sponsorship event, don’t forget to collect sponsorship money as soon as possible
  • Thank everyone who took part
  • Make sure you have insurance for any event that you manage
  • Check to confirm that you don’t need permission / authorisation for the event that you are planning e.g. a permit from the local authority to cover money collection from the street etc.
  • If you are serving food in public remember that there is legislation covering hygiene and food safety
  • Ensure Health and Safety is maintained – check things like do you need a fire officer to check the hall where you are holding your event, or do you need to organise police / stewards for crowd control purposes

Small local events can be very rewarding and are a great opportunity to become involved in your local community. Think about what is suitable for you and your team to manage. Do you just want to organise one big event or would it be better to hold a number of smaller events throughout the year? Research what other people have done in the past and what people are planning to do in the future. Maybe you could organise a stall at someone else’s event and raise funds through face painting? Or perhaps you would find it easier to run a raffle at Christmas. Don’t be afraid to get parents and users involved. Planning is an essential part to any event you may decide to run.

With any event – always make sure you work out how much the event is going to cost you and how much you envisage you will be able to raise. Take into account everybody’s time; will you make enough profit? How could you improve things and bring your costs down? Can you use volunteers? Avoid putting a maximum effort in for a minimum return.


  • Choose something that is popular with the people involved in your club
  • Choose something that will attract people outside of the parents who normally use (and pay fees to) your group e.g. bingo night
  • Decide on a date well in advance in order to give yourselves preparation time
  • Establish a planning group to define the aims and objectives of the event you are holding e.g. to look at: organisation, venue, speakers, volunteers, workshops, games and fundraising, budget and evaluation
  • Try to attract local support from like minded groups, press, local companies and shops
  • Make sure it is a fun day e.g. if you organise a BBQ have other events going on like Punch and Judy or a raffle or face painting
  • Take photos of the event for press releases or future publicity e.g. leaflets etc.
  • Celebrate your success – let other people know how much you raised
  • Don’t forget if you are a charity you can Gift Aid all public donations increasing the value of your gift by 25%. For more information on this scheme please visit the Inland Revenue website at:
  • Where appropriate you can opt to run your event jointly with other local community organisations, for example other users of the building you rent, or perhaps your nearest school etc.
  • Don’t forget to hold a post-mortem – what worked / didn’t work, any areas you would change to maximise income next time if you repeat the same event.

There is more information about the various events you can run in the A-Z of Fundraising Ideas (also downloadable from this website).


In England and Wales, premises on which the event will be held must have a current premises licence under the Licensing Act 2003. Under this act certain short-term, small-scale events may be held, provided the organiser’s send a Temporary Event Notice to the local licensing authority and police ten working days in advance of the event. Licences cover the supply and sale of alcohol, the performance of various types of regulated entertainment (including live or recorded music), and the supply of hot food and drink late at night. Guidance is available from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. Depending on the type of event you are running, you may also need to contact your local authority, the police or local ambulance service.

Health and Safety

It is important to carry out a risk assessment before organising an event. This will help you foresee any potential problems and how they can be avoided. Volunteering England provide some helpful information about risk assessments. You will also need to think about accessibility. Is the venue fully accessible to all? It is important to make sure that you address any concerns before opening the event to the public. It is generally the responsibility of the venue to complete an access assessment and to take ‘reasonable’ steps to prevent discrimination but there is no fixed definition of ‘reasonable’.

Food and Drink

If you wish to have food and drink at your event, there are additional requirements that you need to meet. Any food that is being supplied must comply with the Food Safety Act 1990, the Food Safety (General Food Hygiene) Regulations 1995 and other regulations applying to specific types of food. In general, the Food Hygiene and Labelling Regulations don’t apply to food that isn’t prepared as part of a business. So, most food sold for charity won’t need to be labelled, including food sold at one-off events. However, with food that is regularly packaged and sold for charity (e.g. jars of jam or boxed cakes), regulations may apply even when there is no profit. Even if there is no legal requirement to label the food, it can be done voluntarily. Ideally, give the product name, a list of ingredients and details about ingredients that could cause an allergic reaction, such as nuts. Ensure the information is accurate.


Public Liability Insurance is not mandatory, but it may be prudent to get if your event is open to the public. If hiring equipment or a service, you will also need to check that the provider has full insurance before signing the contract.


A-Z of fundraising ideas | Budgets | Corporate Donations and Sponsorship | Funding Sources – where to look for support | How to Fundraise in Tough Times | How to Write an Annual Report | How to Write an E-Newsletter | Individual and Small-scale Giving | Local Authority Funding | Local Community Foundations | Online Fundraising | Running Local Events | The Big Lottery Fund | Using Social Media | Using Volunteers | Writing and Application to a Charitable Trust | Writing Effective Fundraising Letters |

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