Summer is a great time to gather friends for a backyard barbecue or garden soiree. Whether your intention is to catch up or celebrate a specific occasion, why not add some good will to your plans and partner with a local charity to fundraise at your party.
Your charity of choice may not have a plan in place for a “host your own” type of fundraiser but all not-for-profit organizations I know of accept donations. That’s good enough for me.
Below I have provided tips on hosting your own party for a cause and a charity link that is close to my heart.
1. CHOOSE YOUR CAUSE
Whether you have a charity that you regularly donate to or a cause that touches your heart, choosing only one cause is your best bet to keep your message simple. Some of us have soft spots for our furry friends, have a mission to feed the hungry or have lost a loved one to a disease. Your cause should mean something to you and/or your invited guests.
2. CONTACT THE CHARITY
Even if your charity of choice does not have a plan in place to support your needs, what they will have is information. Call ahead and ask to speak to your local representative. They will provide you with the resources you need to educate your guests and advise you on collecting donations.
3. TELL YOUR GUESTS ABOUT IT
Be sure to include a line in your party invitations that lets your guests know you will be collecting donations for your chosen cause. No need to make this front and center, your guests don’t need to feel pressured if the main objective for your gathering is to celebrate an occasion or gather friends to catch-up. All you need is a short paragraph on why you have chosen that particular cause and how your guests can contribute. If you are hosting the party solely to fundraise, then go all out! Your local representative can provide you with language to include in your invite and their logo.
4. INFUSE YOUR CAUSE INTO YOUR CANVAS
Here are a few ways you can incorporate your charity messages and collection into your party.
- Set-up a table dedicated to your cause. Place information handouts, signage and any resource materials from your local representative on it and encourage guests to visit the area throughout your event.
- Place a big bright bowl on a table with a sign next to it encouraging guests to empty the change from their pockets and purses.
- Auction off yours and your friend’s and/or family’s services. Everyone is good at something, whether it be cleaning, cooking or even walking the dogs, host a silent auction of donated services. All you need a silent auction bid sheet for each service and a few pens. Be sure to advise guests of the auction start and end times. How fun would it be to have your bestie clean your toilet for a great cause 😉 Here is a link to a bid sheet template I found online.
- Decorate in your charity color. Everyone knows pink represents breast cancer but not all know that purple is associated with elder abuse awareness and prevention.
- Host fundraising games. Here is a link to some fundraising party games or you could incorporate a card match into your plans.
- Create a charity inspired signature cocktail for your event and charge guests a “whatever you can afford” fee for the drink. Of course all funds collected will go directly to the charity.
- Place small paper bags on a table with colored markers. Encourage guests to deposit donations into the bags and write a message or draw on the bag encouraging words or images. Set the bags on a designated area or pin them to a board, tree or wall where others can view their sentiments.
5. ENCOURAGE FOLLOW-UP
Be sure to send guests home with information about the charity to share with their families and friends. Make your event an annual occasion or plan to attend one of your charity’s local events to continue your support.
MY CHARITY OF CHOICE WOULD HAVE TO BE…
THE BRAIN TUMOR FOUNDATION OF CANADA
This is a disease that has unfortunately impacted our family greatly. My late Grandma June passed away too early as a result of suffering brain tumors for over 15 years of her life. Enduring multiple brain surgeries, pain and debilitation. Now my Grandma Shirley is struggling with this disease.