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How to Design an Effective Charity Event Invitation

Posted by Ian Lauth


Invitations are a great way to remind donors why they support your mission and entice them to attend your charity auction items event. In this article we cover a few tips for creating clear, concise and well-designed invitations that will increase attendance and build excitement for your fundraising event without going over budget.



When it comes to invitations, looks matter. After all, the design will be the first thing people notice when they open the invitation. Make sure the information and graphics are professional, creative and fresh to intrigue donors.

Graphic designers can be costly, so make sure you've exercised all your options before offering to hire someone. Check to see if anyone on your staff or in your auction committee has any experience making invitations. Ask for examples of their previous work and don't be afraid to be selective if you're going for a different look.

You can also design attractive and affordable invitations yourself by using one of the many invitation services online. Sites like Minted are a great resource for helping you design and create charming initiations at a reasonable price. Many of these services include shipping and printing as well, which can cut down on your workload. Don’t be afraid to give it a try!

Read Next: "Save the Date" Email Invites: 8 Easy Ways to Make Your Fundraiser  Stand Out"

EXPERT TIP: If you really want that professional look for your invitations, try reaching out to a local university, college or night school to recruit a student to volunteer their time.

Students are always looking for ways to pad their resume and many schools event have programs that require volunteer hours. Put together a brief write-up explaining what you are looking for along with some invitation examples you'd like to imitate.

Do some research online to find the emails of professors (most educational institutions provide directories on their website) who teach business, marketing or design classes and send them the job description. You may be surprised by the response!


At very least, invitations should provide guests with pertinent information about the cause, the event and how to RSVP. Don't forget to provide information about how invitees can donate money even if they can't make it to the event. Following are some of the most important things to include on your invitations:

Recommended Information

  • Event Name: This is where the event logo would go, if you have one. This is typically the biggest and most obvious piece on the invite.
  • Nonprofit Cause: This can be the Nonprofit logo, tagline or a brief explanation of the charitable mission the event supports.
  • Date, Time and Venue Address
  • Ticket or Registration Price: You can also include the price for reserving a VIP table.
  • How to RSVP or Register: This is your call-to-action. Whether it is a web address, email or phone number, make sure this information is big and obvious!
  • How to Donate Money: This piece of information is often overlooked when it comes to designing invitations. For invitees who can't make the event, give them directions for how they can make a donation or underwrite aspects of the event. 


Other Information

  • Meal Information: What kind of food will be served, meal options, etc.
  • Other Event Details: If you’re holding a live or silent benefit auction, list some of the big-ticket items paired with engaging descriptions.
  • Formality/Theme of the Event: Is it black tie? Is there a theme? Usually this can somehow be incorporated into the design of the invitation as well.


The invitation is your first step in attracting people to your charity auction items event. Make sure this first impression is a great one! 

A well thought out and professional invitation will go a long way to spark donor interest and motivate them to attend your event. With the right tools and a little creativity, you can produce the invitations of your dreams under budget and on your own. 

Free download: Email event promotion eBook + content calendar

Event Production, Nonprofit Communication
Ian Lauth
Ian Lauth
With an extensive background in marketing development and content design, Ian’s role at Winspire is to develop external communications, brand expansion and product delivery processes to help Nonprofits maximize their fundraising revenue. Ian serves as the Editor-in-Chief for Winspire News, creating and managing blog content, newsletters, eBooks and other resources for Nonprofit fundraising professionals.

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