push america chapter resource guide for effective event planning
a supplement to the push america chairman’s manual
developed by Push America & Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity
Effective planning plays a big role in the success of your event. Not many people plan to fail, instead they fail to plan. Below is an outline to help you and
your chapter effectively plan events. Following these steps as a guideline can help set you up to have a successful event.
The Push America staff is here to serve as a resource in the planning and execution of your event. We highly encourage you to contact us for any
assistance. You can reach our Andrew Matznick, director of chapter services, at (704) 504-2400 ext 117 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
STEP #1 Choose Your Event STEP #4 Secure Your Date & Venue STEP #7 Execute the Event
There is a wide variety of Once you have identified what It‟s now time to make the event
fundraising and disability event you are going to host and happen. Because of your
awareness events for your the approximate amount of detailed planning, you are now
chapter to adopt. You should people who will attend, the able to host your event
always feel free to create your most important thing for you is successfully and are prepared
own innovative event to suit to secure the date of the event for any possible last minute
your chapter‟s needs. and where it is going to be held. changes that may occur.
STEP #2 Know Your Audience STEP #5 Create a Checklist/Timeline STEP #8 Document the Event
From whom will you be Identify everything that needs Success! You have accomplished
soliciting donations? Who do to be done and compile it into all of your goals and have created
you want attending the event? one list that includes due dates an event that is sure to become a
Who are you targeting to raise for each task. Decide which of tradition for your chapter. But
awareness for Push America these tasks can be delegated to how did you do it? Now that
and people with disabilities? other members of the chapter. you‟ve executed the event, it‟s
Students? Parents? Faculty and time to create a working manual
staff? The community? STEP #6 Promote Your Event for future members to utilize and
STEP #3 Set Goals For people to come to your continue to improve the event.
event you must have an
Your goals should be specific, effective marketing and public
measurable, attainable, relations plan to reach your
realistic and timely. Decide target audience. This aspect of
what outcome you want from planning is often overlooked or
your event and how you can tossed aside. PR ensures
measure the results. people actually know your event
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STEP #1 choose your event
You may already have an idea of the event you want to host. If not, here is a list of fundraising, volunteer/service and disability awareness events:
WHAT EVENTS WORK? Fundraising Block party Car Bash
You and your committee need to Tennis tournament Cow Chip Bingo “Greek Idol”
identify what event will work best Frisbee Golf Benefit concerts “Krispy Kreme Challenge”
for your chapter, campus and Foosball tournament Guitar Hero/Rock Band 5K Walk/Run
community. Each event listed here Dodge ball tournament competitions Silent Auction
has been done successfully by a Tug of War Door-to-door soliciting/canning Egg toss
chapter somewhere across the Black light volleyball Dunk tank
country. This does not mean that tournament Coupon books Volunteer/Service
each event will work for your Football competition Toll roads Raking leaves
chapter and campus. You may need Relay Races Eating competitions Snow shoveling
to adapt one of these events to fit Softball tournament Dorm storming Adopt-a-highway
your needs or create an entirely Ping Pong tournament Penny Wars House painting
new event that will innovatively Golf tournament Valet parking Blood drives
captivate your audience. However, Obstacle course Clean houses Painting
do not waste time trying to reinvent Basketball tournament Cut grass Rebuilding fences, tables,
the wheel. Simply take advantage of Wheelchair basketball Landscaping sheds, and local building
ideas that have been proven Racquetball tournament Caddying projects
successful. Bike-a-thon/Pedal for Push Catering Garbage pick up
Battle of the Bands BBQ/Cookout Easter egg hunts
Talent Show Curb painting Local Fair/Carnival
EVENTS WITH ALCOHOL Phone-a-thons Laundry service Attending sporting events
Car wash Haunted house Stadium cleanup
Push America allows Pi Kappa Phi Student tuition raffle
Bowling Day trips (to the park, movies,
Fraternity chapters in good standing Bike/tricycle races
Free throw competition etc)
to host events for chapter Hospital bed race
Dance Marathon Nursing Homes
fundraising purposes in which Broom ball
Miss-a-meal Local food banks
alcohol may be present. For more Road rally
details please refer to the Push Scaffold Sit
50/50 Raffle Awareness
America Events with Alcohol Policy. Chili cook-off
Your event with alcohol must be in Adaptive Sporting Events
Doughnut sale Casino night
compliance with this policy. Guest Speakers
Bake sale Pageants
Seesaw Sit Strongman Competition
Prize raffles Regional Rides
Greek Olympics Music festival
Many events listed above can be used interchangeably as fundraising, service and awareness events.
If you have any questions or wish to add an event to the list contact Andrew Matznick, director of chapter services, at
(704) 504-2400 ext. 117 OR email@example.com.
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STEP #2 know your audience
The vision of Push America is to change the way society views people with disabilities and fraternities. Make sure your event is in line with this vision and
brings a positive light to Push America and Pi Kappa Phi. From whom will you draw support for your event? To whom are you going to market your event?
STUDENTS COMMUNITY ALUMNI
On any college campus, students are Your campus community of students, faculty Alumni of Pi Kappa Phi enjoy opportunities to
everywhere. Therefore, students are the and staff can be a huge portion of your reconnect with the undergraduate chapters.
easiest people to reach. Whether you are audience. However, your reach can also Inviting chapter and area alumni to your event
fundraising or raising awareness for people extend beyond your campus to involve the can help develop your chapter‟s alumni
with disabilities, your event has the potential greater community in which your college is relations and help make your event more
to reach every student on campus. located. This provides a great opportunity to successful. Keeping alumni informed will also
reach a broader audience as you work to raise help to expand the pool of potential donors
more funds and awareness for people with and will expand members‟ network of contacts
FACULTY/STAFF disabilities while also breaking down for event and post-graduation opportunities.
Often times the faculty and staff of your stereotypes.
university enjoy seeing student organizations,
especially Greek organizations, doing positive DISABILITY COMMUNITY
things. Your chapter and your event can FAMILY Inviting a group of people with disabilities from
benefit greatly by inviting the faculty and staff Push America events are a great opportunity a local organization that serves people with
of your university to your philanthropy events. to include the families of your chapter disabilities is a great way for your event to
members in your fraternity experience. have an even greater impact. Remember it is
Families are often some of the biggest through personal interactions with people with
VIP supporters of your chapter brothers and can disabilities that we are able to build
Think of people in your community, university, also become supporters of your Push America relationships and to realize the abilities of all
or county who can help to establish a programming. Informing family members on people. Whether it is a wheelchair basketball
presence for your event. This could include the good things the chapter is doing will only exhibition, a guest speaker at an Empathy
prominent alumni, city council members, reinforce with them that Pi Kappa Phi is Dinner or just taking time to hang out during
mayor of your town, the dean, the president of having a positive impact on all those involved. Pedal for Push event, including people with
your university and any public figures you can disabilities in your event will make it that
think to invite. This may also help to get media much more impactful and enjoyable.
to your event if they know of certain VIPs who
will be in attendance.
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STEP #3 set goals
Creating S.M.A.R.T. Goals
Adapted from Paul J. Meyer's "Attitude Is Everything"
SPECIFIC and expand to match them. Set goals they are a stretch, yet attainable, to
challenge the chapter to reach that next level. For example, if the chapter
A specific goal has a much greater chance of being accomplished than a has recently been raising an average of $120 per man each year, set a
general goal. To set a specific goal you must answer the six "W" questions: goal to raise $200 per man for Push America this year. Then break that
*Who: Who is involved? goal down to make it even more attainable: $200 per person for the year
*What: What do we want to accomplish? equals only $20 raised per person each month.
*Where: Identify a location.
*When: Establish a time frame. REALISTIC
*Which: Identify any requirements and constraints. To be realistic, a goal must represent an objective toward which you are
*Why: Specific reasons, purposes or benefits of accomplishing both willing and able to work. A goal can be both high and realistic; you are
the goal. the only one who can decide just how high your goal should be. But be
EXAMPLE: A general goal would be, "Raise money for Push America". A sure that every goal represents substantial progress. A high goal is
specific goal would say, "Raise $1,000 each month for Push America". frequently easier to reach than a low one because a low goal exerts low
motivational force. Some of the hardest jobs you ever accomplished
EXAMPLE: A general goal would be, “Hold „Pedal for Push‟ event”. A
actually seem easy simply because they were a labor of love.
specific goal would say, “Hold „Pedal for Push‟ event in September and
raise $500 from business sponsors, $1,000 from family donations and Your goal is probably realistic if you truly believe that it can be
$1,000 from students during the event”. accomplished. Additional ways to know if your goal is realistic is to
determine if you have accomplished anything similar in the past or ask
MEASUREABLE yourself what conditions would have to exist to accomplish this goal.
Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment
of each goal you set. When you measure your progress, you stay on track, TIME-ORIENTED
reach your target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement Your goals must have a starting point, ending point and fixed durations.
that spurs you on to continued effort required to reach your goal. Set a timeframe for the goals you set for the event: for next week, for next
month, one week prior to event and day of the event. Putting an end point
To determine if your goal is measurable, ask questions such as......How
on your goal gives you a clear target to work towards. The more timely you
much? How many? How will I know when it is accomplished?
can be in setting up your goals for your event, and leading up to the event,
ATTAINABLE the more proactive and organized you will be for the event. This will help
When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure give you more time to focus on some of the smaller details and leave you
out ways you can make them come true. You develop the attitudes, time to spend on any „emergencies‟ that may pop up as the event gets
abilities and skills to reach them. You begin seeing previously overlooked closer.
opportunities to bring yourself closer to the achievement of your goals. If you do not set a time frame with each goal, the commitment is too
You can attain most any goal you set when you plan your steps wisely and vague. It tends not to happen because you feel you can start at any time.
establish a time frame that allows you to carry out those steps. Goals that Without a time limit, there's no urgency to start taking action now and will
may have seemed far away and out of reach eventually move closer and therefore not give enough time to plan or fail to accomplish the goal.
become attainable, not because your goals shrink, but because you grow
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STEP #4 secure the venue, time and date
Among the most vital details of your event are the time and location of when and where your event is being held. These aspects can influence the amount
of people attending the event, the amount of fundraising you achieve, the cost of your event and can be the key to making your event a success. Your
venue, location and time of the event should be the first thing you secure once you have identified what event you want to host. Below are some aspects to
keep in mind when planning your event.
CROSS-REFERENCE CALENDARS PLAN FAR ENOUGH IN ADVANCE
To optimize your event, be sure to reference various calendars including Time can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Most of the ideal
your chapter calendar, school events, athletic events, intramural and venues for your event must be reserved well in advance. Many other
fraternity/sorority life calendars to avoid any conflicting events. Avoid campus organizations are also looking to use these ideal venues. To
hosting your event at the same time as any other major events to give ensure you get the venue you want for the date and time that you want it,
your event the best chance for success and avoid any unnecessary make your reservation as far in advance as possible. Check with your
competition. Also, approach your student life office or fraternity/sorority local campus facilities, as you may be able to make your reservation a
life office to make sure you are allowed to host the event. If the original semester or two in advance.
date and time will not work for the majority of the chapter, just find a new
one so that everyone will have an opportunity to contribute to its success. MINIMIZE COSTS
This is simple to do with the proper planning. When choosing your
IDEAL VENUES location, your decision should be largely based on the cost of the venue.
Where will your audience be? Many of your campus facilities are offered to student organizations at a
reduced rate or for free. If you are unable to find a suitable venue on
The first place you should look for a venue is on campus: the campus campus, your next option is to find an off campus facility. When
quad, student union, university center, campus ballrooms, campus approaching an off campus venue, be sure to explain the event and the
theatres, gyms and many other campus facilities. As a student mission of Push America. Then ask them to either donate the use of the
organization, you may be able to utilize these facilities at a reduced rate facility or offer a discount on the fee.
or for free. For off campus venues, you may need to shop around for a
suitable place with a reasonable price. (Free is always the best price) When gathering supplies for your event, you should also keep in mind the
When planning an event at a venue that serves alcohol, be sure to follow cost of the necessary items. Many times businesses can donate items or
the Push America Events with Alcohol Policy. services to help benefit your event. This can include grocery stores
donating supplies/gift cards, catering companies providing food and/or
“Location! Location! Location!” This old saying has a lot of validity when it services, and local businesses donating merchandise or gift cards.
comes to hosting a successful event. You want to have a location that is Minimizing the cost of your event will maximize its effectiveness and
easily accessible for your patrons and well suited for your needs. Ask therefore the amount of funds that will go to support people with
yourself: which venue is the ideal location? disabilities.
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STEP #5 create a checklist
The planning of an event consists of many steps that will ultimately lead to a finished product. It is practically impossible to remember every one of the
tasks that must be done to host a truly successful event. After deciding what event you want to do and setting your goals, it is important for you to
brainstorm a list of every task that needs to be done and to create a deadline for the completion of each task.
VENUE ALCOHOL TECHNOLOGY
Does your venue have everything you will If you will be hosting an event at a venue in What technology equipment will you need?
need? Tents, chairs, tables, lighting, audio and which alcohol will be present, ensure A projector? A computer to allow for online
visual systems and any other items you may compliance with the Push America Events with donations? Sound equipment? A slide show?
Alcohol Policy. List out all equipment that you will need.
need for the event.
MARKETING AND PUBLIC RELATIONS
PERMITS & CONTRACTS In the next section are some best practices for SECURITY
Do you need noise permits to play music at promoting your event through marketing and Your venue may require security. Often times
your event? Is there a contract to sign for public relations. Set deadlines for when this this depends on the amount of people
facility use? Be certain to explore any permits campaign should start and a detailed timeline attending the event. Be sure to have the
you may need to host your event. for all marketing and public relation efforts. necessary security present in order to help
properly manage the attendees and ensure
FOOD AND BEVERAGE T-SHIRTS everyone‟s safety. Review Pi Kappa Phi‟s
Will you need to provide food and beverage for If you are planning to have t-shirts for your Security Vendor Checklist for more assistance.
your event? If so what will you provide? If your event, keep in mind most companies have a
event is outside, will you have a water supply? minimum of two weeks turn around on ENTERTAINMENT
Will you provide snacks for your participants? producing the shirts. Be sure to have your Depending on your event, you may want to
design and number of shirts to be ordered have a DJ, show a movie or any other form of
Who can you approach to have food donated? entertainment for the event. For outdoor
prepared for distribution at your event. It is
SUPPLIES best to preorder shirts so you will have an events, you may want to throw around a
What supplies do you need to execute your accurate count to order. football or a Frisbee.
event? Decorations? Empathy training DECORATIONS
supplies? If you need catering, you will need to negotiate From Push America banners to centerpieces
a contract. How many people are you for your tables, decorations for your event can
expecting? How much will you need to add a classy touch. Decide what will help
Do you need tickets for your event? If so, how
charge? When do you have to turn in a final make your event stand out.
will you print them? How far in advance will
you start selling tickets? When will you stop head count prior to the event? Can the caterer AWARDS
selling tickets? Who will collect tickets at the donate or give a discount? Is your event a competition? Will you need
event? awards like trophies, certificates or medals? If
so try to find a local shop that will donate
awards or sell them to you at a reduced rate.
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STEP #6 promote your event
A well planned marketing and public relations campaign can help your event be very successful and effectively reach out to your target audience. Here are
a number of ways your chapter can market and promote an upcoming event:
SORORITY/FRATERNITY PRESENTATIONS PUBLIC RELATIONS FIVE HIT SYSTEM
Invite your fellow Greeks to your event through a brief presentation at one
1. Send Press Release; two weeks out.
of their meetings. Contact each president and ask if there is a time for
2. Call; day after Press Release.
you to address their entire chapter at their meeting. This method of
3. Send Media Advisory; two days out.
inviting people is personal and you will have the opportunity to fire up the
4. Call; same day as Media Advisory
group to participate. Educate them on Push America and advertise when,
5. Call; day of the event
where and how to participate in the event.
FLYER CAMPAIGNS What to Mention:
For a minimum of two weeks leading up to your event, flyers stating what
the event is, the time, date, location and who is benefitting from the INTRODUCTION
event should be posted in as many locations as possible on campus and
Hi, my name is _________ and I‟m a student and member of Pi Kappa Phi
in your community. Some campuses require that all flyers be approved
at (your university).
before being posted, so make sure you go through the proper procedures
to ensure your poster will stay up.
TSHIRTS Create an attention grabbing pitch and remember, the more unique the
T-shirt sales can not only help you promote your event, but also be an event, the better chance of gaining the media‟s attention.
additional source of revenue for your fundraiser. Have everyone wear
their shirt on the day of the event. Sponsorships can help offset the cost “On (dates), our chapter will be doing (unique event) in order to raise
of t-shirts. Be careful with the amount of t-shirts you order as you may funds and awareness on behalf of people with disabilities.”
spend more on shirts than what your event raises. It is usually best
practice to have participants preorder shorts to prevent having a large WHO THE EVENT BENEFITS
surplus of shirts and spending unnecessary funds on additional shirts.
Explain your volunteer relationship in the community, if applicable.
Facebook and Twitter are also great ways to promote your event. You can Other Talking Points:
create a Facebook group or event to inform people of your event. Twitter *Push America is the national philanthropy of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity.
is a great way to give updates on the progress of your event both prior to *Mission: Building leaders of tomorrow by serving people with disabilities
and while it is happening. For events with alcohol be sure to follow the today.
Push America Events with Alcohol Policy. *Vision: Push America will change the way society views people with
disabilities and fraternities.
TABLING *Pi Kappa Phi is the only fraternity to successfully start and maintain
Set up a table in an area of campus with high visibility (i.e. the quad, their own philanthropy.
student union, residence hall, etc.), raise awareness for Push America *Chapter gives out a Circle of Giving grant to “(local organization that
and your event and sell tickets to the event if applicable. serves people with disabilities).”
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STEP #7 execute the event
Your Push America event is here! You have spent weeks, or even months planning and now it is time for you and everyone involved to enjoy the fruits of
your labor. Now is the time to express your passion for the event and project that energy on every person you come across. Have everyone post the event
on social media and make your event the talk of the town. Your positive attitude leading into this event will help build its success.
LEAD THE EXPERIENCE
Your Push America event should be a fun and memorable experience in which your chapter can take pride. As a leader, your goal for the event should be to
ensure that everyone is able to enjoy it as you intended. Providing this experience is key to not only the event‟s immediate success, but also its
sustainability as a chapter and university tradition.
Your chapter brothers can be a huge support. The event has been planned, and your chapter is there to help execute the event. Make sure they are able to
take ownership in the event. Try to delegate as many responsibilities as possible. Give your chapter brothers small but vital roles in the event: the opening
prayer, closing prayer, collecting tickets, collecting money, monitoring the checklist, presenting about Push America to the audience, running the A/V
system, decorating, setting up the event, recognizing special guests, presenting awards and any other role that can be taken on by someone other than
yourself. Give your chapter the opportunity to invest in the success of the event.
Some things may not go the way you planned. Remember to stay calm. Simply regroup and calmly find a solution to your problem. The last thing your
chapter needs to see is you running around yelling at them when they are the ones who will support you and the event.
SHOW YOUR APPRECIATION
“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow."
The planning process can be long and difficult, and along the way you will meet many obstacles. By showing your gratitude for all those who have helped
you along the way will bring purpose to the obstacles, share an experience that will last and instill a vision to carry on the message of Push America for
years to come. A little gratitude can go a long way, especially a hand-written thank you note to those who went above and beyond to help make the event a
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STEP #8 document the event
With the help of this guide, you have planned out what is sure to be a successful Push America event. Your event is unique to your chapter, and the local
resources you have found are vital to your success. Work through this guide and document any information that is vital to the success of your event.
Documenting the details will allow for it to be successful in the future. The chapter will have the ability to learn from what made the event successful and
have the opportunity improve for future years.
What was your event? Who were your contacts for each step?
Who was your audience? Did the media show up and who were your contacts?
What were your goals? What worked well for the event?
When and where did the event happen? What can be improved for the next event?
What was on your checklist? What would you do differently?
What was your timeline for various goals? What made the event fun?
How did you promote your event? Did you document the event?
How did others react to/feel about your event? Can your chapter carry on this event in the future?
Contact the Staff
Andrew Matznick Nick Breaux
Director of Chapter Services Program Consultant
Push America Push America
(704) 504-2400 ext. 117 (704) 504-2400 ext. 161
The Push America staff is here to help serve as a resource in planning your event and we highly encourage you to contact us for assistance.
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