Create a budget plan for your event

Budgeting isn’t the most glamorous part of organising an event. It takes a bit of time and patience. But it’s essential.

Last updated: 31 March, 2020

Creating a budget plan will: 

  • help you make sure there are no unexpected costs

  • give you a clear focus for how much money you need to raise 

  • show potential funders that you’ve done your research and are fully prepared 

  • help you work out if there’s anything you can find for free. Look at Find support from local businesses and community groups for more information 

Things you might need money for 

Things will change as you move through the planning process of your event so be prepared to add or remove costs as you go.  

Make sure you separate your costs into the essentials and a wish list. 

It’s always worth asking experienced organisers what they eventually had to pay for that they didn’t think of at first.  

Here’s a list of some of the things you need to budget for: 

  • Venue or space, marquee or gazebo if outside 

  • Food and drink 

  • Promotion. For example, posters, paid social media ads, local advertising 

  • Decorations 

  • Resources and tools. For example, costumes, gardening equipment, tables and chairs 

  • Insurance 

  • Entertainment 

  • Transport 

  • Volunteer expenses 

  • First aid 

How many people to budget for 

You’ll need to look at your event plan before you can work this out. Find more information on making an event plan

Think about: 

  • who you’re aiming to attract to your event. If it’s a hard to reach group, a lower number of people may turn up on the day 

  • the location of your event 

  • the time of your event 

  • how many people can fit into the venue or space you’ve got 

  • how popular you think your event is going to be  

Decide if your event is free 

Charging an entry fee is one way of raising funds to cover your costs. Look at Fund your event for more ideas.

Think about whether: 

  • it’s right for your target audience. You don’t want to put people off coming to your event 

  • the money you raise will meet your costs if numbers are low on the day 

If you do charge an entry fee, consider making it a voluntary donation rather than a set price.  

Instead of covering costs, the voluntary donation could go towards raising money for: 

  • a local cause in your community 

  • another event you’re organising 

Selling advance tickets will also help you plan for catering numbers if you decide to provide food and drink. 

When to use your own money 

Consider this option carefully.  

Costs can easily go up and it’s not wise to put yourself under financial strain. 

There are plenty of other ways to raise money for your event. Look at Fund your event to get some ideas. 

If you’ve already explored other ways to fund your event and had no luck, make sure you only put in what you can afford. 

Talk to Natalie

Natalie is a Co-op Member Pioneer who helps bring people together to improve local communities. Find out more about Member Pioneers.

I’ve been a Co-op store manager for 5 years and jumped at the chance of being a Member Pioneer. I’m passionate about community and want to make a difference to people’s lives. I’ll put you in touch with other Member Pioneers in your community who can advise and help

Natalie EvansMember

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