Philanthropy Impact

Inspiring philanthropy and social investment across borders, sectors and causes

Charity events

 

Highlights

  • Many charities raise money by running special events.
  • The type of event a charity may engage with has grown immensely in the past few years.
  • Attending or participating in charity events can be a tax efficient and fun way of supporting organisations.
Read more about Charity events

Many charities raise money by running special events. The charity benefits from the difference between the cost of putting on the event and the ticket receipts, plus any money gathered during the event itself.

The type of event a charity may engage with has grown immensely in the past few years and now covers fundraising auctions and dinners, walks, runs, team activities, overseas volunteering and hikes, bike rides and even sky dives. The list is as vast as a charity fundraisers’ imagination. Attending or participating in charity events can be a tax efficient and fun way of supporting organisations.

Tax and ticketed events
In the case of ticketed events, the charity should be able to tell you the amount or percentage of the price of an individual ticket or table for an event is expected to be the amount left after all the costs are covered. This is the donation part of the ticket price. Some charities will give a 'suggested donation' as part of the ticket price.

The part of the event ticket that is a donation can be given tax-efficiently, whether by a Gift Aid donation or a cheque taken from your charity account. The larger the percentage of the ticket cost that is a donation, and the more efficient the charity is at making the most of the tax relief, the higher the proceeds for the charity. So if the charity manages to have all of the costs of putting on an event met directly or as gifts in kind, the entire ticket cost is a donation.

Challenge events
Challenge events are a fun and interactive way of raising funds for your chosen cause and can bring you into contact with like-minded people. Jeremy Gane and Simon Albert, the founding directors of Charity Challenge, met during a charity trek up Kilimanjaro and have created a well established infrastructure for running numerous and varied group adventure travel expeditions. Over 1,270 charities have been supported through Charity Challenge, raising over £30m to date.

Doitforcharity.com, set up by Skyline Events, the UK’s largest charity events organiser, works with well over 1,000 charities and has raised millions of pounds over its 16 years. An online portal, Doitforcharity.com links potential participants to thousands of charity events every year including abseiling, zip sliding, knockout, trekking and dragon boat races. Also, if you would like to host your own event to raise money for your chosen charity, you can create your own site on Justgiving.com.

Donor network events
The Funding Network (TFN) runs a different type of fundraising event; members of this network can sponsor organisations or projects to be featured at their pledging events. The project then has an opportunity to pitch to a group of interested funders who pledge support to projects which match their interests. It can be a fun and lively way to meet other donors and be introduced to a range of new projects. See giving networks for other such events.

A version of this article, written by Philanthropy UK, was published in a previous edition of A Guide to Giving (2008).

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