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How to Plan a Great Benefit Concert in 7 Steps

Music and fundraising go together like peanut butter and jelly. A charity concert is a great way to unite people, get the word out about the cause, and generate financial support. Plus, there is something special about attending a benefit show and knowing you are helping make a difference in the world. Below, we outline seven steps (along with lots of tips) to put on a successful event to help you reach your fundraising goals!

Set your benefit concert up for success

Before planning your concert fundraising event in earnest, decide whether it will be a virtual, hybrid, or in-person event. A virtual event allows you to reach a broader audience and save on costs but doesn’t have the same energy as a live performance. Hybrid events combine the best of both worlds, with a live performance complemented by streaming options for those unable to attend. Once you’ve decided how people will attend your charity event, you’ve got to lay a foundation of support. The best way to do this is to use a fundraising event management platform built to simplify managing and running a benefit concert. A platform enables you to efficiently create an online presence for your fundraiser and accept donations from your attendees. In addition, you can use the platform to create a custom event website complete with a donation page and ticketing capabilities. You can also keep track of volunteers and sponsors and manage post-event follow-up. Finally, you can use the platform to measure the success of your fundraising event with real-time analytics.

Get your benefit concert started on the right note 

1. Resist the fun stuff…at first
Avoid the temptation of diving straightaway into contacting bands. Putting together a benefit concert alone isn’t realistic—you will need an excellent group of team members to help get everything done. To that end, the dream team you assemble must be those you can count on. Before recruiting friends and family to help out, think carefully. Who is a team player? Has a can-do attitude? And, most importantly, who won’t disappear when they lose interest? Commitment and enthusiasm are critical for anyone you bring onto your planning team! Pro tip: Contact local universities with event management programs and inquire about interns. Just remember, interns are there to learn and add to their resumes. They are not free round-the-clock labor and must be treated fairly—at the very least, this means resume-enhancing responsibilities and sometimes compensation.
2. Lock in a venue
Even though you’re dying to organize performers for your benefit concert, knock out the venue first. The artists performing will want to know where and when they’re playing. If you don’t have an answer, it’s unlikely they’ll commit. Additionally, not having the venue firmed up makes a less-than-professional impression. Pro tip: When looking at venues, be realistic about the potential size of your crowd. Of course, it would be amazing to echo Live Aid, fill massive arenas worldwide, and raise $125 million. However, only multiple, big-name performers can draw such big crowds! Consider smaller event halls, local parks, bars, clubs, or even a local restaurant.
3. Now for the fun part!
Local artists are the way to go—they’re easier to get in touch with and have a loyal following. In addition, they’ll inspire those local fans to buy tickets by sharing the gig via their social media. That’s a huge help as far as marketing to potential attendees goes! Instead of a straight concert with an opening and headlining act, consider showcasing several groups. Many Eventgroove customers go for a battle of the bands format, and it’s a great strategy. Various musical performances mean your charity concert will appeal to a larger group of potential attendees. Also, each band has its following, which equates to more ticket sales. Finally, adding a little competition between acts ups the energy and crowd engagement. Pro tip: Contact school and university music departments to find emerging talent. You can also look at who has played at area clubs and search around on social media. Reddit can be a great resource—you can posit a question about local bands in your region’s subreddit.
4. Figure out the concert ticket price
Break out Google Sheets (or your preferred software) and list all your expenses—venue, talent, equipment, refreshments, marketing, setup and breakdown, security, and custom t-shirt printing. Don’t forget to include a little cushion—everything always costs more than you imagine it will, and the unforeseen has a way of being expensive. Finally, include how much you’d like to raise for your cause. Come up with a total, then divide it by the number of people you hope will come. That amount will give you an idea of the ticket cost. Remember, at the very least, your concert ticket price should cover overhead. Here’s a handy event ticket price calculator to help. For more tips on maximizing ticket sales for your event, read our article How to Sell Tickets Online for Your Event. It’s packed with actionable ticketing strategies and promotion advice.
5. Organize sponsorships
Offer potential sponsors a mention during the show or a logo on your charity concert’s fundraising page or on the back of printed tickets. You can also use the power of social media to your advantage, posting photos of your events and tagging your local businesses in them.
6. Additional ways to hit your benefit concert’s fundraising target

Enable more people to attend by hosting a hybrid benefit concert and livestreaming the show. This virtual component is where your event platform comes in handy. Using it, you can create a virtual ticketed event. In other words, only those with a secure link to the livestream would be able to view it on your branded event page. During the livestream, you can accept real-time donations, run trivia quizzes, and more!

A few other ways to make your hybrid benefit concert engaging for virtual attendees and raise as much as possible are to:

7. Benefit concert marketing
  • Write a press release (AI can help with this!), then send it to local newspapers and radio stations. Ensure your press release contains a link to the event website where visitors can buy tickets or donate.
  • Create a hashtag for the event and use it often. Share images and videos, and remind people often that the event is coming up and tickets are still available. Make sure to include the date, time, and location of the concert as well as a link to your ticket sales page.
  • Tell everyone you meet or know about your worthy cause and the concert charity event you’re putting on in its support.
  • Look into local radio and television spots to get the word out. Ask local newspapers to do a feature on the event.
  • Reach out to clubs, chambers of commerce, and local community members. Ask everyone on your team, all the bands, friends, and everyone you have ever known to share the news through their social networks.
  • Order printed marketing materials. Print posters and flyers with QR codes directing to your ticket sales site, and ask businesses and schools in town if you can display them in-store and on campus.
  • Set up an online donation site. Mention the web address in all social media posts, and make sure it’s prominent on your benefit concert ticket sales page.

Throw your benefit concert

Ready to get started? Set up your Eventgroove Events account or schedule a demo with our friendly team by clicking the button below. They’ll walk you through our powerful events platform and help you get started creating the benefit concert of your dreams!

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