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Pros and Cons: Special Events

Special events include: dinners, fairs, sales, auctions, tournaments, races, balls, festivals, carnivals, derbies, banquets, walk-a-thons (and any other a-thon you can think of). The possibilities are endless.


  • They attract new supporters.
  • They raise your organization's visibility.
  • They involve a large number of people.
  • They encourage board involvement.
  • They pull diverse groups together.
  • They help build mailing lists.
  • They unite people in a common goal and increase commitment.


  • They take lots of time, planning, and organizational skills.
  • An event can be ruined because of the weather, a competing event on the same day, a promised celebrity not showing up, and many other details over which you have little control.
  • The money raised may not justify all the time involved.


  • Details are everything. Be sure a detail-oriented person is in charge.
  • Have local businesses donate as many of the necessary products and services as possible. Examples: printing, prizes, food, entertainment, postage, volunteer labor.
  • Take care in choosing the time for your event. Check with your Chamber of Commerce to be sure your event doesn't conflict with other community activities.
  • The rule on when to start planning your event: The earlier the better. (See the Sample Timetable) . Put at least as much into advertising (paid or free) as you do into entertainment.



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