You get a massive return on investment from a comedy charity event. With only a single microphone and spotlight, you’ve got yourself 45 minutes to an hour of entertainment. No expensive staging, lighting, audio, or meals and drinks for an eight-piece ensemble. Just a single stand-up comedian and a content audience.

That’s why comedy charity nights are so popular for charities. Revenue is high, but costs are low, meaning the hospital, animal shelter, or the ‘Center for Kids Who Can’t Read Good’, get the maximum buck for your bang.

Now, here’s what you have to know prior to organising your own charity comedy event.

Comedians need to eat too

Comedians get asked regularly to contribute their time and wages to charities. So much so, that there should be a charity to help busy yet impoverished comedians. Ask for a discount, by all means, but don’t expect a comedian to do your gig for free. Unless he’s Dave Hughes. Ask him. Also remember, that skimping and getting a cheap comedian can affect the amount of fundraising. If the audience has a bad time, they’re not going to be as generous.

Get a comedian with MC ability

Telling jokes is one thing, but running the entire night is another. If you want your charity event to pull in more money from the silent auction, encourage tables are competing to donate, or have the ego of the big spender adequately massaged, then you’ll need a stand-up comedian who has an ability to emcee like a champ. And no, that skill’s not a given in all comedians. Ensure MCing is one of their talents.

Match your comedian to the night

A fundraiser for a women’s refuge shelter with an all male comedy line-up isn’t a good look. Likewise, a ‘blue’ comedian who drops F-bombs isn’t ideal for the hospice Christmas event. A rowdy crowd also needs a comedian who can keep the rabble controlled. Click here to choose your stand-up comedian.

Start with comedy, finish with dancing

If dancing is on the agenda, put it at the end. Forcing the DJ to pause ‘The YMCA’ and then subjecting the arm folded audience to 20 minutes of stand-up is the fastest way for both you and the comedian to be booed out of the event. Let the comedian build up the energy, and then throw to the DJ, before stage diving into the throng.

Brief the comedian

That aforementioned big spender will more readily spend if the comedian gives them a bit of the limelight. Brief the comedian on the bigwigs in the room, some personal tidbits and their level of ‘thick-skinned-ness’.

Charity events naturally create a feel-good vibe, and comedy is the cherry on top. Follow these tips, and you’ll be laughing on the night, and all the way to the bank (to make that charitable donation).