Charity Poker Events
Charity poker events can be an interesting and fun way to raise funds for your organization or cause. Many nonprofits have replaced traditional fundraising activities with fun events people would choose to do for leisure, such as a charity poker tournament. Texas Hold'em is a popular choice for a fundraising event due to the large crowds these events can draw and the substantial profit they bring in. Read on to learn more about hosting a charity poker event for your organization and be sure to also see our Charity Poker Event Checklist.
How do you organize a charity poker event?
First, you'll need to have a large space for hosting the event. You'll also want to check on local regulations to ensure that you'll be able to host a gambling event. Many fraternity lodges (such as Shriners or VFW) have the necessary permits in place, and they may also have the supplies you need. Supplies are relatively basic: tables, chairs, poker chips, and decks of cards. You may be able to find a local gaming place that would be willing to donate these free of charge for the extra exposure your event will provide.
Promoting the Event
One of the biggest keys to success for a poker tournament will be turnout. You'll want to publicize the event. Create event flyers, post an announcement on your website, and encourage employees, your advisory board, sponsors, etc. to help spread the word. Submit a press release with all the event details and include information about how the event will raise money for your cause. Be sure to include a newsworthy angle as media is usually more prone to cover stories of this nature. In your promotional materials, in addition to the basic date, time, place, you'll also want to include information about the level of play (i.e. this event is open for players of all levels) so beginners are not turned away thinking it is a professional event. At the event, be sure to group tables into these levels to ensure fair play (i.e. beginner, intermediate and expert). Lastly, don't forget to emphasize details about prizes available for winners and other appealing activities such as food, drink and entertainment.
Your organization can raise money in several ways. Many groups simply charge an admission fee, similar to a registration fee to participate in a charity golf tournament. You can also ask participants to raise pledges and requiring a minimum amount for entry into the event. This could allow for more funds raised since you are not putting a cap on the amount raised by setting an admission fee. Lastly, you may be able to collect a percentage of every pot; however, you will need to check on local and state regulations for this option. You can also sell food, drinks or incorporate a silent auction or fundraising raffle as part of the event in order to raise additional funds. Also, keep in mind that often winners donate a portion of the money earned right back to your cause.
Drawing a Crowd through Prizes and Entertainment
Since participants will be required to pay something to participate (whether a registration fee or a percentage of the money they win), you'll want to offer additional incentives to draw in a larger crowd. This is where prizes come in! Reach out to local organizations to donate prizes. Large-price items are key here. Try to partner with an airline for free flights, or a Vegas casino for an all-inclusive trip. Afterall, you know the people participating have a passion for gambling.
You many also want to consider food, beverage and entertainment as part of the event. Often local sponsors are willing to donate food and beverage, as it's a great opportunity for people to sample their food. Perhaps a local band is trying to get the word out and build their fan-base. And keep in mind that sponsors and entertainers will also provide another outlet to reach potential event attendees you may not have had access to before.
Managing the Event with DoJiggy
One of the most important considerations when planning a charity poker event is how to successfully manage and track the money raised for your fundraising event. DoJiggy Events is an event management software system for nonprofit fundraising events, such as a charity poker tournament. With DoJiggy Events, you can easily manage the entire life cycle of your fundraising event including event promotion and marketing, sponsor and sponsorship management, online event registration, donations, detailed financial reporting, and day-of-event operations.
If you do decide to include a fundraising auction or raffle as part of your event, we can recommend software that enables you to list an unlimited number of auction items, and allows bidders to create a user profile and securely bid online. This could be a nice feature to do prior to the event, and then use the event to announce the auction winners.
Summary & More Charity Poker Resources
Charity poker tournaments are fun and surprisingly easy to put together. Just be sure to do the research to ensure your event follows state and local gambling regulations, so you aren't putting your organization at risk.
- See our Charity Poker Event Checklist to help you with your planning.