Raising money for a cause you’re passionate about can sometimes feel tedious. Others may not share your enthusiasm for the issue, may not have money or time to contribute, or they just can’t be bothered donating.
However, with a bit of planning and organization, you can create a fun fundraising party from your home. Raising money while hosting a fulfilling day for family and friends means everyone wins!
Benefits of Hosting a Fundraiser
Hosting a fundraiser is likely easier than you think. Especially if this is your first party, you don’t have to organize a huge gala event. Think smaller to start. A party for neighbors and friends will be fun for all —but they’ll also appreciate gathering for a good cause.
By organizing the event yourself, you get to control every important decision, like your budget, where the proceeds will go and logistics. In the face of surging Covid cases, hosting your own party means you can create the guest list to keep it intimate. (If you live in a moderate climate, hosting your party outdoors can further minimize any risk of spreading Covid.)
Tips to Get You Started
Here are a few fundraising house party ideas and tips to get you started.
Invite people who are interested in the cause.
While you do want to invite friends, you don’t want to exclude casual acquaintances that may be more inclined to donate money. Think about inviting guests who care about your cause or might be more easily swayed to help. It’s better to have a small event of highly interested guests, than a house full of friends who are only there for snacks and conversation.
Set goals for the event.
Just as with your guest list, it can be tempting to simply plan a party as you normally would and hope for the best. But planning a fundraising party should be treated a little differently than a casual social event. You’re not just hoping guests will enjoy themselves, you want them to feel compelled to donate. Think about what you hope to accomplish and how you can meet those goals. How will you measure the success of your event?
Once you have written goals, you can begin to think of actionable steps. Will you ask each guest for a small contribution at the event? Are you hoping to create more awareness so that you can solicit donations later? How do you plan to show the value of individual donations? These could be personal stories from those who have benefited from donations or statistical evidence. Showing people where their money will go can be a great motivator.
Ultimately you want your guests to feel like they can make a difference and they have a clear understanding how to do so.
Create a loose agenda for the event.
Not only will an agenda help keep the event moving, but it will also set expectations. There should be time for socializing and mingling, as well as time for speeches and explanations about the cause. If there are multiple speakers, do they each get the same amount of time to talk?
Also consider when and how you will ask for donations. Do you plan to ask during the event or after the event? Will guests need to write a check? Complete a form? Make sure your action items are clear.
An agenda will ensure you stick to the specified time frame and set a clear end time, so guests know when to leave. A loose agenda can be written on a white board as guests arrive or printed on invitations.
Don’t go it alone.
Although planning a fundraising party doesn’t have to be overly complex, it can still be stressful. Hosting with a partner or even working with a non-profit organization can help you manage both the logistical, and ideological, aspects of the fundraiser. You can outsource to dos, collaborate on tasks and share the workload when you host with someone else.
Write a well-crafted invite.
A fundraising party is only successful if you get people to show up. Therefore, spend some time on the invite. Be sure it not only includes all the pertinent information about the event but also explains the issue you are tackling.
Share a story about your involvement in the cause to help compel your friends and family to attend. If people feel personally connected to an issue, they are more likely to donate. In fact, according to Billy Sharma, a nonprofit direct marketing consultant, and author, “People give significantly more to someone closer to them rather than to a stranger.”
Prepare for the event.
The more prepared you are for your event, the smoother it will run. Just as with A “regular” party, carefully consider decorations and what is necessary (not just nice to have). Balloons can certainly be festive but if you are raising funds for the environment for example, they may not be ideal.
Be sure to have enough plates, napkins and utensils for guests. Buying in bulk is a great way to ensure you don’t run out, especially if you end up with unexpected guests. A basic party supply kit will have just what you need to get started.
Buying wholesale snack items can save you time and money so you can maximize the amount of money that goes to the charity of your choice.
Use name tags to help encourage mingling and as an ice breaker.
It’s also a good idea to put out a table with information about your cause. On this table, you should include any pamphlets or further information to read. Set out a donation basket, envelopes, pens, and business cards so interested parties can stay in touch.
Prepare for the future.
As you work toward hosting your first fundraising event, consider creating a house party fundraising kit so you remember what worked well and what did not.
Hosting a fundraiser from your home is a rewarding endeavor. When you’re ready, DollarDays can help supply you with exactly what you need!