How to Plan a Charity Sporting Event

Charity sporting events take your love of your favorite outdoor activity, such as running, softball, paintball, or golf, and turn it into an opportunity to support a cause you believe in.  Setting up an event is easier than you think.  Just follow these tips to get you started.

Pick Your Charity

Most causes would appreciate your support in any way you can give it, and being associated with a fun, healthy event is no different.  If you support multiple causes throughout the year, you will need to narrow it down to one to focus on for the specific event.  For example, you may choose to support your local community by supporting the food bank, international aid efforts through the American Red Cross, or specific causes such as the Foundation for Defense of Democracy.

Once you have selected the charity you would like to support through the event, contact them directly to let them know your intentions and to get their permission to proceed, especially if you plan on using the charity name when advertising the event.  Additionally, local representatives of the charity may want to volunteer to assist with the event.

How to Plan a Charity Sporting Event

Find Volunteers

Most events cannot be full handled by one person.  If the charity you contacted offered access to some volunteers, definitely take them up on the offer.  This help is even more valuable if the volunteers have experience in setting up or managing these sorts of events.

Otherwise, contact family, friends, or coworkers (if appropriate) to help coordinate the event.  This will allow you to delegate duties as well as have a functional sounding board to hear new ideas.

Find a Location

Certain facilities, such as those needed for basketball or softball tournaments, may be easier to locate than those needed for paintball tournaments or long distance running that isn’t on a track.  If you are concerned about the availability of an appropriate facility, consider keeping another activity as a backup in case finding the facility for your first idea proves to be too difficult.

While some facilities may be available no cost, or for a small fee, others may expect a larger payment.  This is often to compensate for the fact that, while your event is running, the facility is not open to regular customers.  When working with the facility manager, mention the intention of your event, but do not expect everything to be donated.

Secure Sponsors and Participants

Contact local area businesses to see if they are interested in participating as a sponsor.  This could include providing a cash payment in exchange for onsite advertising or for providing prizes to the winners.

Participants may be found from all walks of life.  Work with your volunteers to determine the best way to get the word out through their personal or business networks.  Since the proceeds of the event are intended for charity, an entry fee or donation from participants is acceptable.

Develop the Schedule

Once you know how many participants will be present, you can schedule the course of events.  Whether that is building a tournament bracket, arranging tee times, or planning teams, you will need to coordinate the timing of the main event, as well as any side entertainment you may wish to add.

Food and Beverages

Arrange for food and beverage vendors, with at least a portion of the proceeds being directed at the charity, to help keep people comfortable onsite.

Once these pieces are in place, you are well on your way to hosting a spectacular event that not only supports an activity you are passionate about, but a charitable cause as well.

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