Choosing an Event Venue for Your Fundraiser

long table with a set chairs at an event venue

No successful fundraiser takes place in a tiny backyard. In fact, the event venue could be the “make or break” factor of any fundraising event, no matter how noble the cause. The right location sets the tone, comfort level, spaciousness, and other important aspects that will help you engage donors and make your event a success. Let’s go over some key considerations that will guide you in selecting your fundraiser venue!

Understand Your Event’s Requirements

Before planning fundraising events, it’s important to have a clear vision for your desired outcomes.

Type of Event

Fundraisers can come in all forms. Some are casual affairs that have fun music and picnic-style food, while others could be formal galas complete with fancy cocktails and classical music. The trick is to identify where your event will fall on that spectrum and narrow your venue choice down based on that. Keep in mind that some venues offer the versatility to properly host casual bashes and black tie affairs.

Expected Attendance

If your attendee list is huge, don’t settle for a venue that requires everyone to cram in. Conversely, hosting a small number of guests in a massive ballroom is a waste of space and money, and could make the whole fundraising event feel empty. That said, it’s wise to leave a little room for unexpected attendees.

Event Goals

What are your fundraising targets? What level of engagement are you hoping to have with donors? Do you want a high level of brand visibility? Throwing these details will help you choose an event venue that can complement those goals.

Location and Accessibility

You’ve heard the phrase “Location is key” countless times, and it rings true here. If all your potential donors are from one city, it’s a good idea to host the event in that city. If they’re more spread out, finding a central location can help bring them all together. Our building is located in the heart of Frederick City, which itself is a thriving hub for the surrounding areas.

There’s also accessibility and transportation to consider. Are your venue options ADA compliant with ramps and accessible restrooms? If options are multi-story buildings, does it have an elevator? Is parking abundant enough to support the amount of guests you’ll require? 

Event Venue Layout

Be on the lookout for venues that have flexible layouts that can adapt to various setups. Most fundraising events have presentations of some sort, so it’s a good idea to ensure event spaces offer options for implementing a stage. If you plan on having booths set up, make sure there’s plenty of room for them. And of course, verify there’s enough dining space for all your guests.

But even with all that space, will the event flow well? Make sure foot traffic areas are spacious and apparent to guests. Bottlenecks and cramped tables aren’t fun for anyone.

Amenities and Services

Do the venues you’re considering offer in-house services like catering, lighting, electronic equipment, and decor? Utilizing these offered services may save you money, and could make the planning and setup process much less stressful for you. Make sure the building itself is able to support the technical aspect of things. Are there enough outlets to support equipment? Is there wifi? If you’re planning on having a screen-based presentation, make sure there’s a large television or wall space for a projector available.

When a venue has competent staff that will keep things going throughout your event, everything has a much higher chance of succeeding. You’ll be able to focus on your guests without running around putting out (hopefully metaphorical) fires. 

Budget and Costs

When you’re budgeting for your event venue space, be sure to take the following considerations into account:

Venue Rental Costs

No matter what, scrutinize the rental fee. Ask your point of contact for clarification on any uncertainties on the amenities, terms, and other points of confusion.

Additional Fees

Nobody likes hidden costs. A reputable venue will be up front about overtime charges, cleanup fees, and security expenses. Asking for a detailed breakdown of all of these will help you avoid costly surprises later on.

Cost-Benefit Analysis

Once you’ve ironed out the details of the rental, it’s time to evaluate the package deal and decide whether it’s worth your money. One of the most important pieces of advice we can give on this subject is that high up-front fees are often more valuable than low ones in the long run. They usually come with better services and other conveniences that come together for an event that goes off without a hitch.

Ambiance and Atmosphere

No matter what kind of event you’re hosting, the atmosphere plays a huge part in its success! Keep these in mind when you’re researching locations:

  • Venue Style: The style of the event should reflect your organization, not the venue. A truly versatile venue can fill various requirements, like rustic or elegant.
  • Decor and Customization: Does your prospective location offer customization options for decor? You probably want to have brand visibility at your fundraiser, and this means using your colors, logo, and other identifiers.
  • First Impressions: Consider how you want guests to react when they walk through the doors. Maybe you want a reaction even earlier than that! A good venue will offer options for you to make things as grand or reserved as you’d like, from the walk up to the entrance to the festivities inside. Union Mills has you covered there!

Reputation and Reviews

These days, we have access to all sorts of information. You’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t look up reviews for a prospective service or product. Check online testimonials!. Don’t just glance at the star rating and move on, either. Read what people are saying so your decision can be as informed as possible.

If you know someone who has been to an event in a space you’re considering, that’s even better! Pick their brain and see what they have to say.

Raise Funds at Union Mills

Choosing the right event venue for your fundraiser is a pivotal step in planning. By considering event requirements, ambiance, amenities, size, and reputation, you’ll have what you need to choose the perfect space for your event. At Union Mills, it’s our mission to accommodate your event needs. Get in touch and let’s set up a successful fundraiser!