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10 Charity Event Theme Ideas

Every year, charity events raise significant amounts of money for non-profit groups. More than $40 billion was raised in the United States through charity events in 2005 (according to Charity Navigator, a non-profit watchdog group), accounting for 15 percent of charities total earnings.

Large or small, charity events make an impact. Here are 10 top theme ideas for your next charity event.

Themes for Sporting Events

Athletic events like the Susan G. Komen “Race for a Cure” are some of the world’s largest charity fundraising events each year. But you don’t need a million participants to make an impact; a great theme can still help you get noticed, even if you’re a small organization. Here are some sports themes to try:

  • Costume themes, like superheroes or mascots. Anything you do is automatically more memorable if you’re dressed up. Jump out of a plane, run a marathon or ride a bike in costume to draw attention to your cause.
  • Seasonal events, like a Christmas Climb over the holiday season or a Turkey Trot during Thanksgiving.
  • Cross-dressing themes are fun for male-dominated events like flag football

Themes for Dinner & Dancing Charity Events

Some events — like charity balls or wine tastings — are glamorous on their own, but a unique theme can pep up an otherwise-humdrum party. Here are some themes to try:

  • Ice theme – Definitely the coolest event in town!
  • Hawaiian luau themes work great in the summer, but they can make an event really stand out in the middle of winter too.
  • Murder mysteries keep everyone on their toes (and watching their backs)
  • Spicy salsa evening – Cater your event with tapas and show off your sexy salsa dance moves. Ask participants to dress up in cultural attire too.

Specialty Themes for Charity Events

To make your event truly unique, create a theme based on your charity. Some charities have obvious connections, like pink parties for breast cancer charities or a dog show for animal shelters, but with a little imagination you can come up with an interesting theme for any charity, such as:

  • Hospitals and health charities – Create a tasteful theme around the medical profession, such as a Halloween costume parade through a local hospital (with permission, of course!), a “wear red” event for heart charities, or even a neighborhood carnival for kids cancer research. Think about what is special about your charity and base your theme on this concept.
  • Third World aid charities – What region of the world does your charity help? Pick the best things about that area — from African dancing to Asian cuisine — and base your event on this theme.
  • Literacy or education charities – Hold a cocktail party where everyone dresses up as a character from their favorite book, or do a reading marathon with a group of friends.

With a little creativity, you can turn any charity event into a uniquely-themed day that is sure to be remembered by your charity and its supporters.

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