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Third-Party Events

What is a third-party event?

This is a fundraising activity by a group or individual, where the nonprofit organization has no fiduciary responsibilities and little or no staff involvement.

A third-party fundraiser is a great way to raise extra money for your nonprofit. We love it when someone outside of our organization with a passion for the mission hosts a fundraiser and hands over a check.

These fundraising events can be anything from a sidewalk lemonade stand to a gala.

Some examples are:

  • Art Exhibit

  • Bake Sale

  • Car Wash

  • Clay Shoot

  • Cookbook Sale

  • Spelling Bee

  • Fashion Show

  • Plant Sale

  • Game Night

  • Golf Tournament

  • Luncheon/Dinner/Gala

  • Mini-Golf Tournament

  • Murder Mystery Party

  • Scavenger Hunt

  • Trivia Night

  • Yard/Garage Sale

Sounds great but there are things to have in place before someone offers to fundraise for you.

  • A board approved policy for third-party events.

  • Guidelines that lay out what your organization can and cannot do to support this event.

  • A written agreement or contract that will be signed by your organization and the host of the third-party event.

  • Clearly state that expenses for the event are the responsibility of the hosting organization or person.

  • An understanding that your organization has the right to approve all use of your logo, name, and image.

What your organization should provide:

  • Talking points and key messages

  • Logo, images, hash tags, QR code

  • Promotion of the event to your network of supporters

  • Acknowledgements and tax receipts for contributions

Potential issues:

  • Organizers taking advantage of your nonprofit organization and its good name. Do your homework. Are they who they say they are?

  • Hosting organization or person needs your staff’s time. Be clear about staff’s involvement before any agreement is signed.

  • Confusion over who is handling what. Responsibilities should be outlined in the signed agreement.

  • Event organizers are responsible for obtaining necessary permits and insurance. Ask to see these documents.

Bottom line, you should have a written and signed agreement before your nonprofit allows another group to use your name in any fundraising efforts.


Michelle Crim, CFRE

Dynamic Development Strategies can help. We offer coaching, grant writing, and fundraising services for our nonprofit clients. We specialize in small to mid-size organizations because we understand your challenges. Please contact us for more information.

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