When it comes to raising money for charity we all have our own different ways of doing it.
Some do sponsored walks, others do marathons for charity, like the yearly cancer awareness one that tends to take place across a variety of venues. Others even do crazy stunts like bungee jumping to raise awareness and money for some sort of charity organisation.
What many don’t consider to be a surprisingly good source of money is Bingo. This little number matching game that’s played in halls across the country is actually an extremely good way to get money for your chosen charity; all it needs is a little planning.
So with that in mind we’ve created a little beginner’s guide to help you get the most money out of your event for your worthy cause of choice.
First up is the venue, which is possibly the most important component you have to decide on.
The venue can make or break a night. Will you go for a church basement, an empty sports hall or a community centre? You can even book out a special event room in a Bingo hall.
If you’re feeling slightly out of your depth a good tip is to try and figure out beforehand how many people you think might turn up and adjust your venue accordingly.
You don’t want to be cramming three hundred people into a hall that can only cater to fifty.
Also make sure that it’s affordable; you don’t want to be blowing your budget for the night on the venue. There’s still other things you have to get in order to make the night the best it could ever be.
You may also want to consider what sort of amenities the venue has, is it wheelchair accessible, is there catering or do you have to sort that out yourself, and so on.
Just a few things to consider for your big night.
The charity is the easy part; it’s purely down to personal choice, although you may want to make it something that everyone can get behind, like cancer, food for third world countries or helping the blind.
Don’t wheel out something like ‘Save our swing parks’ or ‘Protect the swans’, because you’ll quickly realise how much people don’t really care, so keep it big and easily recognisable.
When it comes to the game itself, you may want to buy some supplies beforehand, such as Bingo cards, balls for the machine and even the machine itself. Also if you’re running an extra raffle you may want to splash out on some raffle tickets.
Another consideration is to buy some extra supplies just in case other people turn up, you don’t want a packed house of two hundred people with only enough bingo cards for half that.
There are plenty of stores that offer bingo supplies and you can easily buy them in bulk online for a relatively low price.
Then just choose what kind of game is going to be played, will it be a 90 or 75 ball game, will it be just one game and done or are you going to have several games for prizes or a few games and then the final raffle.
Perhaps the best strategy is to play several games with small prizes and have a large prize game at the end of the night as a closer to the events.
If you choose this option, it will make the night memorable. In addition, having people stay at the event for longer means you’ll have more money for your cause as people inevitably purchase other things whilst they are there like food and drink etc..
The prize is what’s going to sell the night for those that turn up. You could use some of the prize money and funnel it back into a cash prize for those that turn up, in a sort of 50/50 split with half going on a prize and the other half going to charity.
You could get creative and see if any local business will sponsor the event by giving either money, vouchers or a prize. Like how local butchers inevitably get roped into giving away piles of meat at local church fairs.
Businesses always tend to cough up some sort of prize. Not only is it great advertising for their brand they also get to feel good about themselves as they contribute something for charity.
Also for further consideration you may want to try and make sure the prize is appropriate.
Don’t have a sponsor like Anne Summers if there are going to be kids at the event, don’t use meat if it’s an animal charity and don’t have cars as a prize if it’s for the environment, as it can create quite the double standard.
Advertising for the event is the easiest part; simply tell everyone you know in as many ways as you can. This can usually involve radio broadcasts, which cost very little to have played, snippets in the local papers, flyers handed out and even a stint on social media if you’re technologically savvy enough.
You may also want to try and bring in some volunteers to go either door to door or stop people in the street with flyers.
Finally there’s the event itself. To ensure that it’s successful you have to make sure that everything goes off without a hitch. Queue up the games and make sure they’re played relatively quickly. This also applies for when the prizes are handed out, because people can get bored if everyone keeps giving a speech when they win.
If you follow these simple steps then you should hopefully have a fantastic charity night that everyone will remember, as well as raising a ton of cash for your chosen charity. If your night is a big enough hit, you might even consider holding another one, resulting in more money for a good cause.