How to Host a Fundraising House Party
One of the most common ways that supporters of 100 Friends raise money for the project is by hosting a fundraising house party. This is a fun way to catch up with friends while raising awareness of some of the problems in the world that 100 Friends is striving to improve. If I am able to attend then I (Marc Gold) can deliver the presentation in person. If not, I can show you how to easily present the mission, accomplishments and story line of 100 Friends without my being there utilizing films, a narrated slide show and other materials. Also, some people how know a great deal about 100 Friends may be able to speak for me about the project when I am not available.
There are five key steps to organizing a successful fundraiser in your home, according to Morrie Warshawski, author of the inspiring and informative book, ‘The Fundraising Houseparty‘. These are…
- Send out invitations to your guests. It is advisable to invite at least double the number of people who you would like to show up. I can send you examples of invitations used by previous house party sponsors.
- Be sure to specify on the invitations that this will be a fundraising event! You should also indicate at what time there will be a presentation about the 100 Friends project, to ensure that as many people as possible will be in attendance for this portion of the evening.
If the event is to start as 7pm then I usually leave from 7pm-7:45pm for chatting and eating/drinking (also leaves time for people arriving late). Then the presentation usually goes from 7:45pm-9pm which leaves enough time for questions and answers (this can be shorter if necessary). Then I leave another 45 minutes or so for chatting and small group conversations and future plans. By 10pm almost everybody is usually gone and the house is back to normal.
- When guests arrive, they put their names down on a sign-in sheet, along with their email addresses if they wish to receive email updates from the 100 Friends Project. They should be served drinks and snacks, as at a regular house party.
- At a predetermined time, a short introduction should be given about the work of the 100 Friends Project. This can be delivered by the host or hostess. (If your party takes place near to my residence or if it coincides with my visiting your area, I can make the presentation in person).
- After the presentation has ended, a respected and well-spoken member of the gathering should stand up and thank the host (or whoever made the presentation) and call on all the guests to make a donation. At this time you should also mention that if anyone is interested in hosting a house party at their home or business then they should let the speaker or host know about it.
It really is that easy! The key is to be very specific from the start that the purpose of the house party is to raise funds for the project – that way your guests are clear about their role in proceedings from the beginning and won’t be surprised or offended that they are expected to reach for their wallets! But make it clear that there is no pressure to donate. When you are sending out the invitations, you should also include a donation envelope or hand out something with the link to donate through the web site. This means that even your friends who are unable to attend will be able to make a contribution if they wish to. All be sure to mention that all donations are tax deductible.
The presentation basically involves giving a brief overview of what the 100 Friends Project is and what it’s main aims are. This is followed by a slide show of photographs showing some of the people the project has helped in several countries (or a film may be shown as well). The 100 Friends Project is a particularly good cause for a house party fundraiser because very little money can go a very long way so guests will not feel pressured into contributing more than they can afford. It should be made very clear that every little helps and that it is okay if someone chooses not to donate at this time.
If you plan to host a fundraising house party, you should contact me. I will give you any advice I can to help you plan this venture and also provide you with all the materials you will need – newsletters, slide shows, films on DVDs, projectors, speakers, screens, computers, audio-visual technical information, donation envelopes etc.