A Guide for Community Events
We are thrilled that you have decided to host a fundraising event and have named the STEGH Foundation as the recipient of the funds raised! Special people like you help the STEGH Foundation provide much needed equipment, education, and support for patient care needs at OUR Hospital.
To help you move through the planning process, we have prepared this guide as a reference tool. You may not need to refer to the entire package. Pick and choose the sections that pertain to your event. We’ve got your back and are here to help!
Supporting STEGH through a gift to the Foundation has the potential to transform patient care by ensuring they get the best possible care during each visit, at every stage of life, using the most current technology and procedures as close to home as possible.
We are so grateful for your commitment to the St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital Foundation and we wish you great success with your fundraising event.
10 Tips for Event Success
1. Develop Your Concept
Fundraisers are a time for family, friends, and colleagues to get together and give back to the community. A few theme ideas are:
“A-thons” (of any kind), barbecues, dinners/dances, auctions, carnivals, bake sales, fashion shows, raffles, holiday celebrations, and sporting events.
2. Know Your Audience
It’s important to know your audience. These people will support you and attend your event, activity, or initiative. Chat it up with friends, family, and colleagues. Is the theme of your event family oriented and speaks to mostly everyone, or is it something that might attract a more mature crowd? Knowing your audience guides you when it comes to selling tickets and promoting your event.
3. Establish a Fundraising Goal
Stay realistic when setting your fundraising goal. If you exceed your target, all the better. Part of setting a goal involves constructing a budget. A budget will give you a starting point and outline expected revenue and expenses. Note – event organizers should work to ensure that expenses do not exceed 50% of expected gross revenue. To make it easier, a sample budget is included in this package.
4. Submit Your Event
Complete the 3rd Party Event Proposal Form and Budget. Submit it to the St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital Foundation.
Download – 3rd Party Event Proposal Form
5. Form an Event Committee
Engage your friends, family, and colleagues right from the start. Enthusiastic, dedicated people who are just as interested in the cause as you will be great people to have on board.
6. Organize Your Event Details
Organization is one of the most important elements in fundraising. Keeping track of what has been completed and what still needs to be done helps you avoid confusion and allows you to guide your committees and volunteers effectively. Create a “to do” list and work with your committee to come up with a reasonable timeline to complete specific tasks. A sample checklist is included with this package.
7. Promote Your Event
Catchy flyers, tickets, and other promotional materials can all help attract an audience. A website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram will also get the word out. Sample poster ideas are included in this package.
We are excited to have the STEGH Foundation logo used on your promotional material. This said, we ask that any promotional material incorporating the STEGH Foundation name or logo is approved by us BEFORE IT IS USED OR GOES TO PRINT.
Sample Promotional Posters – PDF Download
8. Have Fun
Enjoy the ride! This is probably one of the most important parts of a successful event!
9. Wrap it Up
Collect the funds. We ask that you collect and submit all funds raised to the St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital Foundation within 30 days of your event. Contact us and we will arrange a cheque presentation for use in OUR Hospital communications as well as the media.
With any good event comes a comprehensive wrap-up meeting. Bring friends, family, and volunteers together and get their feedback – what worked and what didn’t. Evaluating your event right after it has happened allows you to take notes for next time. Congratulate yourself and your committee on a job well done!
10. Thank You
Be sure to send out thank you notes to everyone involved in your event in a timely manner, including sponsors, donors, and participants. Tell them how much money they helped raise and what that means to OUR Hospital and the community!
Submitting an Event Proposal
If you would like to plan an event or program to benefit STEGH, we ask that you submit a completed and signed 3rd Party (Community) Event Proposal Form and Budget included in this guide. Depending on the complexity of the event, we ask that this form be submitted at least two months prior to the date the event is set to take place. The STEGH Foundation reviews each proposal to see if it is feasible and if it fits with our organization’s goals and objectives.
3rd Party Event Proposal Form
Sample Budget – PDF Download
Criteria Used to Evaluate an Event
- Does the event support the mission and vision of the St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital Foundation?
- Does the event have a realistic budget, timeline, and plan?
- What are the estimated proceeds from the event?
- Who will chair the event and will there be other committee members?
- Does the event honour an individual or mark a special occasion?
- Will the event raise funds for areas of priority as determined by the STEGH Foundation?
What the STEGH Foundation Brings!
Advice, expertise, mentoring, and this event package on event planning;
The use of the STEGH Foundation logo and branding (upon approval);
A letter of endorsement for your event;
Foundation representation where applicable;
Promotion of your event, for example:
- Foundation exterior hospital signs
- Internal hospital communications
- STEGH Foundation website
- STEGH Foundation social media
- STEGH internal distribution
Cheque presentation with photos;
Donor recognition where applicable after the event in publications, electronic communications, social media, and the media.
What the STEGH Foundation Cannot Do
Provide funding or reimbursement of event expenses;
Provide mail and/or email lists of contacts such as donor lists and Hospital staff lists;
Advertise event other than what is listed;
Guarantee attendance of staff or volunteers at your event;
Provide prizes, auction items, or awards;
Apply for gaming licenses, e.g. bingo or raffle licenses on your behalf;
We will acknowledge receipt of your proposal within 24 hours. Please allow one week for the approval process.
The STEGH Foundation would like to ensure you have a wonderful event!
We ask you follow some guidelines so we can help you be as successful as possible.
- All third party events require completion and approval of the STEGH Foundation 3rd Party Event Proposal Form and Budget to the best of your ability.
- We ask that you immediately advise the STEGH Foundation of any substantial changes in your fundraising event, i.e. anticipated revenue, location, date, expected number of guests, etc.
- Fundraising events and programs must comply with all relevant municipal, provincial, and federal laws and be consistent with the mission and vision of the St. Thomas Elgin General Hospital Foundation.
- All publicity (including media releases, print/promotional material) for the proposed event must be approved by the STEGH Foundation prior to being printed or released.
- The STEGH Foundation name and logo may not be used by a third party event on an ongoing basis unless permission in writing has been granted to the third party by the STEGH Foundation.
- The event coordinator will obtain all necessary permits, licenses, and insurance for the event and provide proof of said permits, licenses, and insurance as requested.
- All funds and tax receipt information, in compliance with CRA regulations, must be obtained by the STEGH Foundation within 30 days after the event.
- The STEGH Foundation shall have the right at any time and for any reason to request that the event organizer/third party event cease to use the name of the STEGH Foundation in connection with the event and the event organizer/third party shall use its best efforts to comply with such request.
- The STEGH Foundation will not assume any legal or financial liability at a third party event.
- The STEGH Foundation is not responsible for any damage, accidents to persons or property at third party events.
- Any alterations to any guidelines provided in this agreement must be made in writing and agreed to by the STEGH Foundation.
Using Social Media
Social Media Tips
By now you’ve determined your audience and who you hope will attend your event, buy tickets, or otherwise participate in your activity. Find out which social media channel they use the most. Create a Facebook event page and/or a Twitter and Instagram account, all of which are FREE! Focus your attention on the best way to get your message out.
Hashtags are similar to an index. Giving your event a unique hashtag will grab people’s attention, such as #BoogieBarnDance, #SupportSTEGH, or, of course, #ItsOURHospital, #StThomasProud, or #ElginCountyAwesome.
Use Images and Videos
Most people are visual and connect with visual content. Add catchy images and perhaps the odd video to your social media pages. Statistics show that clicks can increase substantially when images and videos are used. Although you can include some stock images with the permission of the owner, it’s always best to use your own photos and videos as much as possible.
Reach Out Often
The goal is to create a conversation surrounding your event so other people are doing the talking, not just you. When reaching out to potential supporters, social media offers a great platform to engage in a conversation. A good rule of thumb with respect to how often to connect is:
On Twitter: follow, re-tweet, like, and mention your supporters on a day-to-day basis;
On Facebook: like, comment, and share your followers’ posts at least twice a week;
On Instagram: tag friends and partners and leave comments daily.
As the event gets closer, remind everyone of the number of days left until the big day!
Partner with Influential Businesses
If your event has a particular theme, such as a walk or run, reaching out to businesses in the area to promote and support the event through their online presence is huge. They are already established and might be willing to spread the word through their social media channels.
Good to Know
Facebook posts have a lifespan of approximately 14 hours, Instagram 21 hours, and a Tweet just over four hours.
Email marketing is still one of the most effective and efficient ways to convey your message and reach your target audience.
1. Think about what draws your attention when you read an email. In short, it’s the subject line that catches your attention. Thirty-three percent of recipients open an email based on what they read in the subject line. Even if the recipient doesn’t open the email, you can still grab their attention and provide valuable information within the subject line.
Keep it short and catchy, no more than ten words. Use something that will attract attention to what you are “selling,” which in this case is your event.
2. First and foremost, use images to attract initial attention. You have as little as eight seconds to get someone’s attention and an image is visually stimulating. Then place a headline under the image with brief copy to follow. End with a call-to-action button, which may be a click that takes the reader to a page to purchase a ticket to your event, make a donation, or participate in your initiative.
3. Personalize the content, for example:
(Insert the name of the recipient), thank you for your past support. I am writing to invite you, your family, and friends to join us once again for (insert the name of the event).
Or if they have never attended before:
(Insert the name of the recipient), we know you haven’t been to our event before, however we thought we would extend an invitation to you, your friends, and family to join us for (insert the name of the event) because we know what (insert the charity you are raising money for) means to you.
There are great email marketing platforms you can access that are cost effective and user friendly, such as Mailchimp.
So Let’s Get Started
1. Establish an email schedule with what you would like to accomplish in each email.
2. Build your email list of friends, family, and contacts. Be sure to comply with email privacy regulations as you move forward. Provide a button on your website or social media where people can join your email list.
3. Decide on the look and feel you want to portray. The great part of using a program such as Mailchimp is it’s “user friendly” and FREE! Keep the design consistent each time you reach out so people know exactly who it’s coming from.
4. Create the content, upload your email list, and send. Be careful how many times you reach out. Too many emails can turn people off and they will unsubscribe. A good rule of thumb is to begin with once a week and an increase to twice a week as you get closer to the event.
Note: In accordance with CASL regulations, an unsubscribe button is mandatory.