Events and fundraising have been forever changed thanks to computers and other technological advances.
We have RFID technology to guide and inform event attendees, crowdfunding websites which bring our social networks together to do good, social media websites to spread the word about our deeds, and tons of guides at our fingertips that show us how to use all of it to our advantage. (And this isn’t even counting the importance of event management software.)
While many of the resources listed above cost money to employ, there are plenty of free resources available online as well. While you spend money organizing fundraising events, it’s helpful to find tools that don’t cost a cent, such as free fundraising event templates. These templates will help you organize, budget, and design the visuals for your events.
However, what if you don’t know what kind of fundraising event you want to host yet?
Fundraising Event Ideas
Before we start with templates, it’s best to know what kind of fundraising event you will host. Salsa Labs has compiled a useful list of event ideas to pull from, including:
- Tree Planting Fundraisers
Not only are you raising money for a worthy cause, but tree planting fundraisers also benefit the environment and brighten up communities. These future trees will bring new colors for parks, walkways, schools, and many other areas.
Money is raised by selling trees to participants and to thank them for their generosity, the trees are named after the buyers.
To tighten your budget, look into local gardening and home improvement stores willing to donate young trees to your event.
- Charity Auctions
Nothing like a good, old-fashioned auction to bring people together for a good cause. Auctioning off items for charity is a straightforward concept, but there are a few key pointers you should keep in mind when hosting an auction event:
- Be sure to hire a trained auctioneer as a well as trained ringmen (those who stand in the crowd looking for bidders).
- Advertise your auction items before the event so attendees know what to prepare their checkbooks for. This also works as a fantastic buzz builder.
- Don’t advertise any item values. These values act as invisible ceilings for your auctions if they are obvious to attendees. Let your bidders decide what the items are worth.
- Decide which type of auction is right for you: Silent, Live, and Online.
It also helps to invest into auction software before hosting your fundraiser.
Dress to impress and invite everyone you know out to a fancy charity dinner. The great thing about gala events is their flexibility to mix with other charity events, such as auctions.
Gala events can also charge per plate in order to guarantee a more predictable stream of donations using RSVPs to track potential attendees.
In order to keep track of your potential guests, be sure to look into event management software.
Many other ideas…
Salsa Labs lists a number of other fundraising event ideas for colleges, businesses, religious organizations, and sports clubs.
Before hosting your fundraiser event, be sure to look into other fundraising events that you can learn from to pick up new tips and tricks.
Free Fundraising Event Templates
While your money is tied up in bringing your fundraising event together, look for strategies to save money. The internet is loaded with free templates for all of your budgeting, design, and checklisting needs. Here are the top 14 free event fundraising templates.
General Fundraising Event Templates
Plan, schedule, and manage your fundraising events accordingly.
- FPPT Fundraising Event Template for Excel 2013: This colorful template will help you keep track of all funds raised and donor information during and after your event.
- TCA Fundraising Events Planning Template: TCA’s planning template will help you identify all necessary steps, personnel, and duties to be filled when planning for your fundraising event. This template is used by the Texas Center for the Arts when planning their own fundraising events.
Fundraising Event Checklist Templates
Perfect for keeping track of what must happen before, during, and after your fundraising event.
- Booster Fundraising Event Checklist: Booster’s general fundraising event checklist covers everything from selecting venues all the way to social media strategy. You would be hard pressed to find a more in-depth planning checklist.
- Volunteer Recruitment Checklist: Planning on using volunteers at your event? Be sure to follow this checklist to maximize the effectiveness of your recruitment efforts.
- Social Media Strategy Checklist: Fundraising IP has the perfect checklist template to guide your social media strategy based on your desires: awareness or fundraising.
- Scheduling Checklist: Whether your fundraising event will be in person or online, it’s important to schedule out meetings with major donors, plan donation amounts necessary, and how many events it will take to meet this goal. This checklist will help you organize all of these factors.
- Post-Fundraiser Checklist: Once everything is said and done, a post-fundraiser report is needed to assess your successes and shortcomings. Fundraising IP’s post-fundraiser checklist is perfect for organizing your data and making sense of it all.
Fundraising Event Budget Templates
Make sure you know how much is coming in and going out when planning and hosting your fundraising event.
- Spreadsheet 123 Microsoft Office Budget Template: This colorful and integrative budgeting template for Microsoft Office allows you to record and visualize budgetary changes in chart and graph form.
- Smartsheet Event Budget Template: This general event budget template is available in Excel and PDF format. It is easily co-opted for all types of events, including fundraising events.
- DoJiggy Fundraising Event Budget Template: This Excel-compatible budget template is a very thorough and detailed budgeting tool filled with fields for all types of incoming and outgoing expenses. The only drawback is the permanent branding from DoJiggy, but luckily budgeting is an internal function. No need to worry about outside branding inside your own organization.
Fundraising Events Design Templates
Who said fundraising event designs had to be expensive?
- Poster My Wall Fundraising Poster Templates: This template database is full of different colors and designs for fundraiser event posters. To top it off, Poster My Walls has its own customization tool on their website so you can alter all templates to fit your event theme. The one con of using Poster My Wall is the watermark that is included when using their basic free account option.
- MyEvent Fundraising Website Design Templates: Looking to a host a fundraising event but have minimal website design experience? MyEvent has multiple types of website design templates for you to choose from. Their website hosting is free for you but in order to host your website, they take a percentage of ticket sales.
- Brother Fundraising Poster Templates: Printing company, Brother, offers two basic fundraising poster template on their website, one which is nonprofit specific, while the other is made for general fundraising.
- 4over4 Fundraising Flyer Templates: 4over4 offers seven free fundraising event flyer templates formatted for Adobe Photoshop. Each template has customizable fields to change names, dates, and images to your own design.
Other free event tools
The free tools don’t stop there. On the Capterra blog, we’ve compiled many free tool and software lists that will help you take your events to the next level, such as:
- 7 Free and Open-Source Digital Signage Options For You Next Event
- 5 Free Survey Tools to Gather Attendee Feedback
- Top 5 Free Tools to Live Stream Your Event Online
- 8 Free and Open Source Event Registration Software
Have you hosted any of the events listed above or used any of the mentioned templates? Let us know how they worked out for you in the comment section below!
Looking for Event Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Event Management software solutions.