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3 Tips to Plan a Successful Nonprofit Event

An image of a father taking a selfie at a local charity event with his daughter on his shoulders.

Summary: Does your nonprofit organization plan fundraising events regularly? Event planning and management can be tricky. There are many moving parts requiring a collective effort to execute a successful fundraiser.

Designating a point person to oversee the timeline, double-check budget, allocate people resources to the various tasks, and handle inevitable issues will alleviate a lot of stress for NGOs. Here’s how bringing in a project manager with experience in nonprofit work can help make your event a success.


Why should you use a project manager for a nonprofit event?

Your event is only as good as the team behind the scenes. It takes a lot of hands to pull off a fundraiser. Ensure all goes according to plan by clearly defining roles and responsibilities for your full-time staff and volunteers.

You’ll want an overarching project manager – someone to oversee the timeline, double check the budget, allocate your people resources to the various tasks at hand, and create solutions for issues as they inevitably arise.

A good project manager knows how to set expectations upfront.

Treat your event with the same importance as a business development project. Project managers can work with your team to define objectives for your nonprofit event. Do you want to raise a certain amount of money? Attract certain sponsors? Break a record for attendance?

Once your objectives are defined, you can decide how you’d like to measure success. Benchmark data, such as attendance records from a previous event, are a great start to measuring the success of your event.

Inform your full-time staff about important details. How much time per day or week should they set aside to work on this event? Will normal business hours change at all? How much time until the event?

Finally, clearly define expectations for your volunteers. Do you need a set up and cleanup crew? Do you need individuals working water stations, such as during a 5K, or do you need them handing out medals after the race?


A good project manager considers all resources.

For your full-time staff, consider designating roles for:

  • Marketing
  • Sponsor relationships
  • Venue logistics
  • Day-of-event logistics (will you need food catering? Will you need security personnel? Will you need stages or other equipment?)
  • Budget monitoring

A project manager oversees each of these roles to keep everyone on timeline and eliminate barriers to completing tasks.

Considering every aspect of your event from start to finish and slotting in resources wherever gaps appear is key to minimizing risk of snafus the day of your event.


A good project manager knows the industry and the right questions to ask.

When working with venues or third parties, you often need to obtain necessary permits and licenses. Industry experts stay especially attuned to this information and know who to ask, what to ask for, and when to ask.

A seasoned PM maximizes efficiency, particularly when managing big teams on tight deadlines. They may recommend affordable technology to simplify your tasks. At Tuck, for instance, many of our experts swear by the power of ClickUp. We even have a free ClickUp template for nonprofit fundraising projects available to download.



A seasoned project manager can help your nonprofit organization navigate the complexities of event planning with ease. By ensuring all moving parts, from budget allocation to volunteer coordination, are handled — your team can focus on the mission at hand. 

Tuck Consulting Group specializes in helping nonprofits further their mission by increasing operational efficiencies through our project management expertise. If your organization is under $500K per year in annual budget, we would love to have you apply for our pro bono services, where we can help you get ClickUp set up and maybe even run a few of your projects for free.




Erica Statly

Erica Statly

Marketing & Project Management Consultant

Erica is a marketing and project management consultant with a knack for  building online communities through organic strategies. Her expertise in SEO, content marketing, project management, and brand development wields impactful results.

Erica has her Project Management Professional (PMP) certification and a Bachelors in Journalism with a concentration in Public Relations. As a Charleston, South Carolina resident she spends her free time trying out local run clubs, exploring the local food scene, or at the beach with her pup.

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