Author Topic: Etiquette for hosting a non-profit fundraiser at my home?  (Read 1648 times)

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rmk1

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Etiquette for hosting a non-profit fundraiser at my home?
« on: June 14, 2007, 02:55:55 PM »
I do a lot of volunteer work for a small non-profit prison literacy program.

I am considering having a fundraising dinner or dessert party for them, at my apartment, due to our group's funds being very low, and because a local group-household who used to hold a weekly fundraising brunch for us has recently had to give that up. So, now that small, though regular, source of funds is gone as well.

I'm nervous about how to go about it, and feeling not-too-sure of myself about asking for money at an event I'm hosting.

Has anyone ever done something like this? How to word invitations? How to go about it? What to serve?

jamiescudder

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Re: Etiquette for hosting a non-profit fundraiser at my home?
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2007, 04:09:00 PM »
Who are you inviting? Will it be the crowd that used to attend the brunches? If so, then I would copy their level of formality. If not, then you need to figure out how formal you want to make it. There are a few ways you can go with this.

No matter what, state on the invitations that it's a fundraising event. Also, if you plan to do any specific fundraising activities there (i.e. a silent auction) then that should be stated on the invitations as well. This way people show up expecting to be asked for money. It would actually seem weird to them if you didn't ask for money at a fundraiser. Also be sure to put on the invitations who you're raising money for.

As for planning the specifics of your party, look at your space and your resources to see what type of event would work best. Good luck!

rmk1

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Re: Etiquette for hosting a non-profit fundraiser at my home?
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2007, 04:56:27 PM »
Who are you inviting? Will it be the crowd that used to attend the brunches? If so, then I would copy their level of formality. If not, then you need to figure out how formal you want to make it. There are a few ways you can go with this.

No matter what, state on the invitations that it's a fundraising event. Also, if you plan to do any specific fundraising activities there (i.e. a silent auction) then that should be stated on the invitations as well. This way people show up expecting to be asked for money. It would actually seem weird to them if you didn't ask for money at a fundraiser. Also be sure to put on the invitations who you're raising money for.

As for planning the specifics of your party, look at your space and your resources to see what type of event would work best. Good luck!
No, probably not the brunch crowd but more like acquaintances of mine who know I do this volunteer work already, and maybe friends of other volunteers too.

I never got to go to the brunches, which I think were quite informal/casual and word-of mouth, mostly.

jamiescudder

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Re: Etiquette for hosting a non-profit fundraiser at my home?
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2007, 03:55:56 AM »
If you're inviting friends then I would say plan it like you would any other get together with them. Just be absolutely sure that you say it's a fundraiser on the invites.

Mikayla

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Re: Etiquette for hosting a non-profit fundraiser at my home?
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2007, 11:38:31 AM »
I think it's perfectly fine to raise funds at a fundraiser  ;D

I've done my share of these things and here's what I'd suggest for an informal event like this (I'm assuming it's a straight cash request).  Two ideas:

1.  Get someone who knows powerpoint or pagemaker to do up a brief summary of what your group does (most will probably know this but that's not the point) and then fold it in such a way that an envelope can be included in it.  The envelope would merely state thanks for helping us out or similar.  Then have a donation bowl prominently placed by the door.

2.  Similar to the above, but just do the bowl and put envelopes in it.

An auction is a great idea, too!  I'm not sure I'd do both unless those attending understand the dire financial straits.  And I agree with everyone that the invite should state something like "join us to help out a good cause".

Lisbeth

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Re: Etiquette for hosting a non-profit fundraiser at my home?
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2007, 12:12:36 AM »
I'll agree with everyone that the invitation should indicate clearly that this is a fundraiser.

My advice is that:

1) Even at fundraisers, people may come who are hesitant to actually donate.  If that's the case with any of your guests, don't pressure them further to contribute then and there.  I would recommend having a brochure or donation form along with literature about the cause on hand that they can take with them so that they can donate later if they are so inclined.

2) Be sure to send a warm thank-you letter to everyone who attends and donates after the event, and to everyone who has helped out with the party.
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