Important questions to consider before deciding how you will run this fundraiser:
What is your goal for the fundraising activity?
For example; how much money your club is looking to raise.
What is the purpose of your fundraiser?
For example; to build your club’s profile in the community, to encourage participation or to bring new people to your club.
Do you have enough time to organise the fundraiser?
Do you have enough resources and volunteer support to run the event?
Do you want to run this fundraiser as a stand alone event or as a smaller activity at a larger event or day?
7.4.2 – Sportsperson’s Night
Quite simply, a Sportsperson’s Night is a collection of speakers and an MC (sometimes a comedian) talking to the audience, entertaining them with stories, anecdotes and tales of their time in the sporting arena. The tone of the event may be comedic or motivational/inspirational.
Clubs can charge a price per head, inclusive or exclusive of drinks and a meal. A Sports Person’s night is always popular and has the ability to draw crowds from outside the club, especially if the speakers have a well known public profile. Potentially this type of event can raise in the thousands of dollars, especially if mixed with auction items, raffles and merchandise sales during the night.
Why a Sportsperson’s Night?
This event gives great scope to raise funds from outside your club and depending on the speakers, your club may be able to charge a substantial amount to attend.
It requires some volunteer time but is a fairly straight forward event to run.
When should I hold this fundraiser?
A Sportsperson’s Night can be held at anytime during the year and could be written in the calendar as one of the major, yearly social events or on a smaller scale an ongoing monthly event at the club.
These are the tasks you will need to consider assign to volunteers at our club:
Before the Day
- Decide a date for the Sports Person’s Night.
- Book your speakers and MC (well in advance)
- Promote the fundraiser.
- Organise microphones and speakers.
- Organise the venue, tables and chairs.
- Organise volunteers to help on the night.
- Organise any food and beverages that will be for sale.
- Organise any raffles, activities, competitions or auctions that might run at the same time.
- Sell tickets.
On the Day
- Ensure the room, tables, chairs and sound system are set up and ready to go.
- Ensure food and beverages are ready to sell or serve.
- Ensure the speakers know where to go and arrive on time.
- Brief volunteers of their roles.
- Enjoy the night!
- Monitor the event.
- Take lots of photos.
After the day
- Publicly thank everyone involved
- Announce the amount of money raised in club newsletters, on social media, website and around the club.
Who can help?
It is important to engage your members to help in the running of your fundraiser.
For a Sportsperson’s Night you could approach them to help:
- Promote and sell the tickets
- Help source prizes for any additional activities you may be running like a raffle or auction
- Help source speakers (you never know who your members and supporters may know!)
- Help logistically on the day
You could also approach current club Sponsors for any prizes you plan to use.
Recruiting your people
It is important to create a culture of volunteering at your club to help not only with fundraising but also across the day to day running of your club. For more on how to create this at your club, click here.
Using technology to make it easier
You may like to consider using technology to reduce the workload on your volunteers and increase your fundraising dollars.
You may like to sell tickets for your Sportsperson’s Night event online. An example of a website that allows clubs to do this is trybooking.com. This takes care of a great deal of the work usually left to volunteers and automates the ticket selling process. It also allows tickets to be purchased at any time of the day or night.
Selling tickets online means the event can be easily shared online by your members and supporters.
Your club may then also like to use social media, email newsletters and your club website to promote the event.
You may like to live stream parts of the event on social media for anyone who can’t be there on the night.
Profits can be substantial for this event but come with a risk on attendance. The major cost for the night will be the talent (your speakers & MC). Most speakers doing the Sportsperson’s Night circuits expect to be paid between $1500 and $5000 and are managed by agencies. It is best for clubs to pre-sell tickets rather than door sales, to make sure they can cover their costs.
If you’re struggling to find talent, don’t waste your time. Hire an expert media agency such as Platinum Speakers (http://www.platinumspeakers.com.au/) and give your night a better profile by getting hold of a marketable speaker.
Your club will need to think carefully about ticket prices. To cover costs you will need to estimate how many tickets you think you will sell and how much you will need to charge. Your club might also like to consider different levels of ticketing such as “meet and greet” tickets that can be sold for more than the regular admission.
Costs may also include the hire of a suitable venue if your club venue is not big enough. Tables and chairs may need to be hired as well as some minor decorations to brighten the venue.
Prizes for any raffles as well as auction items need to be considered. It is a great idea to try to source these from sponsors and ask members to help source the from businesses in the community. These donations are often in exchange for signage and promotion on the night. The key is not to leave this to the last minute and try to organise prizes early to avoid added pressure.
Promotion is important to make sure the night is fully booked. If clubs have invested significant sums in securing high-profile talent for the night then it is worth advertising the night in local papers and on community radio. Free tools such as Facebook and Twitter should be utilised, as well as mentions on the club website, newsletter and noticeboards.
It is a great idea to encourage your club community to bring their friends for a fun night! The more people that attend the greater the opportunity to raise even more fundraising dollars for your club.
As a Sportsperson’s Night may also double as a social event at your club, you can use social media to build excitement. You can use social media to sell tickets and countdown to the day. You can also live stream parts of the event on the day so that those in your community that can’t attend can still be part of the event.
Social, Moral and Ethical Considerations
Supply of Alcohol
As this event may include alcohol it is important to consider whether there will be limits or restrictions set in advance. Clubs need to consider how they will manage the risks of binge drinking as well as the Responsible Service of Alcohol.
What can go wrong? (Risk Management)
Low attendance numbers
It is important for clubs to understand their market when organising a Sports Person’s night. For example, football clubs and netball clubs have different audiences and therefore the speakers may be different. Booking speakers that don’t match your audience will mean clubs will struggle to sell tickets.
There are obvious financial risks if enough tickets aren’t sold and set up costs more than is made.
The health and wellbeing of those who attend your event should be a focus at all times. It is important that your club takes time to consider all possible risks and how to minimise these.
Licenses and Permits
Food handling and service laws need to be considered. Liquor licencing and RSA requirements for serving drinks also need to be adhered to. If in doubt, check with the liquor licensing and food safety authority in your state or territory.
Clubs need to check with their state or territory regulatory body to make sure they have all the required permissions to run a Sportsperson’s Night.
It is also important to contact your insurance company to ensure your public liability insurance policies cover the event.
Additional Factors to consider
If catering food ensure you cater for those with allergies and these are clearly labeled. Allergies can be life threatening and need to be considered seriously.
Additional Revenue Opportunities
Revenue can be made from not only ticket sales but also activities held on the night such as auctions and raffles, as well as merchandise sales. Clubs with bar facilities can also look to make significant revenue from sales.
If your club does not have a bar or food serving facilities, then you can still put on a Sportsperson’s night by making it BYO drinks and nibbles.
Any specific suppliers or links for this particular fundraiser. Could be used for 3rd party advertising in the future.
This procedure should be treated as a guide only. Your club should seek advice specific to the needs of your club and event. Seek further details from authorities and service providers; especially in regards to insurance, licences, permits, spectator and participant safety.