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Fundraiser Party Guidelines


The purpose of these notes is to serve as a guide to anyone planning a casino party fundraiser event. We have attempted to address the typical scenarios that you will likely encounter.

Three steps to establishing and realizing your financial ambitions:

1. Goal

Generally when asked the question, "how much money would you like to raise at this event?" most people realize they haven't given it enough thought. The answer is always "as much as we can get". Having a realistic goal of how much money you would like to raise is the starting point. It should determine the price of your entrance fee and limit of your expenses.

Decide how much money you would like to make from this event.

Obviously the key to your Bottom Line is to maximize your revenue and minimize your expenses. As fundamental as this concept is, most organizations disregard it when running one of these events.

2. Revenues

Revenue for a fund-raiser will take the form of some of the following:

  • TICKET PRICE
  • TABLE SPONSORSHIP
  • AUCTIONS
  • DRINK SALES
  • FOOD

TICKET PRICE

Ask the following questions;

- How much money do you want to make? = NET PROFIT
- How many tickets can you sell for this event? = TICKETS
- What is the total of all of the expenses? = EXPENSES
- What is my net profit plus all my expenses? = GROSS

NET PROFIT+EXPENSES = GROSS
GROSS (Divide By) TICKETS = TICKETS PRICE

Example:
We wish to raise $3500 from our event
Our intention is to sell 200 tickets
Our total expenses are $1500

$3500 + $1500 = $5000 (GROSS)
$5000 (divide by) 200 tickets = $25 per TICKET PRICE

What then needs to be determined is if the price is appropriate for what you intend to provide your guests and will your market support the sale of your proposed quantity of tickets at this price. It might be advantageous to lower the price of the tickets so that more people will be able to attend, giving you your Net Profit. Remember that too low a price, you might even be under charging your guests!

Bottom Line: This is usually your primary source of revenue and the financial success of your event depends on meeting your goal of tickets sold.

TABLE SPONSORSHIP

Find at least one table sponsor for each casino table being used and the sponsored amount should generally be at least $200. Two or three families can cosponsor a table as long as the total amount is at least $200.

Encourage your sponsors to provide "gag" gifts that promote their business to be distributed at THEIR table. For example-- a blackjack table sponsored by a dentist could give away a free toothbrush (with the sponsors name imprinted) for each blackjack dealt. Make your sponsors feel as though they are getting value for their donation.

Bottom Line:
Table sponsorship should cover at least the entire rental cost of the casino equipment and staff.


AUCTIONS

Silent Auction:
These are often the backbone of revenues generated at fundraising events. However they do require a lot of time and effort to coordinate successfully. Delegate at least two persons whose sole responsibility is to manage the silent auction of the event.

Live Auction:
Live auctions can generate a huge amount of money if done correctly
Shorter is better-- should run no more than 30-40 minutes.
A captive audience-- shut down all other activity during this time.
Less is More-- have only a few high ticket items for auction.
Use a dynamic auctioneer-- can your DJ do the job?

DRINK SALES

This will vary depending on the "upscaleness" of your event. Ticket prices and what people are getting for their money will generally determine whether guest's drinks are included or if they have to pay for them. Typically, the more expensive the entrance fees then that usually includes two "drink tickets" which are redeemed at a rate of one ticket for a soft drink and two tickets for wine or beer. Any additional drinks require the purchase of more drink tickets.

BOTTOM LINE:
Drink sales can be a good source of revenue if you manage your bar wisely.

FOOD

Don't leave people feeling "short changed" because of poor quality or insufficient food. However don't spend all your money on a spectacular meal because that is not the focus of this type of evening.

3. Expenses

Again, the fundamental rule regarding expenses is to keep them at a minimum without compromising your event, and typically these are:
  • FACILITY COSTS
  • DECORATIONS AND PROPS
  • CASINO EQUIPMENT RENTAL AND DEALERS
  • BEVERAGE COST

FACILITY COST

Invariably, free is the key word here. Attempt to secure a venue at little or no cost for your event. There are generally organizations that are open to making their facility available for your cause which will meet your needs. Find out if your FOOD EXPENSE can be included in the cost of this venue.

DECORATIONS and PROPS

Often balloons and streamers will suffice when decorating the event facility. Always weigh up the cost of any props you are considering using. People are typically not at your event for the decorations. Solicit donations if possible however, table sponsorship donations is always ahead of a prop donation every time.

CASINO EQUIPMENT RENTAL

Provide THE CASINO COMPANY with accurate head counts so the appropriate amount of equipment is supplied. Too much equipment on hand results in a bigger expense and empty tables. Having too few tables to accommodate your guests is the surest ways to spoil your event, with lots of irate guests, who will not come back next time.

DEALERS

If possible arrange to staff the Blackjack tables with your own volunteers. There will be a charge for training them but this cost more than offset by the saving of not paying these dealers. Craps and Roulette should be THE CASINO COMPANY dealers, as these games can not be taught in a few hours. Your better off not having the game then having some one who doesn't know how to deal it correctly.

BEVERAGE COSTS

Arrange with your beverage supplier to be able to return all unopened bottles. This way you only have to pay for the beverages you have sold.