Team Gluten-Free: Event Planning 101

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By now, you’ve registered for Team Gluten-Free (if not, do so here), and decided how you’re going to raise funds and awareness for the Celiac Disease Foundation (if not check out our fundraising tips). Whether you’ve chosen to participate in an athletic event or plan your own unique fundraiser, it’s important to stay organized and have fun. Below you’ll find everything you need to get started on the right foot.


When is race day? When is the day of your own event? Mark that day on your calendar, and work backwards to today. You want to make sure to maximize the in-between time by setting mini goals and deadlines. This way, you’ll stay on track with your fundraising and event planning needs.

Athletes: Strive to hit your goal on or before race day, and use the momentum around your training to inspire your donors to give. For example, if you’re running your first marathon, let your donors know about mileage firsts: Your first 10-miler, your first half marathon and so on. Whatever it is, ask your donors to celebrate that milestone by donating $1 per each mile you covered in that mileage first. Keeping donors informed along the way is a great way to make them feel involved and inspired to give!

Event Planners: Your timeline is a bit more involved than that of an athlete, but that doesn’t mean it has to be stressful. Set a deadline for each detail of your event. In other words, when do you need to secure:

  • A venue and date
  • Entertainment (i.e. live band, deejay, emcee, etc.)
  • Equipment rental (tables and chairs, A/V, etc.)
  • Food and beverage
  • Silent auction and/or raffle items
  • Invitations & RSVPs (it’s important to know how many people are coming as early as possible)


You don’t have to go it alone!

Athletes: Are you new to athletic events? It’s okay, we’ve all been there. Ask a gym-addicted friend to be your training buddy as you gear up for race day.

Event Planners: Are any of your friends event planners by trade? Financiers? Caterers? Philanthropists? We’re willing to bet that folks in your inner circle have expertise in a field that is relevant to your event. Ask them to be a part of your event committee and lend their knowledge and time in exchange for a monetary donation.


Set a budget, and stick to it!

Athletes: You don’t necessarily need to buy a brand-new running wardrobe, join a gym, or pay a personal trainer.

Event Planners: Determine how expensive your event will be by mapping out every single item you’ll need to make it a success. How much will each item cost? How can you offset those costs? Ask local businesses to provide in-kind donations in exchange for free advertising at your event, on your personal fundraising page, and in your event communications. Then, set your ticket fee at a price that (a) allows you to cover costs, (b) doesn’t deter guests from coming, and (c) leaves leftover cash to count toward your fundraising total.

Whew! We know that’s a lot to take in, but hopefully by now you’re ready to hit the ground running. Let us know if you have any questions at or 818.716.1513, x101.


Haven’t yet joined Team Gluten-Free? Sign up today!