Being well-organized will not only make your event run effortlessly but also reduces stress in the planning stages. Well-thought out planning makes church event organization an easy task.
Getting Started: Church Event Organization
The basic steps for organizing any event are the same regardless of the type of event or organization running it. However, church fundraisers typically have more of an intimate community feel and rely heavily on their congregation's support.
Form a Committee
One of the most important aspects of any fundraising event is a solid committee. If one is not already formed, ask members of the church congregation to become volunteer members of the committee. Once the committee is in place, the next step is assigning each person a specific task. Utilize the skills of each member and keep track of what each person is responsible for so you can make sure everyone is doing his or her part. For example, if someone has a background in finance, assign that person to handling the budget and making sure the event sticks to it.
Other areas of expertise include:
- Securing donations
- Advertising and marketing the event
- Event volunteer management
Discuss Goals and Objectives
Set realistic expectations from the start to keep your event planning on task. Look at the specific reason you are hosting the event and focus on that objective or group. For example, if the church youth group is planning a trip, do an event that will raise funds for their trip. Be as specific as possible in deciding exactly how much money you need to raise and exactly how the funds will be used.
Create a Timeline
Your event will require time to plan and secure resources along with clean up and use of funds afterward. Create a written timeline including dates and times for each step along the way. Decide on deadlines for things like when donations must be received by for the event and a breakdown of the set up, participation, and clean up for the actual event. The more detailed your timeline, the less stressful planning will be.
Make a checklist of all the items and services you'll need to run the event. Find out what resources are available already and utilize what the church currently has instead of spending money and time outsourcing for resources. If a member of the church can play piano or you have leftover decorations from a church party, look for ways to use those as part of the event. Ask the congregation for suggestions on where to find other items, then start looking within the larger community.
Schedule Regular Committee Meetings
Choose an easy-to-remember meeting schedule like the first Friday of each month or every Tuesday at nine. Create an agenda for each meeting to ensure you're checking in on deadlines and staying on task. Be sure to keep detailed notes so you can review them as needed. Use a document sharing program like Google Docs to keep all notes, letters, and agendas in one place that members can access anytime.
Inform the Congregation
As part of your planning it's important to keep the church congregation informed of the special event. Make an announcement after mass or put a notice in the church bulletin. By keeping others informed they'll hold you accountable for following through with duties by asking questions about the event. If your event requires the help of many volunteers, this communication helps generate interest from potential helpers. Use a website like SignUpGenius, where reminders are automatically generated, to keep track of donations, volunteers, and areas still in need of help.
Event Day Organization
The day of your event should be as carefully planned out as possible. Designate one board member to oversee the timeline and communicate with all others involved in work. Create a timeline just for the actual event day that includes:
- Vendor drop offs
- Setup and volunteer arrival
- Specific moments during the event like speeches or meal service
- Cleanup timeframe
Church Event Ideas
There are endless possibilities for a church fundraiser. Some fundraising ideas include:
- Bake sale
- Spaghetti dinner
- Pancake breakfast
- Fish fry
- Silent auction
- Car wash
- Picnic or festival
- Benefit walk
- Rummage sale
Whether you're hosting a onetime event or an annual event, setting up an organizational structure helps keep everyone on track. Make a plan that includes specific details and check in regularly throughout the process to make your event a success.