Being able to plan a successful, organized event is a skill that will serve you in social entrepreneurship and beyond! The skills you will learn in the Social Innovators Academy are applicable to any type of event you may be planning, from a fundraiser to a surprise birthday party to a supply drive and everything in between.


The main focuses of GivingPoint’s event planning workshop include:

  • Understand the essential elements of event planning.
  • Create a successful action plan for their event.
  • Identify the partners necessary for their event.
  • Brainstorm ways to engage partners who will support their event.
  • Identify potential pitfalls of their event plan and develop contingency plans.
  • Create outcomes to determine success of the event and share results with supporters.

The basics of event planning are the five W’s: who, what, when, where, and why. And another factor to consider is how! How will you bring all of these pieces together to make a successful event?

Who: Forwhom is this event? Is it for your friends, for your family, for volunteers or for strangers? This is an important starting point. Who are you inviting? And additionally, who is helping you with this event? Additionally important to consider is how many people will be invited.

What: The next most important question is what kind of event are you planning? Is it a 5k to support your nonprofit? A retirement party for your favorite teacher? A quinceañera for yourself? All three of these events have very different activities, audiences, budgets, and needs. You can’t host a 5k and supply drive and cookout and car wash and puppy donation day all at the same event (at least not without a lot of help!), so it is important to prioritize what kind of event you’re planning.

When: This question should be relatively straightforward, but there are plenty of factors to consider when choosing a date and time for your event. Once you know what type of event you’re having, you’ll be able to decide if it is indoors or outdoors. If it takes place outside, you can quickly narrow down your time frame. Additionally, you’ll want to consider what other sorts of events are happening around the same time as yours. While hosting a toy drive for the holidays makes sense in December, you probably won’t have a lot of success if you try and do it on Christmas day. Another thing to consider is time of day. Will this take place in the morning, afternoon, or evening? And how long will it be?

Where: When choosing location you will take into consideration everything we’ve already mentioned above. If you need to host your event in the winter and you live somewhere it gets snowy and cold, you will have to choose an indoor location. You’ll also want to choose a location that is accessible. Can you host your event near public transportation? Are you asking your friends to drive somewhere relatively nearby for a birthday party?

Why: And finally, the biggest question is WHY are you hosting this event in the first place? You are the one who knows your why, whether it is because it’s for a cause you care about, or simply because you want to have a fun event with friends. Knowing your why can help direct every other decision you make during the event planning process.


Check out our downloadable Event Planning Guide for a breakdown of some common event planning steps.


Want even more hands-on practice with event planning? Join our Social Innovators Academy to hear from an industry expert and learn the tangible tools you need to become a rockstar event planner. We still have applications open for our 2019-2020 fall semester Saturday SIA program! We would love to have you join us. Learn more and apply today!