Friday, 28 November 2014 08:42

Is Your Fundraising Event Venue Making You Money?

Fundraising event planning includes the event venue, the event date, the menus, and lastly the budget - before you consider how to make more money from your event. 

But the fundraising event venue and associated services is where you can potentially save the most money!

Even if you’ve already booked your venue and date, before you sign the venue contract, consider how you can get more from your budget.

Tips on Effective Fundraising Event Budgeting

Your event budget generally includes the venue, food & beverage, decorations, technical services, speaker’s fees and support. 

To create an effective fundraising event budget first walk through the fundraising event in your head and list every cost item in the budget.  Do you walk down a red carpet (cost); are there entrance plinths with flowers (cost);  do you give gift bags on arrival (cost); is there a specially designed welcoming sign (cost); and is there an entertainer welcoming your guests in the foyer (cost). 

IMPORTANT POINT - there’s a lot more to an event budget than just the venue, AV and food & beverage. But how do you reduce your costs?

Tips on Trimming Your Costs

Venue choice and inclusions is where you can save the most money.  Be selective and specific about your venue needs and save thousands more money for your charity. 

Venue Negotiating Tips - Ask if the venue hire fee can be waived; ask if you must use the in-house AV or can you bring your own, or maybe a combo of the 2; can you trim the food budget by reducing 3 courses to 2 with canapés; keep the beverage budget to a minimum by asking if they can provide a cash bar!

Consider the location of your venue.  Does your fundraising event really need to be in the CBD or tourist location, at a big branded venue or at the venue you used last time?  To raise those much needed funds for your charity consider venues outside the CBD and tourist locations. 

Semi regional areas, such as Logan City in the Brisbane area, have amazing multi-faceted venues where parking is free, public transport is close by, and minimum spends are often less than a quarter of city venues.  The venue quality is just as high, and you provide an environment that truly is about your charity, and not about how much money you spent on the event.

Tips on Cutting Costs by Negotiating an Event Date

Negotiate with the venue on the event date. 

Did you know that venues have slow periods with cheaper rates?  Moving your event from Friday night to Tuesday night could reduce the venue hire costs.  Additionally, if you hold multiple events each year, book both dates at the same time and ask for a discount.  Mid-March to mid-November and then December for Christmas is when venues are busiest.  Consider shifting your fundraising event to January or February, and asking for a discount.

A client of the Logan Metro Sports Centre achieved an average 45% discount when they booked all their meeting dates at the beginning of the year.  Ask if venues offer a similar discount.  Venue operators love full calendars and are prepared to reward customers who plan ahead.

Final Tip!

Always remember that in most cases, the first quote is just that, the first quote.  Negotiation is the key to affordable outcomes. Even asking for a $3 pp discount on a 500 person dinner will put another $1500 into your charity’s bank account!

Sally Porteous is the Program & Events Coordinator at Logan Metro Sports Centre, a multi-purpose 2000+ capacity venue in Logan City Queensland.  To contact Sally call 07 3412 5941 or email

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