Popular Community Event Ideas and Tips on How to Plan Them

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Events are a unique way that you can help advance cancer rearch at the UW Carbone Cancer Center in Madison, Wisconsin. Through these events, you can make a significant difference for cancer patients and survivors.


Popular Event Ideas


Following are some popular event ideas.




Golf outings have a long tenured reputation for being successful fundraisers. The first thing you need to do is pick a golf course and talk to their golf pro to reserve a date.


Mondays through Wednesdays most golf courses are flexible to book a charity golf event, as these are slower business days for them.


Golf courses book up very quickly in the summer months, so you may want to consider a Fall or Spring timeframe. You need to call at least 6 months in advance if you’re set on a particular date.


The golf course can set up all the games on the holes such as "closest to the pin" or "longest drive."


You can solicit area businesses for prizes each golfer can win.


You will need to set a price (based upon golf course fees) and collect all the registrations.


A good suggestion is having "foursomes" of golfers play in a "scramble." A scramble is when all four golfers hit a ball from the tee, and they play the mutually agreed upon best hit ball.


The other rule is a 2 putt maximum on the greens. This keeps the play moving and you can golf 18 holes in about four hours. Combining a cocktail hour, and/or dinner following golf featuring a raffle and silent auction is a nice way to bring in some extra revenue.




Running or walking events are extremely popular. Usually they are 5k or 10k in length that has a looping course back to the starting location.


Great places to hold such an event is at a city or county park shelter, which possibly has pre-established paved trails. City streets are fine, although you’ll need to contact your local municipality about getting permits and police officers at all major intersections regarding this. Most municipalities charge for event permits, and you’ll need to budget accordingly.


A great free website when planning your run/walk is www.mapmyrun.com to plot out a course, distances, and trails.


These are things you’ll need for your event:

  • Tents
  • Tables, chairs
  • Orange street cones, directional signs
  • Bib numbers
  • Event participant t-shirts
  • Soliciting business sponsors
  • Walkie talkie radios
  • Volunteers to help day-of the even
  • Food vendors
  • Water and water stations along the course (plan for more than you think you'll need)
  • First aid station
  • Stage, PA system
  • Having an emcee or honorary race marshall (i.e. Mayor, alderman, TV/Radio personality, sports figure, etc.).


Live Music Night


Having a concert or live music event can bring a large amount of people out to support your event.


First you'll need to determine what band or performer you'd like to have. That can ultimately determine how successful of an event you will have. If the band is a well-known local or national performer, you could bring in some serious donations as the fan base will come to see the show no matter what.


Next, you'll have to pick a venue with a stage, adequate parking and check on the availability of the venue for hosting it.


The performer and the bar will likely charge you for their services, however you can negotiate on several areas to reduce expenses and increase revenue for your event. Examples: Your event pays for the band/performer's travel expenses or lodging in return for no fee to perform. Or, the venue can keep all the drink sales if you can keep the cover charge at the door.


Garage/Yard Sales


Find out when the "community wide" garage sale is in your community and plan your sale for that day. Typically, start about 1-2 months before you intend on doing your sale. Ask your family and friends to donate their gently used items to you and store in your garage. Put an ad in the paper and online (Craigslist) about your sale and that all the proceeds will be going to UW Carbone Cancer Center for cancer research. Several people have been organizing such garage sales annually for years. Some 3-day sales have been known to generate over $3,000 when planned and promoted effectively.