Corporate fundraising is an important way of encouraging much needed donations for worthy charities and causes. It also showcases the philanthropic side of businesses and giving back. There are lots of kinds of corporate fundraising, from sponsorship to volunteering, but one of best ways to fundraise is with a charity event.

Charity fundraising events offer an experience for guests, where money can be raised from multiple sources, including tickets, donations and specific features on the events. If you want to make the best and most successful event then you need to pick the right idea. The “right” choice will differ depending on your target audience, and you can always customise to get the right guests (and their donations). 

Here, we look at how pagoda tents help you to create a great looking charity fundraiser, while offering practical solutions for your event’s needs.

Make Sure Your Event Matches The Cause

A quick note: Before you decide on which type of fundraiser event you want to hold, make sure to clear it with the charity or cause that you are holding your corporate fundraiser for. There may be rules or restrictions that the organisation needs to follow in terms of the kinds of events they can be associated with. The charity event ideas included here should be fine for the majority of charities. 


Charity fundraisers and auctions go hand in hand. Auctions have been successful for many events, from local community charity nights to big corporate fundraisers. They are always unique events because the items which guests can big range far and wide, from local products to special services, signed items or even trips. Pagoda tents are perfect for auctions, as they can be used to create booths for tables or large areas for bidding.

What To Auction

Auction items are typically donated, either by event sponsors, local businesses or other companies that want to support corporate fundraising for the specific charity. Some types of auction items to include are:

  • Produce from local businesses – such as homemade soaps, food hampers or local spirits and wines.
  • Meals with celebrities – can also be notable figures in communities or well regarded persons associated with the charity already.
  • Services from unique or luxury brands – this could be spa days and treatments, or experiences like skydiving and palm reading.
  • Artworks – remember that art is in the eye of the beholder so famous artists are great, but local and new pieces from up and comers can attract good bids too.

Offering a range of different auction items will ensure that bidding is varied and you stand the best chance of raising the most money for the cause. Bear in mind who you are inviting to the event and play to their interests. If there are some art collectors, include a few of those pieces. If you have guests who prefer unique experiences, reach out to providers of those services and see if they’ll donate some tickets or gift cards.

If you are holding the event outside, we recommend using pagoda tents to create hubs for different kinds of auction items, such as a network of tents as a pop-up gallery, or a series of pagodas set up like market stalls for produce and craft items.

Auction Venues

Auctions can be held anywhere, from a community hall to a stretch tent. If you want to have a paddle-based auction, then choosing a stately home or theatre venue will give you a raised stage from which to attract bids. You can also use the grounds of beautiful buildings as a backdrop, creating a seating area under pagoda tents for bidding. 

For summer or outdoor events, we recommend setting up rows of tents for silent auctions. Auction items can have bidding sheets on each table, with food trucks and bars dotted around your garden or venue. If you are hosting an evening event, string lights can be placed along the tents to give a warm glow. 

You should look to set times throughout the day or at certain slots for bidding, with canapes and cocktails or dinners before and after, giving guests time to read about the lots in the provided auction booklets. Events can end in announcements of winners at a set time and place.

Themed Parties

Creating an event with a theme is a tried and tested way of getting guests to buy tickets for your corporate fundraiser. You can go as big as The Great Gatsby with all the finery and costumes, or as simple as Bond with a black tie dress code. Choosing a theme makes the event a great experience and justifies charging a ticket price, which goes to the charity, alongside asking for donations at the event.

Pagoda tents are useful in a variety of ways at themed parties, from ticket booths and bag/coat checks to housing the whole party itself.

Seasonal Themed Events

Summer has become more reliably hot and cloudless in recent years, which makes planning a summer corporate fundraiser all the most feasible and appealing. Consider a country fair themed event, which can include hay rides, candy floss, horse box bars and carnival games – which can be charged to guests so you make money for the charity, or if you want to make tickets free. 

Pagoda tents can be placed at the entrances and exits to collect guest tickets, for bag storage, coat checks and for security checks if needed. You can also use pagoda tents to create breakout and lounge areas within the party, offering soft cushions, or you can use them as stalls for food, drinks and games.

For winter events, you can create a Christmas wonderland with constructed igloos, fake falling snow (made from eco snow), and serve hot toddies and cocktails. These events can be in spacious halls or outside in forests and fields with heating lamps for guests to gather around while they enjoy drinks and wintery snacks. Pagoda tents can be connected and decorated to create wintery walkways with large areas off corridors or in the open air.

Fashion Shows

Fashion shows can get pretty bizarre, which makes them all the more enrapturing. They also make for a unique kind of corporate fundraising event as not everyone will have attended one of these events before. Fashion shows can be put on anywhere as runways can be built pretty much anywhere. 

Using pagoda tents you can create runways areas, changing rooms for models or covered seating areas for guests (in-between walks). You can also have multiple walks during your event, giving your guests a chance to mingle, watch, eat and drink, watch more. Charge for tickets to the event and offer complimentary refreshments on arrival to entice guests to get in the mood. 

Where To Source The Fashion & Models

There are two main options when it comes to putting on a charity fashion show. You can get donated/rented high fashion from designers. They get to be named sponsors of your event, which is great PR for them and gives your guests a taste of the Vogue life. Alternatively, you can link with a single clothing brand for the event and let them choose what to showcase. Either will work well, it just depends on what sort of event you want. 

Models can be hired or provided by the designer/s or brand. You can also use your team or volunteer attendees as the models. Consider putting on one walk with models and one with your volunteers for the best of both worlds. An example of what happens in the industry and a bit of fun with your own people. You may also be able to auction some items as part of the event – and seeing them on real people might help with the bidding wars.

Venues For Fashion Shows

You need enough space for a fashion show runway with seating around it. While the runway doesn’t have to be long, and in fact could be rounded or straight, you want to make sure it can be raised so all guests can see it. 

Large rooms, such as town halls or stately home ballrooms, are ideal for fashion shows indoors. If you’ve got good weather ahead, you can use a pagoda tent to create an outdoor runway in the grounds of an estate or gardens of a park, like Kew. Some of the best charity fashion shows have utilised the backdrops of beautiful locations, creating u-shaped runways under pagoda tents, to give a 360 degree experience for guests.

The Options Are Limitless For Charity Fundraisers

The above are only a few ideas for charity fundraisers, there are a huge number of ways to plan and style an event to bring in the donations that worthy causes need. Pagoda tents offer the flexibility to put on your charity corporate fundraiser anywhere, the exact way you want it to be.

Once you have your idea and organised your venue, start marketing your event. Getting in front of as many potential guests as possible will ensure you get booked out. Better to have too many guests, than too few. (If you do have too, you can always add them to a drop out list and suggest they donate directly to the charity, or put on a second event!).