Corporate Event and Fundraiser Planning Checklist

Corporate Event and Fundraiser Planning Checklist

6 to 12 Months Ahead

  • Decide event purpose (raise funds, visibility, celebration, etc.)
  • Choose a theme
  • Visit potential sites
  • Research/appoint an event coordinator/manager
  • Research/select committees/chairpersons
  • Chairperson forms subcommittees
  • Get cost estimates (site rental, food, drinks, sound/lights, etc.)
  • Get recommendations for entertainment
  • Get bids for entertainment
  • Get bids for decorations
  • Get bids for design/printing
  • Get bids for other major items
  • Finance committee drafts initial budget
  • Decide on admission cost
  • Create sponsorship amounts/levels
  • List items to be underwritten and possible sources
  • Research/approach honorees
  • Compile mailing list (individuals/businesses)
  • Check proposed date for potential conflicts, finalize date in writing
  • Get written contracts for site, entertainment, etc.
  • Develop alternative site (if event is outdoors)
  • Consider pre-party event for publicity or underwriting
  • Invite/confirm VIPs
  • Pick graphic artist; begin invitation design
  • Create logo for event with graphic artist
  • Order hold-the-date cards or other event announcements
  • Set marketing/public relations schedule
  • Develop press release and calendar listings
  • Select photographer; arrange for photos of VIPs, chairmen, honorees
  • Get biographical information on VIPs, celebrities, honorees, chairmen
  • Investigate need for special permits, licenses, insurance, etc.

3 to 6 Months Ahead

  • Begin monthly committee meetings
  • Write/send requests for funding or underwriting to major donors, corporations, sponsors
  • Request logos from corporate sponsors for printing
  • Review with graphic artist invitations, programs, posters, etc.
  • Prepare final copy for invitations, return card, posters
  • Prepare final copy for tickets
  • Complete mailing lists for invitations
  • Order invitations, posters, tickets, etc.
  • Sign contract with entertainment company
  • Make list of locations for posters
  • Finalize mailing lists; begin soliciting corporations and major donors
  • Obtain lists from honorees, VIPs
  • Obtain radio/TV sponsors, public service announcements, promos
  • Set menu with caterer for food and beverages
  • Secure permits and insurance
  • Get written confirmation of celebrity or special guest participation/special needs
  • Finalize audio/visual contract
  • Select/order trophies/awards

2 Months Ahead

  • Hold underwriting or preview party to coincide with mailing of invitations; invite media
  • Assemble/address invitations (with personal notes when possible)
  • Mail invitations
  • Distribute posters
  • Finalize transportation/hotel accommodations for staff, VIPs, honorees
  • Obtain contracts for decorations and rental items
  • Confirm TV/radio participation
  • Release press announcements about celebrities, VIPs, honorees
  • Follow up to confirm sponsorships and underwriting
  • Obtain logos from corporate sponsors for program printing
  • Review needs for signs at registration, directional, etc.
  • All major chairpersons to finalize plans
  • Hold walk-through of event with responsible committees, chairpersons and responsible site staff members at event site
  • Review/finalize budget, task sheets and tentative timeline
  • Start phone follow-up for table sponsors (corporate, VIP, committee)

1 Month Ahead

  • Phone follow-up of mailing list (ticket sales)
  • Place newspaper ads, follow up with news media, on-air announcements
  • Confirm staff for registration, hosting, other
  • Write to VIPs, celebrities, special guests, program participants, confirm participation
  • Complete list of contents for VIP welcome packets
  • Get enlarged site plan/room diagram, assign seats/tables
  • Give estimate of guests expected to caterer/food service
  • Meet with all outside vendors, consultants to coordinate event
  • Review script/timeline
  • Continue phone follow-ups for ticket/table sales
  • Continue assigning seats; set head table, speaker’s platform
  • Confirm transportation schedules: airlines, trains, buses, cars, limos
  • Confirm hotel accommodations
  • Prepare transportation and accommodations (include arrival time, flight number, airline, person assigned to meet flight)
  • Confirm special security needed for VIPs, event
  • Prepare welcome packet for VIPs, chairmen, and key staff
  • Schedule deliveries of special equipment, rentals
  • Confirm setup and tear down times with event site
  • Finalize plans with party decorator
  • Give caterer revised numbers
  • Meet with chairpersons, key staff to finalize any of the above


1 Week Ahead

  • Meet with all committees for last-minute details
  • Finish phone follow-ups
  • Confirm number attending
  • Finish seating/table arrangements
  • Hold training session with volunteers; finalize assignments
  • Secure two or three volunteers to assist with emergencies
  • Finalize registration staff
  • Distribute seating chart, assignments to hosts/hostesses
  • Schedule pickup or delivery of any rented or loaned equipment
  • Double-check arrival time and delivery times with vendors
  • Reconfirm event site, hotel, transportation
  • Deliver final scripts/ timelines to all program participants
  • Finalize catering guarantee, refreshments
  • Confirm number of volunteers
  • Make follow-up calls to news media for advance and event coverage
  • Distribute additional fliers
  • Final walk-through with all personnel
  • Schedule rehearsals
  • Schedule volunteer assignments for day of event
  • Establish amount of petty cash needed for tips and emergencies
  • Write checks for payments to be made for the day of the event

1 Day Ahead

Lay out all clothes that you will need the day of the event

Recheck all equipment and supplies to be brought to the event

Have petty cash and vendor checks prepared

Event Day

  • Arrive early (with your change of clothes)
  • Unpack equipment, supplies and make sure nothing is missing
  • Be sure all VIPs are in place and have scripts
  • Reconfirm refreshments/meal schedule for volunteers
  • Go over all the final details with caterer and setup staff
  • Check with volunteers to make sure all tasks are covered
  • Setup registration area
  • Check sound/light equipment and staging before event
  • Hold walk-through if applicable


Corporate Event and Fundraiser Planning Checklist 

(click to download)

Saturday, November 6th, 2010. Filed under: Tools