Organized to provide a variety of services and relief for both local and world communities, charities often arrange fundraising events to help finance their services. Inviting a celebrity to a charity fundraiser can increase your organization's ability to raise revenue, while the media attention will give your cause much-needed exposure. Understanding how to attract celebrities is vital to having one attend and endorse your organization.
Make a list of celebrities who are known to give their time to charities. Look in magazines and on websites to find out who these celebrities are. Make a note of celebrities who have worked with charities that have a similar cause to yours.
Choose the celebrities that you would most like to attend your charity event. Number the list, with number one being the most desired celebrity. Take into consideration the tastes and values of your attendees when you pick your celebrity candidates. Select a person who will not be offensive to your guests.
Create a budget for your celebrity. Remember that most celebrities charge for each event they attend. Make allowances in your budget for housing and assistants, as well as travel costs. Review the budget to ensure that it is realistic and that your organization can actually afford the costs.
Contact the celebrity's public relations office. Prepare a letter, email or dialog that explains exactly what you want and what you represent. Make sure that the pitch is not too long, but that it is, at the same time, thorough.
Ask what the cost is to have the celebrity come to your event, and if they are available on that date. Inquire about the possibility of a free appearance by the celebrity. Be professional and courteous. Prepare to answer any questions about your organization and the cause you are supporting.
Follow up on your initial contact. Allow a week to pass before you contact the PR office again. Be friendly, but not pushy. Move to the second celebrity on your list if you do not have a reply within three weeks.
Request a short video clip from the celebrity, if he or she is already booked for the date of the charity event. Tell the celebrity that you understand that he or she is busy and would appreciate the short time that making the clip will take. Emphasize how the clip will benefit your charity and remember to thank the celebrity for his or her time.
Announce the celebrity appearance to your invited guests. Use this as a tool to push for RSVPs and donations.
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Alexandra Wright is a freelance writer and professional educator. She has taught English as a second language and has experience teaching English at the elementary, secondary and university levels. Wright holds a Master of Arts in English literature.