Hosting a Fundraising Event
Hosting an event is a wonderful way to raise funds for your local women’s shelter and bring your office together in support of a great cause! We encourage you to share your event plans with us by completing the Fundraising Event Information Form. The Shelter Foundation can provide balloons and a banner for décor as well as a large novelty cheque to announce your total raised. The Shelter Foundation will also help promote your event on social media and celebrate your success on the Leading Edge Blog!
Please visit our Event Tools section for more resources.
If you are planning a golf tournament, please review our guide to hosting a successful golf tournament.
Shelter Foundation fundraisers take many forms – formal dinner parties, large scale auctions, game nights, sports tournaments, run/walks – we’ve seen it all! Borrow from other successful events or check out our list of event ideas for more inspiration.
Event planning tips:
- Start small your first year. You can always ramp up the size and scope for your 2nd annual event!
- Before you book anything, create a budget that takes into account all your expected income from sponsors, attendees, and any other fundraising revenue (e.g. auctions, 50/50). Deduct your estimated expenses including venue costs, food and beverages, printing and advertising, prizes, etc. If it appears that you will not make a profit relative to the work and hours you will put in, you may want to consider another type of fundraising event.
- Begin planning up to a year in advance. Securing early sponsorships and getting onto people’s calendars early will position your event for success. Take into account other annual local events when choosing a date and check the calendar to avoid any public/religious holidays or industry-related conflicts.
- Put out feelers to colleagues in your office before deciding on an event. The more people interested in the concept, the more will be likely to help with planning and attend enthusiastically.
- Create a “not to be missed” appeal. Maybe it’s a unique format like a golf marathon, a new or exclusive event space, a celebrity guest, or an outrageous prize up for grabs. Make sure there’s something about your event that attendees can’t experience elsewhere!
- Form a committee and divide up responsibilities according to volunteers’ strengths and interests (e.g. fundraising, social media/marketing, event planning). Meet as a whole group regularly to set goals, check in, share ideas and ensure your planning efforts are cohesive.
- Arrange for extra event day volunteers and ensure you have people scheduled to help from set-up to tear-down. Don’t forget to assign someone exclusively to photographer duty!
- Have your manager arrange to add an insurance rider to your company policy if the event is taking place at your brokerage.
- Build a substantial portion of your fundraising revenue into your ticket price.
- Ask your business partners to sponsor your event and provide them with recognition in your event materials, on signage and/or during any remarks. Please note: event sponsors are NOT entitled to a tax receipt as per Canada Revenue Agency rules. Consult our Tax Receipt FAQ for details.
- Download a sponsorship request template
- Download a sponsorship thank you letter
- Offer fundraising opportunities at different price points from high value sponsorships to inexpensive draw tickets.
- Provide your guests with a compelling reason to give generously at your event. Invite a speaker from your local shelter to share their story or explain how donations will make a difference in your community.
- Set up an online fundraising page and ask for donations from those who cannot attend. To set up your page, please contact Carly Neill at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 416-386-6099. Click here for an example of an online fundraising page.
Saying Thank You:
Don’t forget to say thank you to your attendees and sponsors every chance you get. Send a letter or email after the event letting everyone know the final total raised and thanking them once again for their participation and generous support of the Shelter Foundation and your local shelter. You could also include a link to the event photos, as well as a photo of your cheque presentation to your local shelter and a statement from their representative about how the funds will be used. Lastly, if you plan to host the event again, invite them to participate in the next one.
Please submit your funds raised by providing a company cheque with the total amount, along with any additional donations made in support of your event. All cheques should be made payable to “Royal LePage Shelter Foundation”. Please do not mail cash.
Include a short cover letter with your cheque indicating:
- Your event name and the date it was held
- Office contact and phone number
- Name of your local women’s shelter(s) and any direction on the splitting of funds between multiple shelter partners
- Whether you would like us to mail the official shelter donation cheque directly to your local shelter or to your office to present
For details on what constitutes a charitable donation and the documentation we require to issue a tax receipt, please refer to our Tax receipt FAQ. Please note that the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation issues tax receipts in late February for all donations made in the previous calendar year.
Send your cheque(s) and letter to:
Royal LePage Shelter Foundation
Attn: Executive Director
39 Wynford Drive
Toronto, Ontario M3C 3K5