Planning the Event

Aligned with the question of “why,” you should seriously consider if you have the time, resources, and capacity to design and organize this event. And if resources are limited (as they often are), collaborating with others aligned with your mission will make your event that much more impactful and unified. Here are a few additional considerations:

Set the Date & Raise Funds

Plan 6 to 12 months in advance

Six months is the recommended minimum time to plan, coordinate, and host a community event where you desire high participation from a diverse set of people.

Reserve the Gathering Space

Ensure that the venue you plan to host the gathering has enough space to hold between 120-200 people as well as enough rooms for each breakout group. 

Provide Financial Incentives

Offering a grant or cash prize, big large or small, would make the event worthwhile for both the doers and contributors attending. By creating a friendly competitive environment, you’ll inspire each doer to make their best pitch as well as inspire each contributor to participate in the selection process. The financial support will also directly support the doers.

Provide Honoraria

Value people’s time by offering a small honorarium to each doer making a presentation regardless if they are selected to receive the cash prize.


Food and drinks will make attendees feel welcomed, and appreciated, and fuel creative output. This also carves out time for people to network and learn more about each other outside of the presentations and breakouts.


Invest in explaining the overarching story of the issue in a form that is succinct and easy to digest. Non-fiction video storytelling is a powerful way to illustrate the issue to a large group of people at the beginning of the event and serve as a conversation catalyst.

Inclusionary Budget

Make sure to carve out a portion of the budget to reduce common barriers to participation. Support may include a small stipend, language translation, equitable accessibility, child care, transportation, etc.

Marketing Materials

Although this toolkit provides many of the materials you’ll need to host a Doers Gathering, you’ll still run into printing costs and, perhaps, even design costs if you hope to customize some of the graphics. You may also want and need to create printed flyers, postcards or mailers to cast a wide net of people.


Unless you’re in a fortunate position to be surrounded by trained facilitators (who may often be your fellow collaborators), it’s worthwhile to consider setting aside a portion of the budget to hire facilitators to help with the breakout sessions.