Plan an Event

You’ve decided to host a fundraising event to benefit IRSF.  Now what?

One of the biggest decisions you will make is deciding what type of event to do. Many volunteers will look at a list of types of events or what is being done in other communities and say “that looks like a good idea” regardless of their personal experience with the activity, or their available time and financial resources. We encourage you to look at it from a different perspective. What do you and your family and friends enjoy doing together? For parents’ night out or kids’ night in, how do you pass the time? By building a fundraising event or activity around something you already are doing, you have a built in audience, reduced learning curve and you’ve taken away a lot of the pressure to design something “new”.

A large gala-style event can raise a lot of money for research, but the expenses can be significant. The success of an event like this rests significantly on the guests in the room, and the committee volunteers connections to fill the room with the right people. Similarly, a golf event relies heavily on filling the course and engaging local sponsors to offset the greens fees, carts and food. If you are thinking about an event like this, identify your committee volunteers and develop your prospect list for attendees and sponsors…and contact IRSF at (800) 818-7388 or There will be in depth conversations about your plan and prospects, your available time and human resources, and a discussion of research to be done to develop an event budget. In some circumstances, IRSF can help manage the financial commitments of the event.

While the gala and golf events have a certain draw, IRSF could not support the research we do without the hundreds of volunteers around the country who plan and host Family Fundraising Events. These events range from sibling led lemonade stands to volleyball tournaments to fishing tournaments and concerts. Each is unique to the host family and provides an introduction of their child or honoree to the larger community. For most of these events, all finances are managed locally with zero expenses submitted to IRSF.

Based on the scope of your event, and your budget for the event, IRSF can provide online ticketing or donation options. For Family Fundraisers, you can set up your own event page to collect online donations for your event. These donations are not available to help cover expenses. If you are planning a larger scale event with purchase options and sponsorship, you will work with IRSF staff to set up an online event page.

Create your Family Fundraiser donation page.