It takes careful preparation to throw a casino fundraiser. There are many details that happen behind the scenes that will determine whether your goals are reached. This extensive guide will break down the process from start to finish, giving you the knowledge necessary to successfully host a casino night fundraiser.
1. Are You Allowed to Host a Fundraiser Based on State/City/County Guidelines?
Most states require a license or permit issued by their local government. Whether you file as a 501c3 company or not, you should still check to make sure you don’t require a permit to host a fundraiser. You don’t want to get all the way to the event date and get shut down that same night because you didn’t go through the proper channels. Making a quick call to your county official will steer you in the right direction on what the requirements will be. Or you can search online for your local government website and see if they have a dedicated section for these types of questions.
2. Know Your Numbers
How much money do you want to raise over the course of the night? This is the most important question you need to ask yourself when planning your casino night fundraiser because all other factors will be centered around this number. For example, if you want to raise $5,000 from your fundraiser, then you will have to charge $50 per person and invite 100 people, right? Not so fast! You are forgetting about other costs like marketing, casino tables, prizes, beverages, food, venue, music, and Dj services. All items come at a price and will prevent you from reaching your goal if you don’t handle them properly. Luckily, Eventricate knows exactly how to handle these overhead costs to where you won’t pay a dime if you follow our process.
3. When Will You Host Your Casino Night?
With 20 years of experience in event hosting, we have seen a lot of fundraisers and have the experience necessary to accomplish your goals. We realized that the ideal time to host a fundraiser is with a date that doesn’t coincide with any other popular event. For example, mid February–May seems to be an ideal time without many holidays, vacations and sporting event championships. The summer months including June-August can be used as an alternative, however, you should realize that many people go on vacation with their children during the summer months.
It is also important to know the correct date of your fundraiser at least 8-12 months in advance. You may be asking yourself “why should I start so far out from my event date?” because you need to properly solicit your sponsors and give them ample time to make a decision on whether or not they make donations. Most companies take a long time to make decisions when it comes to donations, so you will have to prepare for extensive wait times to hear solid answers from your potential sponsors.
4. What Venue Will You Choose?
The Venue is very important for a casino night fundraiser. There needs to be proper space for Eventricate to setup the casino tables, but also have room for attendees to freely walk around if they wish. Preferably, you want a venue that is wide enough to place the casino tables in “Pit” style format which means the dealers backs will be up against each other and the flow of your attendees circles around the outside of the tables.
If you are serving food and drinks at your Venue then you need to adjust the space for these items as well. You will need a dedicated area with tables and chairs for attendees to sit and eat, therefore, your venue size will be much larger. Usually catered events require a buffet section for your attendees as well. Not to mention bar locations strategically placed that won’t affect the flow of the casino table patrons.
You want to pick an event venue that is centered around your sponsors locations as best as you can, this way they won’t have to travel far to attend your casino night fundraiser. Making your event accessible to them shows consideration from your part and will make their decision to attend much easier. Happy sponsors will help you with reaching your goal. Usually a 15–mile radius around your venue is preferable.
5. What Amenities Will Be Included?
Amenities add value to your fundraiser and make it more appealing to different attendees. For example, if your casino fundraiser will be catering dinner for everyone during the night then more people will be willing to purchase a ticket in advance if they know it brings a free meal.
Silent auctions are a great way to increase your profits during the night. Usually you can get sponsors who do not wish to give monetary donations an opportunity to provide the auction items. These items can be labelled at each station with the sponsors name and/or company. We have seen multiple companies donate items like sports tickets, gift cards, vacations, coupons, golf clubs, etc.
Photobooths will provide an added benefit to attendees who wish to take a break from the casino tables and create lasting memories with their friends and family. Since we suggest that the number of betting positions make up 75% of your total attendance, there will be patrons who are walking around the room conversing. Having a photobooth as extra entertainment will help make their night more fun.
Cash bars are another way to increase your profits for your casino fundraiser. We suggest you offer at least one free drink ticket per person to help get them started. Remember that these amenities will add to your bottom line, but they are all opportunities for potential sponsors to be visible during your event.
Music should be added to your casino night fundraiser because it creates a great overall ambiance. You can hire a Dj to handle all your music needs or if you have access to a sound system of your own, simply setup a playlist dedicated for it and let it run all night. This will save cost, but hiring a Dj to handle music and host the fundraiser will make your life easier.
Poker tournaments can also be added to your casino night fundraiser for those attendees that would rather have that option. This would also give a way for patrons to buy back their chips if they lose everything.
6. How Do You Solicit Sponsors For Your Event?
There are many great and simple ways to solicit sponsors for you event. We recommend that you have someone at your company reach out to potential sponsors by phone to give them more information, but you can also setup a direct mail campaign with a donation letter that gives them the different tiered options. You will want to setup a tier structure like the example below.
- Premium Donor: This sponsor will handle the event venue costs (which could include catering and alcohol depending on what your venue provides. They can have the entire fundraiser sponsored by their company as well as have their logo and business information located on all the marketing materials sent out to potential attendees.
- Standard Donor: this sponsor will handle the cost of your tables individually or as a group depending on what they feel comfortable donating. All donors of casino tables will have a small sign with their company logo and information visible on one or multiple casino tables.
- Minor Donor: This sponsor will provide a much lower cost in donations. They can purchase amenities that you added with labelled company logo and information or they can simply donate items for the silent auction.
Remember that it would be better for you to solicit sponsors that will see an added value in donating to your cause. You may want to reach out to companies and explain to them that their clients and/or customers will be at this event and it would ultimately benefit them to have more visibility in front of these high dollar attendees. You want to focus on the value this event brings for them, not just your cause.
7. Make a Tiered Ticket Structure
Creating incentives for attendees to spend more money is another way to help you reach your casino fundraiser goals. For example, you can charge $50 per ticket which would include $1,000 in casino chips, but also include a second option for $100 per person which includes $3,000 in casino chips. This gives the attendee a reason to spend more initially. You can also provide an opportunity for patrons to buy more chips if they lose all of them too quickly.
8. Hire a Professional MC/Dj
Handling a casino night fundraiser is no easy task. Hiring a professional to talk with your patrons throughout the night will help you achieve your goals. You need someone who is able to create a call to action during the night and explain all the different amenities and prizes. A leaderless fundraiser could quickly turn into chaos when your attendees aren’t informed.
Do you want to learn more about hosting a casino night fundraiser? Or are you looking to hire Eventricate for your next casino rental? Feel free to contact us at 770 637 6646 or fill out a contact form and one of our representatives will contact you shortly.