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How To Organise a Charity Ball

How To Organise a Charity Ball

21 May 2024

How to Organise a Charity Ball 

Do you work for or support a local charity that you would like to raise awareness and vital funds for? Why not organize a Charity Ball? This type of event can be a fun way to celebrate the amazing work charities do for our local community and can be a very rewarding experience for those involved. 

Decide on a Date 

Try to schedule at least 6-12 months in advance to allow plenty of time for planning. This will likely be something you plan in your spare time around your work and social/family life, so allowing enough time to plan in stages will ensure you aren’t too stressed and have plenty of time to check everything off your list. Think about the time of year if you are planning to seasonally theme the event. Pick the day of the week; Fridays are often a good day to hold this type of event as venues can often be fully booked on a Saturday. It also gives guests joining you the rest of their weekend free. 

Pick a Venue 

Check out local venues online to see what they have to offer. Think about parking, not only for guests but also for vendors who will be dropping off and setting up. Accommodation is also key; does the venue have this? Do they offer a discount for your guests? How accommodating is the venue to your needs? Are their events team experienced and able to guide you, especially if you have never done something like this before? Do they offer special packages and offers for charity events, and do they already work with local charities? Book a show around to view the venue and discuss your requirements in person. 

Choose a Theme or Concept for the Event 

It’s great to have a theme or concept to work with when designing posters, choosing décor, and deciding on entertainment. This is the fun part with endless possibilities; think masquerade, 1920s, Hollywood glitz, under the sea, and casino royal as just a few suggestions. If this is the first time you have done something like this, why not keep it simple and choose the charity colours? It can be stunning to see a room decorated with all the guests dressed in just a few colours. 


It is important from the start to ensure that the result of raising money for your chosen charity is achieved. Create a simple profit and loss document and record what you expect your minimum ticket revenue and the maximum ticket revenue could be, and subtract all likely costs from this such as venue cost, decorations, entertainment, etc. This will also help you set an appropriate ticket cost. Keep an eye on expenditure throughout to ensure you aren’t spending more than what you hope to make. You could also look at getting business sponsors to cover some of the costs incurred. Some vendors will allow for a charity discount; just make sure to ask if this is an option when booking vendors. 

Let’s Talk Entertainment 

For an event of this kind, you would expect at least a disco and raffle as entertainment, but there is a vast range of choices. You could have a live band, singer, tribute act, photo booth, dancers, magician, comedian, games, auctions, to name just a few. Again, with entertainment, the possibilities are endless! What is on offer could well impact someone’s decision to buy a ticket; although most people will do so to support a local charity, they also would like to have an enjoyable night. 

Order of the Night 

Decide on the running order for the night and be careful to ensure that the timings are realistic. Allow enough time for the meal and ensure a good amount of time for fun and dancing. With a charity ball, you certainly want to raise awareness, and having time for speeches, a video, or a presentation to show people how their donations will help the charity concerned is a fantastic idea. However, do be mindful that you don’t want guests to have to sit for too long as they will lose focus and the message you are trying to get across will be lost. 

Selling Tickets 

What is the best way to sell tickets for this kind of event? If you have potentially up to 400 people coming, it can be quite time-consuming to manage people calling or emailing for tickets. I always advise for this type of event to sell tickets through a third-party ticketing site such as Eventbrite or Ticket Tailor. You can set up an account and charge a booking fee to guests to cover any charges from using the site, or you can alternatively include these costs within the overall ticket cost. You will be able to, at the touch of a button, send email updates to all guests and be able to pull reports showing lists of all guests attending. On the evening, if you want to track guests’ arrival, you can also scan guests’ tickets from a smartphone, although for these types of events, it isn’t necessary. 


You have the event date booked, the venue secured, your entertainment penciled in, and your order of the night; now it’s time to get those tickets sold! Canva is a fantastic source for creating your marketing posters, invites, and social media posts. You can sign up for free, and it has a vast range of templates to choose from which can be a starting point for your design. Social media can be a great tool for advertising your event. Set up as an event on socials, set to public and ask all your friends, family, and colleagues to share. Share in different local Facebook groups. Post regularly to the event page and show the journey of organizing the event. Ask the charity, if local, if they can get the word out there by advertising on their website and social media channels. Call or pop into local businesses to ask if they would like to book a table. Larger businesses will often have a budget to spend on attending and donating to charity. Most venues will also advertise on their social media channels to help with ticket sales. Contact the local paper or radio to see if they can help. Leaflet drops and putting posters in local shops and businesses are also great ways to spread the word. Before you know it, your event will be fully booked! 

Managing Dietary Needs and Seating Plans 

For a large event of 200 – 400 guests, when it comes to managing allergies and special dietary requirements as well as organizing who sits where, it can be a minefield of spreadsheets, endless lists, and floor plans. I find this often to be the most time-consuming and difficult aspect of organizing this type of event, and at this stage, only a few weeks away from the night when you have so many other things to confirm and finalize. At Mercure Hull Grange Park Hotel, we use the Creventa event management platform. This system will make organizing your event so much simpler. Once you have set up your menu with us, we will forward your log-in as the event host. From there, you can either add your guests’ emails for them to add their own dietary needs themselves, or you can add your guests’ dietary needs manually yourself. We add your floor plan so you can drag and drop your guests into place. We can then see your event details as they are updated from our end, so no need to worry about getting everything sent across to us in time. 

Overall Planning 

When looking at the overall planning of an event like this it can be overwhelming. The initial planning is so important to ensure you don’t become overwhelmed. 

Don’t do it alone, get a team of friends, family, and colleagues to help. Divide tasks between you. Make a calendar of tasks and space out to ensure you don’t leave everything until the last minute. Just remember to have fun and enjoy the process. The sense of achievement when you have run your first successful charity event is amazing and makes you want to turn it into an annual event! 

For more information on organising charity ball, please get in touch with our sales team at 01482 272 672810 or