FUNDRAISING – Step-by-step grand ball

it’s for auction prizes or sponsorship. This will increase your profi t margin considerably. Simple party games can also be popular – see boost-profi ts for ideas.

 TIMING: Allow around six months to plan your ball, avoiding major sporting fi xtures and local events.

 TICKETS: The right ticket price is vital to ensuring a profi t without deterring your audience. Once you’ve estimated your costs, you will be able to make an informed decision on ticket price. Remember that this isn’t the limit of your fundraising. Number your tickets and offer a discount on a table of eight or ten to encourage bulk sales – challenge year reps to sell a table each. If the ball is for a specifi c project, mention this on the tickets.

 BOOST PROFITS: Auctions or raffl es are ideal for a ball as they create excitement and a focal point for your guests. Reach out to parents, teachers and the local community for support, whether

 VENUE: The venue is of huge importance for a ball. Research local hotels or golf clubs and see if you can negotiate a charity discount. You could hire a marquee and hold the event on school grounds, but this may not make the cut for a £30 price tag! External venues mean that food, drinks, music and service are taken care of, enabling PTA volunteers to enjoy the evening. It also removes the need for TEN and music licences. When researching venues, consider the dance fl oor, capacity, how far guests will have to travel, space for the band and whether you can bring alcohol to the venue.

 ENTERTAINMENT: Music is a sure-fi re way to get everyone in the celebrating spirit, so source a live band to add some glamour to the night. In addition, how about booking a magician or a comedian?

 PUBLICITY: Design and print tickets, programmes and posters to create a buzz (see p19). This will add a professional touch that will refl ect the ticket price.

Two months before Continue promoting the event. Confi rm all prizes for auctions

and the raffl e. Begin designing the programme, and approach companies and businesses if you’re selling advertising space.

Three weeks before Decide how you’re going to utilise your auction prizes

– consider increasing the interest in lower-value items by creating auction ‘packages’, where you group various prizes together. You might also split prizes between a raffl e, a main auction – where a compère shouts out each lot and whips up excitement – and a silent auction – where guests write down their bids against each prize.

Two weeks before Finish the ball programme and get it printed. Put a table

plan together, taking guests’ requests into consideration. This will probably need adapting a few times. Organise a team of helpers for on the night. Have different people in charge of each element of the ball (raffl e, auction, casino, games, entertainment, etc.). Invite parents who cannot attend on the night to submit sealed bids for the auction.

One week before Liaise with the hotel to fi nalise arrangements,

including confi rming guest numbers and any dietary requirements.

On the day Earlier in the day, take all the prizes to the venue and check

the layout of the room. Set up and decorate the venue. Meet with the DJ and Event Manager to confi rm the order of events. Check if the venue’s safe can be used to store cash, with a view to collecting it the next day.

After the event Gather feedback on what went well and what could

be improved for next time, making detailed notes for future reference. Thank your volunteers, guests, auction donors and any event/programme sponsors and give them details about how much the event raised and how this money will be spent. SUMMER 2018 49


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