Your Complete Guide to Fundraiser Entertainment

You are tasked with finding fundraiser entertainment, or maybe you are part of a committee – either way it’s a big task with many facets that will impact its success.

In this article, we are going to focus on the success of your event. One of the key areas that will determine your success is your entertainment.

Fundraiser entertainment creates the experience and the memories the attendees will walk away with.

We will explore the types of fundraising events, we’ll share fundraising entertainment ideas, we’ll outline how to select the best entertainment and share some tips to ensure your event is a success.

Let’s jump right in with the most popular event types.

Types of Fundraisers

Depending on the audience and the charity the event is in support of, you can select from a large list of types of fundraisers. The type of fundraiser, the theme and the entertainment should all be relevant to the entity you are raising funds for. 

  • Galas
  • Races
  • Community Fundraisers
  • Masquerade Ball
  • Hospital Foundation Fundraisers
  • Casino Night
  • Auctions
  • Banquet/Dinner
  • Black Tie Fundraisers 
  • Gaming
  • Auctions
  • Improv show
  • Cabaret
  • Award ceremonies
  • Dance, ball, or disco
  • Team competition
  • Scavenger hunt 
  • Silent disco
  • Golf Tournaments – after a day on the links, some comedy over dinner never fails to impress!
  • Fashion show – a great band or emcee would help this event really excite people
  • Obstacle races – imagine the delight of your exhausted participants if there is some great entertainment after the race
  • Fireside chat – consider using a professional emcee to facilitate this
  • Silent auction – consider a comedian or even celebrity to liven things up and bring some extra excitement
  • Stand-up or comedy show – great way to keep your guests happy and having a great time
  • Talent or variety show
  • Open Mic Night – surprise everyone by having a celebrity come out!

Once you determine the type of event, you can select the type of entertainment you want. Depending on the event type, the entertainment may be the “big event” of your fundraiser. However, if you choose a competition or sporting event, your entertainment would follow the activity, to close out your event with a memorable bang!

Hospital Fundraiser Events

Hospital Foundations host fundraising events and often use comedians for their event – for good reason. 

These foundations rely on the donations from their events and they all encounter the same issue – attendees need to be compelled to attend the event. They receive a lot of invites and may not be loyal to one cause. 

Creating something different and fun, so your event stands out from all the others is key to getting guests there.

Foundations often have galas and dinner events, along with golf tournaments for their donors. Those events are wonderful, but are also very standard. 

Introducing a comedian, whether it is a celebrity comedian or not, goes a long way to getting people excited. Everyone loves a good laugh. Additionally, if a foundation announces a comedian is the entertainment for the event, guests immediately know it isn’t going to be a stuffy, boring night. They know they will let loose and enjoy themselves. This is why so many Foundations contact us to hire one of our comedians.

Celebrity comedians are an even bigger draw – everyone wants to see someone famous. It’s a great way to get word of mouth for the event and to ensure your guests show up! You can use images and video footage to promote your next event.

Types of Fundraiser Entertainment

There are so many options when it comes to charity entertainment. 

You want to consider your audience – what will they relate to? What will they enjoy most? Are you looking for a little adult humor or should it be appropriate for all ages? 

Budget is also a factor. Don’t just think about the expense – also consider the crowd your entertainment will draw. More tickets sold or more donors or auction participants (etc.) means more funds raised.

Some of the most popular fundraiser entertainment ideas are:

  • Celebrity Entertainers – typically these are comedians, but you can also find improv actors, keynote speakers and singers
  • Clean comedians – these are comedians that have designed acts that are clean and suitable for any audience and will still have your audience roaring with laughter
  • America’s Got Talent acts – when you want to impress with the hottest acts that will thrill your audience, go with an amazing act, as seen on TV
  • WOW entertainment (speed painters, etc) – you will love the look of awe and excitement on the faces of your guests as they watch the unique spectacle that is a live speed painter, performance artist or flashmob
  • High technology acts – technology has touched all areas of our lives and entertainment hasn’t been left out. The high tech trend has turned entertainment into a spectacular show of lights, interesting new beats and sounds and a lot of unexpected delight
  • Mentalists and magicians – traditional and cutting edge! Mentalists and magicians never go out of style. Always equipped with jokes and magical tricks to keep your audience engaged and on their toes

You really can’t go wrong when picking from entertainment like that. It really does come down to picking the act that is best suited to your audience and then ensuring you select an experienced professional you can count on.

Close Up Magic - Hire Magician - Funny Business Agency


How to Select Your Charity Event Entertainment

Finding the right talent, scoping out their expertise and experience, negotiating their contract and finalizing the details may feel like a daunting process. You don’t have to go it alone. There are talent booking agencies – like us – that are here to help.

We’ll run through the process whether you take the Do-It-Yourself approach or you choose to partner with an booking agency (like us).

DIY Fundraiser Entertainment Selection:

  1. Start by setting clear criteria. Determine exactly what you are looking for (and be sure to determine if the talent you want works at your venue choice – or alternatively pick the talent and find a venue that works – just be sure they are available on the date your entertainment is). Determine budget – including all relevant fees for your talent.
  2. Research the entertainment acts out there. Be sure to read about their experience and watch the videos. Please remember a 10 minute video may not tell the full story. You likely want your act on stage for 45 minutes. You need to be sure they can carry a show that long. You also want to know they are reliable, professional and there are no unexpected surprises. Getting references and reading reviews can be time consuming but it’s a crucial step in the process to ensure your investment isn’t wasted.
  3. Once you are confident in your choice, reach out to the talent or their agent. Be prepared to give all relevant details right away. They are likely getting lots of emails and don’t want to go back and forth.
  4. Make an Offer. Once the offer is accepted, it’s time to move to the contract. 
  5. The agent may have a contract they want to use, if not, you will need to provide a contract and include the terms. 

Why Use A Booking Agent To Hire Entertainment For A Fundraiser:

If you have no prior experience with a booking agency, you may be under the impression that it is more cost effective to work directly with the talent to hire them.

Typically that isn’t the case. Our vast network of talent is connected to us from years of work and relationship building, we are able to leverage that to get excellent pricing. Not to mention, working with an agency saves you time and stress in research and negotiating and it offers peace of mind that on the day of the event, you will have professional entertainment that exceeds your expectations. A large network also means you are more likely to find the perfect talent available on your event date. An agency has in-depth knowledge of the talent and knows the nuances that make someone a perfect fit for your event.

Simply review our acts, or submit a request to us with the details of your event and we’ll find the best acts and send you information to review. You can watch videos and read about experience but even better than that, you can trust that each and every act is vetted, proven and has years of experience and countless satisfied clients.

In fact, we are so diligent in scoping out and selecting the best talent, that we’ve developed a strong reputation in the industry. We are the sole talent buyer for Gilda Radner’s LaughFest, one of America’s largest comedy festivals. We are proud of this very special role we play in the event – especially since we worked hard to build this agency. An honor like that shows that our great work has paid off. You’ll find our logo in the bottom right of their site.

How to Ensure Your Event is a Success

“Fundraising today is more personal,” says GoFundMe Marketing Director Gary Wohlfeill. Be sure you align the entire experience to your audience. If you are attracting a younger audience, they are more likely to care about the experience of the event.

Another helpful tip: starting when we are very young, we listen to stories and learn to look for the messages in them. We relate to stories. We respond to stories.

Use stories as a way to share why people should care about your cause and support your event.

Having staff, volunteers and supporters spread the message of why they care and support your cause. Use social media and email and even an SMS campaign, as well as mailers and other tools that work for you in reaching your audience.

Be sure to promote your entertainment and let people know what a great experience they can expect.

Don’t forget to take videos the night of the event. They will be powerful to use in future marketing.

Looking for more information to ensure you have the best entertainment for your fundraiser event? Our site is filled with content to inform and guide you.

Entertainment Request Form - Funny Business Agency


Fundraiser Entertainment Resources

The best thing you can do right now is contact us to discuss your event. We can show you how we can help make your event entertainment a smashing success

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