Individuals with autism tend to be diverse. Therefore, it is difficult to use words such as all or none when describing this group.
We can help you make your event a success and provide you with the following support.
- provide a letter of support to validate the authenticity of the event.
- promote your event on the News & Events page of the Autism Services website.
- promote, when possible, your event in Autism Services newsletters.
- arrange, when possible, for staff or volunteers to attend the event and/or accept a cheque presentation.
- issue tax receipts to individual donors in accordance with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) guidelines.
Step 1. Choose an Idea
Talk to your friends, family, networks and colleagues to find an idea for an event that really excites you. Keep your audience in mind when making your decision. There are many events you can hold to raise funds in support Autism Services. Choose an event that will attract participants as well as support from the local business community. A creative and unique event has a greater potential for motivating others to get involved. Think of a fun, creative name people will remember, and the name will sell your vision to potential supporters.
Step 2. Contact Us
Once you have decided on the details, it is important to review our Community Fundraiser Guidelines. Then, fax, email or mail us a signed copy of the Letter of Agreement – Third Party Events. These guidelines help to ensure your fundraiser fits with our policies, mission and goals. It is important to connect with us, as we can offer planning tips and advice for a successful fundraiser.
Step 3. Set Budget and Goals
How much money do you reasonably expect to raise? Consider your audience when selecting your participation fees, product prices and goals. Be sure to communicate your goals to all those involved. Use the Community Event Application Form to help you identify all potential income and expenses.
Step 4. Get Help!
Recruit enthusiastic, dedicated volunteers who have a variety of skills to share responsibilities and help you organize a successful event. The type of event you choose should fit the size, interest, talents and goals of your planning team. Often, larger workplaces have event-organizing or social committees in place. If no such committees are in place at your workplace, create one. Personal invitations are always most effective. A volunteer recruitment email, memo and/or newsletter blurb are easy ways to reach all employees. Posters in common areas such as a lunch room, indoor carpark, or near stairwells or elevators can also prove to be an effective recruitment tool.
Step 5. Promotion/Publicity
Who are you trying to reach with your marketing? If you’re hosting a private event with family and friends, then a personal invitation by phone or mail is best. However, you may decide to attract the general public, and in this case you have many marketing strategies to choose from. Check out Tips on Marketing for more information.
Step 6. Make an “Action” List
Develop a list of everything that needs to be done before your event. Assign a volunteer and completion date to each task. Try working back from the date of the fundraiser first to get a better idea of timing. If time seems tight, change your date.
Step 7. Pick a Date and Location
Book the location well in advance to guarantee availability. Choose a location that is easily accessible to all and has sufficient capacity, space and parking. Pick a location where the event can grow if you’re planning for this to become an annual event. Schools, parks, community centres and leisure centres are all effective options. Depending on the type and size of your fundraiser, your home may also serve as a suitable location for an annual activity.
Step 8. Look for Sponsorship for your Community Fundraiser
Finding sponsors is one way you can reduce your event expenses and increase your contribution to Autism Services.
Before contacting potential sponsors, please contact Autism Services to ensure that we are not asking the same person or company for sponsorship.
Important questions to consider:
- How many people do you expect to reach with your promotion and how many participants are expected at your Fundraiser? This will help you determine the scope of your event and the reach your sponsors will receive.
- How much money and what services do you want to secure through sponsorship (e.g. printing, venue, products, advertising)?
- What companies do you want to approach? Do your friends, family, neighbours or co-workers have any contacts with companies you are trying to solicit for sponsorship? Is there a company that “fits” well with your event?
- Which local businesses might support you with in-kind gifts?
- What sponsorship recognition opportunities are available (e.g. event signage, logo on selected promotional material, special acknowledgement at the event)?
Step 9. Insurance, Permits, etc.
Check well in advance of the event to see if there are any special permits, contracts, licenses and/or insurance required. For example, you may need to obtain a liquor license, liability insurance and/or a venue rental contract.
Step 10. Have Fun!
Create buzz for your community fundraiser to ensure its success. Effective marketing will ensure people know about your event, so get excited about it and build on that.