Host an Event

So, you want to host a third party community fundraising event, do you? We’re here to help guide you along the way. Use this toolkit throughout the event planning and execution process as a guide to where exactly we can and cannot provide support. You’ll also find some helpful tricks and tips included, too!

So, you’ve decided that you want to help support your community hospital by hosting a fundraising event? We’re thrilled! Before we go over how we can support you, here are a few first steps to getting started:

What type of event do you want to host?

Here are just a few ideas to help aid your brainstorming:

  • Concert
  • Food sale or BBQ
  • Sports or games tournament
  • Garage sale
  • Paint party
  • Movie night
  • Fashion show
  • Can/bottle drive
  • Dress down day
  • School dance
  • Walk/Swim-a-thon

 Bounce ideas off your friends and family. Would they be likely to attend that type of event?

What is your fundraising goal? How do you plan on fundraising?

Do you plan on soliciting sponsorships? Are you asking participants to seek out pledges?

 Set realistic fundraising goals! This helps keep your supporters motivated, and encourages them to be more generous in ensuring you achieve your goal.

Form an event committee

Bring a group of people you know and trust together to help you plan and execute your event. It’s a good idea for your event committee to meet a minimum of once per month before your event!

Determine a date and location

When setting a date, time and location for your event, make sure you consider a few things:

  • What other events are happening in the community on that day?
  • Is it a holiday weekend or other day of significance that might impact attendance?

 Planning your event during a day of significance (like World Suicide Prevention Day) might provide help extra attention and awareness.

  • What is the weather like that time of year?
  • Are there any transportation issues (not close to a bus stop, event time during transit hours, etc.)?
  • Is the location wheelchair accessible?

 Always consider a plan B if you are planning an outdoor event since weather can be highly unpredictable!

Set your budget

  • What will your sources of income be (i.e. ticket/food sales, sponsorship, auctions, draws, etc.)
  • What will your expenses be (i.e. location costs/fees, décor, food, entertainment, etc.)

 Avoid unnecessary expenses to help you raise more money!

 WE CAN’T cover any event expenses.

Now that you’ve got your event basics planned, it’s time to reach out to us here at the Foundation so we can endorse your event. In order to receive our endorsement, third party community fundraising events must:

  • Support our mission and vision
  • Promote a positive image of both Bluewater Health Foundation and Bluewater Health
  • Ensure organizers understand and agree to Foundation policies and the support that the Foundation can provide in planning, promoting and attending the event

*Bluewater Health Foundation can withhold the use of its name and logo from any event if we do not feel it meets these criteria.

Insurance and licenses

Insurance and licenses may be required depending on where you hold your event and what type of event you are holding. Check with the venue and the City/Municipality for more information on what exactly you will need.

 WE CAN’T provide any insurance coverage or assume any legal or financial responsibility for third party community fundraising events.

All kinds of gaming and lotteries (such as 50/50 draws, raffles or games of chance) often require special permits or licenses. For more information, on these types of activities, visit the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario website at

If you are looking to have any gaming activities or lotteries at your event, the Foundation may be able to assist with obtaining a license and running the event.
*The decision to participate is at the sole discretion of the Foundation.

 WE CAN’T provide assistance in obtaining licenses for gaming activities or lotteries unless the Foundation is the sole beneficiary of the activity (i.e. proceeds cannot be split amongst different organizations.)

Volunteers and staff involvement 

The organizers are responsible for securing all volunteers needed for the event. Involvement of Foundation staff will be at the discretion of Bluewater Health Foundation, and will depend on availability, location, and nature of the event.

 WE CAN’T provide any assistance in securing volunteers needed for your event.


If you intend on soliciting sponsors for your event, provide the Foundation a list of sponsors who are donating goods, services or cash.

 WE CAN’T help solicit sponsorships or provide contacts for sponsors.

Tax Receipts

When someone makes a donation to a registered charity, they are entitled to receive a tax receipt. The Foundation will issue official income tax receipts in accordance with Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) guidelines.

Donations of $20 and more are available to receive a tax receipt, must be made out to Bluewater Health Foundation. Donations of an item or service (in-kind donations) may also be eligible for a tax receipt (but check with the Foundation office before confirming with the donor/sponsor/supporter.)

To process a receipt, we need the following information:

  • Donor name
  • Donor address (including postal code)
  • Donor phone number
  • Amount of donation

 WE CAN’T process tax receipts for any donations until all event proceeds have been submitted to the Foundation.

Tax receipts take approximately 4-6 weeks to complete after the donation has been received through the Foundation office.

Receipts for business

A generic receipt can be issued to a business acknowledging a corporate monetary donation, in-kind products/services, or sponsorships, used to ‘write-off’ the contribution as a business expense.

 WE CAN’T issue tax receipts for professional, personal or legal services (e.g. printing, decorating, photography, consultation, accounting, marketing, etc.)

Learn more about tax receipts at the Canada Revenue Agency website.

Promotion is key to ensuring people come to your event. Before you put together your marketing and promotion plan, here are a few guidelines to be aware of:

  • Promotional materials of all kinds must state that your event is ‘in support’ of Bluewater Health Foundation (not an official event of the Foundation).
  • Bluewater Health Foundation reserves the right to approve all promotional materials (posters, swag, advertising copy, social media copy, etc.) featuring the Foundation name and logo.
  • The Foundation logo should not be altered, skewed or changed in any way.

Bluewater Health Foundation Logo Use

The Foundation logo should only be used with the approval of Bluewater Health Foundation. Upon endorsement of your event, the Foundation will provide you with a logo in the format requested (we prefer to provide a .eps vector file). In order for you to maintain consistency with Bluewater Health Foundation’s brand, please refer to our brand standards guide. This guide will help you understand what is and isn’t appropriate use of our logo and colours.

There are plenty of ways to promote your event and engage people to attend. While the specifics will determine on the type of audience that you want to engage, here are a few different ideas to consider when making your plan:

Media relations

There is a chance that local media (radio and newspapers) may want to cover your event, either before or during.

Media release

A media release is directed to members of the media and used to announce something newsworthy, not to necessarily invite media to your event. Typically, these can simply be emailed to local media. Templates and more information about releases can be found online through a Google search.

 Do not send your media release as a Word or PDF document attachment. Simply copy and paste the content into the main body of the email.

Media advisory/invite

A media advisory or invite has the sole purpose of directly inviting members of the media to attend and cover your event. Like a media release, advisories or invites can simply be emailed to local media. Templates and more information about releases can be found online through a Google search.

Social media

Social media is a terrific way to help spread your message to a large audience of potential attendees, and should definitely be included in your plan.`

Tips and tricks


Create an event

  • Invite as many of your friends, family and supporters as possible to attend!Keep the event open or public to ensure everyone can see it (it encourages your friends, family and supporters to share to their networks as well!)
  • Share your event on the Bluewater Health Foundation Facebook page, where it will show up in ‘Visitor Posts’ for everyone to see.
  • Learn how to create an event

Create a group or page

  • If you plan on hosting a larger event on an annual basis, consider creating your own page or group.
  • Learn how to create a page
  • Learn how to create a group

Tag us in your posts

When you type @BluewaterHealthFoundation in your post, our page name should pop up. Select this, and then our name appears highlighted in your posts, and notifies us that you are posting about us. 


Create an account

  • In order for you to be able to interact with us on Twitter, you’ll need an account. Consider either a personal or event-specific account (if you plan on holding the event more than once).

 If you don’t plan on hosting the event each year, consider creating a personal account.

Get tweeting

  • Make sure you tag us using our handle, @BWHFoundation, and we’ll try to retweet when possible to help spread your message.


Create an account

Start posting

  • Instagram is a great application to help you share photos of all aspects of your event; from planning, to setup, to execution, and beyond.
  • Get creative and use Instagram’s ‘Story’ feature to provide realtime video updates on your progress with your followers.
  • Make sure to tag us using our handle, @BWHFoundation, and we’ll do our best to like your posts when possible.

When interacting on social media, make sure you tag or mention us.


 WE CAN’T help you solicit sponsors or attendees, or promote the sale of tickets or products via our social channels.

 WE CAN’T guarantee that we can recognize our endorsement of your event through liking, re-tweeting or sharing of your social activity. This is solely at the discretion of the Foundation.

You’ve planned, executed and conquered, but there are still a few more things to do. Here are some things to keep in mind as you conclude your event:

  • Make sure all invoices are sent and expenses are paid
  • Calculate the final amount of dollars raised after expenses
  • Submit all proceeds to Bluewater Health Foundation within 60 days of your event
  • Tax receipts (where applicable) 

This will be discussed when you meet with a Foundation team member prior to the event.

See section two for more information regarding tax receipts.

  • Meet with your event committee to evaluate how things went

What went well? What could you do better on? Would you make any changes for next year? 

If you are planning to have a yearly event, perhaps it’s time to start planning now!

  • Give thanks to everyone involved in your event

Participants, sponsors, donors, committee members, etc.

It’s a good idea to let them know how much their efforts are appreciated and will help patients at their community hospital.

Use our thank you letter template as a starting point.

 When thanking your supporters, tell them how much the event raised!