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How to Find the Perfect Charity and Fundraising Event Venue

When you need to raise the profile of your charity, organising a fundraising event is a highly effective method to attract new supporters. Read our guide to finding the perfect fundraising event venue for your cause. There are several elements every charity event planner needs to consider. It is important to secure a venue that not only supports you with an experienced event planning team, but also offers the fundamentals of a successful event. For your charity, this could include acoustics, adaptable space to accommodate up to 500 people or create a cosy and intimate networking space, with plenty of opportunity for lively entertainment. The OEC is on hand to help you create the perfect charity gala.

Charity galas are rewarding for everyone. A gala brings the opportunity to promote awareness of your cause and clearly define who you are raising money for and why. Finding the perfect fundraising event venue to host your gala ensures guests can enjoy themselves knowing they are helping a worthwhile cause.

How to Find the Perfect Charity and Fundraising Event Venue - fundraising event venue - OEC Sheffield

Ample Room for All

To begin with, the most important element of event venue hire is capacity. If you are not sure of how many guests you will attract, you may find venue hire daunting. On the one hand, the bigger the venue, the larger the potential audience. On the other hand, you may dread the thought of a half-empty venue because you overestimated attendance figures.

Look for a venue offering a variety of different rooms and spaces to accommodate charity events of all shapes and sizes. Modern venues, purpose-built for events, offer adaptable spaces, able to adjust maximum capacity to comfortably suit your guests. From smaller events suiting 50 to 100 guests to a large-scale fundraising gala welcoming 400-500 people, your events management team will ensure to help you create the perfect atmosphere for your event. Whether it is an auction, live music, comedy or otherwise, opt for flexibility to ensure your guests have the room they need to enjoy the evening.

When considering capacity, you must also add parking to the mix. Make sure your events venue has plenty of free, accessible parking on site. If your guests are traveling far, make sure taxis, public transport and airports are not more than an hour or so away.

Accessibility also applies to the venue itself. Ensure wheelchair users can enter and move around the venue with ease and have easy access to washroom facilities. You need to make your event as hassle free to attend as possible.

Charities Completely Catered For

When it comes to catering, look for a fundraising event venue with a reputation for great food. You need to make sure the venue has a dedicated kitchen, with experienced chefs able to cater for large numbers, seamlessly. Flexibility in catering options and menu design will be important if you would like to introduce a consistent theme or style to your gala evening. You will want delicious refreshments and beautifully crafted menus served to your guests by a five-star hospitality team.

If you are still finalising your budget, but are keen to secure the venue, opt for one with a comprehensive range of catering styles on offer. You can adjust your menu to reflect your budget when the time comes to discuss menus with your event planning team. You may decide to serve light bites and refreshments, a hot banquet, three-course dinner, bowl food, or a contemporary finger buffet. Bowl food is fast becoming the preferred catering choice for fundraising events. Not just because it’s ideal to help reduce contact, but it’s also a recent food trend raised in profile by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, even Nigella Lawson.

No charity or fundraising event is complete without a wide variety of food and drink. Be sure to have plenty of refreshments on offer, or available at a bar with sufficient capacity for your guests. Fundraising events can be a lot of fun and a great opportunity for people to enjoy a special night out.

How to Find the Perfect Charity and Fundraising Event Venue - fundraising event venue - OEC Sheffield

Fundraising Fun and Entertainment

The key to a truly memorable fundraising event is entertainment. A venue with a range of recommended entertainers – from musicians and comedians to magicians and dancers – will have the experience to help you book the very best for your theme and budget. Entertainment comes in many forms, and your event planning team should be able to help you set the stage for a full DJ set, live band, or even a karaoke to really involve your guests. A comedy night is a popular way to entertain guests as is encouraging your guests to take to the stage as part of a talent evening or open mic night.

The choice is yours, however it always helps to have an experienced event planning team to support you. Venue dressing supplied by a trusted supplier, or in-house support on the finer points of lighting, table plans for instance, can avoid overloading your schedule on the big day.

Find a venue with good acoustics. You will likely need help setting up AV, stage, and lights. Ideally choose a fundraising event venue able to take care of these elements for you. Venues which regularly hosts events such as tribute nights, live music, and sporting events, are your best bet to getting the support you need.

Start Building Your Event

At the OEC, we are pleased to offer charities and good causes all the help and support they need to organise a spectacular fundraising event. We host events of all kinds, including local grassroots boxing events – such as Sheffield’s own Ryan Rhodes 26RR – with ringside action available for all to enjoy.

Crucially, the OEC is a flexible events venue offering contemporary, highly adaptable events spaces. We boast an on-site team of talented chefs, with an experienced events and hospitality team serving the finest Yorkshire hospitality.

If you are ready to start planning your charity event or fundraising gala, we’ll be happy to give you the OEC tour. Call our events team on 0114 232 0266 or email

Let’s get the ball rolling.

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