Step-by-step: race night
Race nights are a fun way to get people together and
raise money. All you need is a large screen on which you can show a
race - anything from greyhounds to motorbikes, snails to
- Decide whether you will buy-in a race night package from a
company, or do it yourself, using home-made props. Many race night
suppliers offer a range of options, from inclusive packages for
around £200 (which include tickets, film equipment, the race
footage and a technical person to run the proceedings) to DVD
packages from around £40.
- Equipment for the night - make sure you have a cash float, a
printed race card listing details of all the races, a projection
system, rolls of coloured tickets or race cards, races on
DVD/video, publicity materials, and sound and lighting systems. At
your event, have a table and helpers to run the tote, taking bets
and paying out winnings (a calculator can also be helpful!).
- Add glitz and glamour to whip up excitement for your event -
think ladies day at Ascot! Include dinner in the ticket price as
this allows you to charge for entry to the event in addition to
taking bets. Raise additional funds by selling drinks and running a raffle.
- Publicise your event by putting posters up in the local
community. Prepare a press release to send to the local paper and
radio station. Order race night posters from Charity Print
Shop - only £9.95 for 10 x A3 posters.
- Boost funds by giving participants the opportunity to 'buy'
horses, becoming their 'owner' for the night. They can then share
some of the winnings if their horse is successful. For the final
race of the night, auction off each of the horses. Persuade local
businesses to sponsor each race or donate prizes. Sponsors can be
credited in any programme produced for the event. Sell advertising
into the programme to generate additional revenue.
Race night tips and advice
Type of race: Whether you are employing the
services of a specialist company, or doing it yourself, the types
of races can be as crazy as you want. From the traditional horses,
to motorbikes or even ferrets! For a DIY event, create seven flat
wooden horses and paint them different colours. Fix them onto
plinths and attach a long length of string with a wooden bar (broom
handle diameter) on the other end. Team members nominate jockeys
who sit in a row, their backs to their horses. The winner is the
first to wind the string around the handle the fastest, pulling
their horse over the finish line.
Local businesses: Ask local businesses to
donate prizes for the race winners, and aim to get each race
sponsored to generate extra funds on the night.
Licensing: No licence is needed to run a
charitable race night, as it's deemed 'non-commerical' so long as
the proceeds are given to a good cause. Visit the Gambling Commission website for more details.
If selling alcohol you will need a TEN if the venue does not
already hold a premises licence.
Suppliers: Find race night
suppliers in our online directory.
Race night success story:
Mel Dolding, chair, Rotherfield Primary School, London
told us: 'We used a company called Fundeo which
offers a snail racing deal - the snails aren't real! . We got
a TEN to sell beer and wine - drink always helps people spend -
then just put crisps on the tables in the school hall. The race DVD
cost about £180 for a six-race DVD with tickets, but you can easily
recoup this by getting local businesses to sponsor each race. We
also asked parents to buy snails. You need to book the DVD in
advance so you can get your race sponsors and snail owners featured
on the DVD before it is finalised and sent out. For £5 snail owners
get to add their names against their snail on the DVD. If their
snail wins the race they get £10 back. Each race has eight snails -
if you sell all snails at £5 (taking £40) and give £10 back to the
winner, the PTA makes £30 profit per race! Bets are charged at £1
each and we only pay out on the winning snail, but 50% goes to the
winner and 50% to the PTA. For the last race, we normally auction
the snails on the night, you can raise a lot more this way! Our
last snail race made £1,015 net profit.'
The above is intended as guidance only. We
recommend that you contact the relevant organisations with specific
reference to insurance, legal, health and safety and child
protection requirements. Community Inspired Ltd cannot be held
responsible for any decisions or actions taken by a PTA, based on
the guidance provided.
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