Third-Party Fundraising Toolkit

Third-Party Fundraising Toolkit

Carilion Clinic is fortunate to enjoy the generosity of so many people and organizations in the community.

Hosting an Event to Benefit the Carilion Clinic Foundation

Frequently, people spend their own time and money to organize a fundraiser to benefit the Carilion Clinic Foundation, a hospital or a fund. These fundraisers include everything from lemonade stands, bake sales and car washes, to golf tournaments, car shows, carnivals, and more.

If you are interested in hosting your own third-party event to benefit the Carilion Clinic Foundation, please email We can offer guidance to help make your event a success.


What is a third-party fundraising event?

A third-party fundraising event is conducted by an individual, group or organization in the community with proceeds to benefit Carilion Clinic or a department or initiative of Carilion Clinic.

Who can conduct a fundraiser on behalf of Carilion Clinic?

Individuals and organizations can host an independent fundraising event to support Carilion Clinic. These can be grateful patients and families, civic organizations, churches, schools, businesses, government agencies ... anyone in the community can hold an event to support the areas of greatest need or a specific program of your choice.

How will this toolkit help me?

This toolkit was designed to make planning your community fundraiser as easy as possible. From creating a timeline and a budget, to organizing and publicizing your event, it is a complete planning guide that will allow anyone to become a successful fundraiser for Carilion. Feel free to use a few of our ideas and suggestions or all of them – whatever works best for you!

Where will my donation go?

There are many specialties, programs and services at Carilion that your donation can support.  If you have a passion for a specific area, we will work with you to ensure your donation goes directly to that area.  If you'd like details about the funding areas listed below or would like different funding ideas, please contact the Carilion Clinic Foundation.

How can Carilion Clinic help me?

Listed below are ways Carilion Clinic can help with your fundraiser:

  • Provide consultation on fundraisers and events
  • Provide a letter of authorization to validate the authenticity of the event and its organizers
  • Provide and approve use of our logo, provided certain criteria are met
  • Help you select an area of Carilion for your donation to support
  • Coordinate check presentations
  • Send you Carilion Clinic branded giveaways (e.g. balloons, stickers)

We are here to support you. However, there are some services we are unable to provide:

  • Our sales tax exemption number
  • Insurance or liability coverage
  • Mailing list of donors and/or vendors
  • Carilion Clinic stationery
  • Funding or reimbursement of your expenses
  • Publicity (e.g. newspaper, radio, television)
  • Guaranteed attendance of Carilion Clinic staff, physicians or patients

Getting Started

Deciding to host a community fundraiser for Carilion Clinic is a huge accomplishment in itself - thank you! Here are 10 steps to help you get started:

  1. Form a planning committee. Bringing together a group of enthusiastic and dedicated people who share an interest in raising money for a great cause will increase the probability of a successful event. 
  2. Brainstorm. Gather members of your planning committee to brainstorm ideas for your fundraiser. Give free rein to your imagination — several heads are better than one! The more people participate now, the more committed they'll be later.
  3. Choose the “right” event. The type of event you choose should fit the size, interests, talents, goals and time availability of your planning committee.
  4. Identify your target audience. Consider who is most likely to attend and support the type of event you have selected.
  5. Develop a budget. Try to identify all the expenses involved with your event (invitations, postage, rental space, signage, food and catering, promotional materials, website, advertising, etc.)  Then think about possible sources of funds, and people and companies you know who may be able to donate products (food, equipment) or services (like design, printing, photography) to reduce your costs. This will help keep your costs down, which is something everyone will appreciate. We encourage you to maintain fundraising costs at 20 percent of your budget. (See Budget Template at the end of the toolkit.).
  6. Develop an event timeline. A timeline is important in planning a publicity strategy for your event.
  7. Schedule the event. Select a time that is appropriate and convenient for those who will be attending. Be sure to check local community calendars for conflicting events.
  8. Open a bank account. You may find that you will need to establish a bank account to accommodate incoming revenue and expenses. This can be done by visiting a local bank and creating a business account under your event’s name.
  9. Collect all funds. We ask that all event proceeds designated for Carilion Clinic be forwarded to the Carilion Clinic Foundation within 30 days following the conclusion of your event.
  10. Say thank you! Sending thank-you letters, notes or e-mails to everyone who participated in or supported your event shows your appreciation and reinforces their goodwill about supporting Carilion Clinic.

Event Ideas

The following are some ideas for your community fundraiser.  We suggest thinking of something you enjoy doing (e.g. book club, cooking) and working to add a fundraising component into that.  This way you are not starting from scratch and, in addition to giving back to a great cause, you are doing something you love!

Birthday/Anniversary Party

Do you have an upcoming birthday, anniversary, shower or bar/bat mitzvah? Consider making a contribution to Carilion in lieu of personal gifts – and ask your friends and family to do the same. This is a great way to get the kids involved!

Cocktail Party

Throw a cocktail party in your home or at a local restaurant or bar. Many venues provide great deals for very little money. Ask your friends to donate $50 and then spend no more than $20 per person on the food. This will ensure you will have a good amount to donate by the end of the night. Include a raffle or auction to increase revenue.

Garage Sale

Ask friends and neighbors to clean out their basement or garage for a good cause. Organize a garage sale, and you’ll clean out your house while supporting sick or injured patients in our community at the same time!

Golf Outing

Whether planning a small golf outing with friends and family or an outing for your business, think about making your swing really count and partnering with us to give back to the patients at Carilion Clinic!

Independent Business Gives Back

Are you a local independent business owner, restaurant or retail owner who is looking to align with a great cause? Whether it is a percentage of proceeds for a week or simply collecting change, you can make a difference while you work.

School Fundraiser

Kids love to help!  Have fun with your students while teaching them about the meaning of philanthropy with anything from a coin drive to a read-a-thon. Be creative! We’d love to hear about your school fundraiser ideas and stories.

Sell, Sell, Sell!

Many marketing/promotional item companies offer a lot of discounted items. Create t-shirts, bracelets, key chains, etc., and sell them above your cost to create revenue.

Trivia Night

This is a fun way to raise funds while increasing awareness about pediatric illnesses. Host your trivia night at a restaurant or other local establishment and invite between 10 and 50 of your friends and family. The following website provides a trivia night wizard to help in generating questions and formatting the event.

Publicity Tips

These tips and tools will help maximize publicity of your event through the media at very little cost.

Create a Timeline to Maximize Publicity

A timeline is important in planning a publicity strategy for your event. Keep this timeline in mind as you put together a publicity plan:

3-4 months before the event:

Identify your target audience based on demographics, interests and location, and develop a targeted media list.

4-6 weeks before the event:

Distribute media materials (i.e. media alert, Facebook posts, etc.).

2 weeks before the event:

Make follow-up calls and send e-mails to media who received the information.

1-2 days before the event:

Email and/or fax a media alert with the basic information about your event (who, what, when, where and why) to the TV news assignment desks and photo desks at the daily newspapers. * See Media Alert Template at the end of the toolkit.

Take Lots of Photos

Photos are a great way to document your event, whether for publicity or simply to share with family and friends. Here are some tips on capturing special moments at your fundraiser:

  • Write out a targeted shot list in advance to make sure you get photos of everything and everyone you want
  • Take candid and close-up shots that capture the different aspects of your fundraiser
  • Include kids in the photos, if applicable
  • Capture images of your sponsors
  • Include three to four people in a photo for the best publicity shot

After Your Event

Send in Your Donation/Proceeds

  • Mail a check to: Carilion Clinic Foundation, P.O. Box 12187, Roanoke, VA 24023.
  • Checks should be made payable to Carilion Clinic Foundation.
  • Include a short note explaining your fundraiser.
  • Once we receive your donation, an acknowledgement letter will be sent to you for tax purposes.

Send Us Photos

E-mail the best 3-5 photos from your event to:

Logo Use

As stated in the guidelines, use of Carilion Clinic logo is allowed for up to 30 days after your event. Remove logos from any materials after this time.

Start Thinking of your Next Fundraiser!

The best time to think of a new idea is right after an event or fundraiser. Think of what parts went well and what could be changed to make the next event even more successful.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to get my Fundraiser Proposal approved?

Proposals will be approved within 10 business days of receipt.

Do I need to create a 501c3 (non-profit) organization to host a fundraiser for Carilion Clinic?

No, anyone can host a fundraiser for Carilion Clinic with our approval.  Staff can provide an authorization letter confirming the organizer’s intent to raise funds for Carilion Clinic.

Can someone from Carilion Clinic help me plan my event, and attend and/or speak at my event?

We are happy to provide guidance for your event, but we do not have the staff to handle the organizational and administrative tasks associated with third-party events. We do our best to attend events supporting Carilion Clinic, but we cannot guarantee attendance of staff, physicians or volunteers at your event.

Can I use Carilion Clinic’s name and logo?

Once your fundraiser is approved, we will provide you with Carilion Clinic’s logo for your marketing materials. We must review everything with our name and logo before it’s printed or distributed. This includes the use of the Carilion Clinic logo on your website or your company’s website.

Can Carilion Clinic provide insurance for my event?

Because Carilion Clinic is the beneficiary and has no direct involvement with running the fundraiser, we cannot provide insurance for third-party events. The event organizer is responsible for obtaining insurance for the event.

Can Carilion Clinic help me get a permit for my event?

The organization and execution of the event is the responsibility of the event organizer. The event organizer must obtain any necessary permits or licenses.

Can I use the Carilion Clinic’s Tax Exemption number?

Because Carilion Clinic is not hosting your event, it is considered a third-party event. For this reason, you will not be able to use Carilion Clinic’s IRS 501(c)(3) charitable classification, federal tax ID number, or tax-exempt certificate.

Will each of my donors get a receipt?

Carilion Clinic cannot issue charitable tax receipts for donors or sponsors who make payments directly to your third-party event. If your donor wants a receipt, please be sure the check is made payable to the Carilion Clinic Foundation and leave the check in its original form before sending it to the Foundation.

Please note that there are complex regulations around the distribution of charitable tax receipts. This includes donations of money, in-kind items and services. Issuing an inappropriate receipt can put our charitable tax status in jeopardy so please do not promise any kind of receipt. For more information about charitable tax receipts please contact the Carilion Clinic Foundation.

How do I open a bank account for my event?

We recommend you open a non-interest bearing checking account, or benefit account, at a local bank. The account must be opened in the third party’s name. It cannot be opened using Carilion Clinic’s name or financial information. 

Can I pay myself back for expenses I’ve incurred?

We recognize that some coordinators need funds to run an event and pay expenses. However, Carilion Clinic cannot fund or financially support community fundraisers. Coordinators are responsible for covering all expenses and cannot be reimbursed by Carilion Clinic. For these reasons, as you start to collect money you may want to keep some funds on hand to help pay your expenses. This amount should not exceed 30% of your gross revenue. In your planning process, make sure to develop a budget reflecting the type of event you are having and the many costs related to the event. After the fundraiser is complete, please send us all checks addressed to Carilion Clinic Foundation as well as a one lump sum check from your checking account.

Can we have a check presentation at Carilion Clinic?

Yes, we can arrange for a check presentation to be held at Carilion Clinic Please contact the Carilion Clinic Foundation to schedule a time.

Should I send a personal thank you letter or card to my donors?

Definitely! It is important to thank everyone who was involved with your fundraiser!

Contact Information

Ralph Alee, Vice President for Philanthropy
Carilion Clinic Foundation
P.O. Box 12187
Roanoke, VA  24023 or 540-224-4746