Special Events Central Fund FAQ
Who may apply to the Central Fund?
The Special Events Central Fund is available to all volunteers who have committed to organizing a PHA fundraising event. Anyone applying to the fund must first speak to a PHA Special Events staff member and also review and approve the terms of the PHA’s volunteer agreement.
The fund is open to both first-time and repeat event planners to help offset expenses that are incurred during the planning process and to help leverage additional fundraising. Prior to applying to the Central Fund, it is required that first-time planners only apply for and are awarded a Special Events Seed Grant. For more information on our Special Events Seed Grant program, please contact Jessica at Events@PHAssociation.org or 301-565-3004 x765.
How does PHA’s Central Fund for Special Events differ from its Special Events Seed Grant program?
The Seed Grant program is only for first-time event planners to aid in start-up costs associated with planning a special event. The Central Fund is available for both first-time and veteran event planners. In addition, Seed Grant awards are limited to $1,000 and under, while the Central Fund sponsorship amounts vary.
How does PHA’s Central Fund for Special Events differ from its Central Fund for Support Groups?
The Special Events Central Fund is specifically for fundraising events. The event must be established for the purpose of raising funds for patient support services and/or research of the Pulmonary Hypertension Association. The Support Group Central Fund is utilized to help offset the expenses associated with meetings and gatherings for PHA’s Support Group network. By contrast, these events are not inherently fundraisers.
If you are unsure whether your event is a fundraiser, ask yourself: Does it have a registration fee or ticket price for attendees? Does it have sponsorship opportunities? Does it include diversified sources and methods of fundraising (more than just the opportunity for donations to be collected)? If you answered “yes” to these questions, your event is likely a fundraiser that could be eligible for funding through the Special Events Central Fund.
How much should I apply for?
Funding amounts vary greatly depending on the size of the event, history of the event, funding needs and other circumstances. We generally suggest that applicants first look at who the fund sponsors are, and ask themselves, how much would I request from these companies if I were to solicit them independently of the Central Fund?
We also strongly suggest that all applicants look to their event budgets, which are submitted as part of the application process, for guidance and justification in making a request. If a request is supported thoroughly by an explanation of how the money will be used and why the expense(s) is(are) an integral component of the event, the committee is much more likely to award full funding.
What can the money be used for?
Once a Central Fund award is made, the money is transferred directly to your PHA event fundraising account. The funds increase the overall event account balance, which can be expensed against once invoices and reimbursements accrue. Common event expenses include printing, event apparel, venue rental, catering/food, decorations, entertainment, etc. The funds essentially help defray any of these type of expenses associated with the event. However, Central Fund awards are also event sponsorships, and while they can serve to offset costs, they should also bolster the overall fundraising of the event after expenses.
What do I need to submit with my application?
As part of the application process, it is required that a budget and plan of action are both submitted along with the application itself. Samples of these documents can be obtained upon request, and templates are also available as needed.
When should I apply?
We suggest applying to the Central Fund at least 2-3 months prior to your event. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and the turnaround from submission to the committee’s decision is usually pretty quick. Nonetheless, it is important to submit your requests early due to the high demand of the fund, as it is made available to all planners. Applying early also enables a balance in your event account to exist sooner allowing bills to be paid as costs are incurred.
What does the committee look for in making a funding decision?
The committee looks at several main factors in making a funding decision. Primarily, the committee members look at the event’s history of fundraising success as well as the financial need. For inaugural events, the committee looks at the submitted plan of action and budget to evaluate projected event results. The committee also wants the funding requests to be supported by a concrete explanation of how that amount was determined and how it will be used to leverage additional fundraising dollars.
How can I thank the sponsors if I get an award?
Central Fund awardees should include the Central Fund logo on all promotional and sponsorship material that is created and distributed for their event to the fullest extent possible. That being said, we understand that some Central Fund requests are made after the “deadlines” for initial promotional materials such as save the date cards and registration brochures. The Central Fund logo is sent to awardees upon approval of their request.
If you would like to reach out to a Central Fund sponsor to express your thanks more personally, please contact PHA directly, and we will provide you contact information for the appropriate company representative. Call 301-565-3004 x742 or email Eventful@PHAssociation.org to obtain this information.
Who should I contact if I have questions about the application process?
Any questions can be directed to Leslie Mahaney, Special Events Program Associate and Central Fund Facilitator, at 301-565-3004 x742 or Eventful@PHAssociation.org.