Fundraising Budgets – All You Need To Know

Budgeting Tips

Summary: Organizing and executing a successful fundraiser can be a daunting task for any organization. However, once you’ve identified the amount you need to raise and who your target contributors are, you can then put a budget in place to ensure your expenses don’t outweigh your income.

There is no single formula for fundraiser budgets, but here we provide you with an outline that you can use to apply to your event to ensure everything works smoothly.

Organization and Tracking

The best way to keep on task on within your budget is to create a budget spreadsheet. Columns should be created that list each expense, the estimated cost for each and the final cost. Here are some expenses below to consider:

  • Venue: Figure out who your contributors are and what forum would work best for enticing their donations.
  • Food and Beverages: Outside catering or venue catering, alcohol permits, wait staff, etc.
  • Speaker Fee
  • Equipment Rental: may be included in venue cost
  • Advertising and Promotion


Budget Reduction & Revenue Ideas

  • Volunteers: Tap the goodwill of people in your network/community and request their help.
  • Sponsors and Advertisers: Local businesses may relish the opportunity to be associated with good causes.
  • Donations: Similar to sponsors and advertisers but without necessarily giving credit.
  • Gifts: Services or goods are often contributed to help reduce costs, such as location, technology, advertising space.
  • VIP Experience: A tiered ticket price would allow you to offer, for example, the possibility of exclusive personal or group contact with the speaker, or better seating, in exchange for a higher priced ticket.
  • Book sales
  • Raffles
  • Sit-down dinner
  • Merchandise
  • Auctions



A library in Boise, Idaho is raising funds for an extension to the children’s reading section that will cost $30,000, $8,000 of which will come from a state capital grant.

Venue Cost: 1000
Marketing & Promotion: 500
Speaker Fee: 5000
Sub-total: 6500

Expected attendance: 200
Ticket Price: 75
Sub-total: 15,000

Net Profit = $8,500


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