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The Charitable Wedding Planner

A few years ago, one of my stylists came to me with an idea – why not run a charitable event to give back to the local community? At first I thought that it would be too much work, but the more I thought about it, the more it seemed like a good idea.

Multiple events later and a revamp in our process and we now have our planning system working like a well-oiled machine and turn-out has been better than ever.

People always ask me how we do it. I tell them to think of it like organizing a massive wedding for charity – all the same principles of organization, delegation, creativity and management apply. Just leave bridezilla at home.

Get Your Staff Behind The Project

If you’re running an event like this it just won’t work without your salon staff firmly behind you. You need to do a few things to ensure that you have their full support – after all, they will be what makes or breaks the end result.

Get Excited About It, But Don’t Drown Them: If you’re excited, they will be. Be careful not to over do it and make the event seem cloying and ‘too much work’.

Ask Staff For Ideas: Make sure you keep everyone involved by asking for their input at every stage.

Keep Them Where They’re Most Useful: An easy mistake to make is to place your staff in endless board meetings and spreadsheets. I found this to be a mistake as the staff wanted to be on the front lines rather than taking meetings.

Get Your Managers On Board: Your salon managers are key to getting the full organization on board. Take them out for lunch and sell them on the idea. If they’re in, your stylists (and clients) will be in, too.

Ask Them What They Do To Give Back: Your staff are probably giving back to their community already. Ask them what they do and how they do it. This will help their enthusiasm grow!

Get The Right People On Your Board

As with everything, getting the right people in the right place is key. This is most important on your board. Your planning board is the organizational ‘brain’ of the whole operation, so you need to make sure that the board is drawn from qualified members of the local community. It’s not enough that they be qualified, they also have to have a wider reach.

TIP: Not everyone will need to be a board member. Awarding “honorary” board memberships lets you use the names of popular locals on your invites, which boosts ticket sales, attendance, and reach.

Your Checklist

This is every bride’s godsend and sanity check. Having that checklist with milestones for your charitable event, just like you would at a wedding, is vital to its success. Here’s one that I’ve found is a good template to work off.

8 Months Out: Figure out your planning committee.
6 Months Out: Delegate responsibilities
3 Months Out: Send out “save the date” cards – and remember, the best donors will be busy people so they need to have their schedule well in advance.
2 Months Out: Sell Tickets
6 Weeks Out: Send Invites

TIP: Don’t waste a lot of time in meetings. Trust your board to do their jobs and it will keep everyone energized and responsible. Using this method, we managed to raise $290,835 for our local hospital. It can be done!

With plenty time and a lot of planning, your event will go off without a hitch.

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