Being kind isn’t easy, but sometimes it can be a lot of fun! One of the best ways to have fun and help others at the same time is to host a “Party with a Purpose” – in other words, a party that raises awareness and/or funds for a charity or cause. You can throw a high-end party or throw one together easily and cheaply. You can incorporate giving into a major life event (like a wedding or birthday), or you can throw for the sole purpose of supporting your cause. The possibilities are endless!
The first rule of partying for a cause is make sure all of the guests know what cause you are partying for. Make announcements, include information about the cause on the invitation, and if you have a special personal reason why the cause is important to you, let them know (if it is something you are comfortable sharing). Helping people connect with your cause will enable your event to go beyond just one day of fundraising, and help people build more long-term connections to the causes that matter to you.
Easy and Cheap
Throwing a party together quickly and cheaply will not make it any less meaningful or fun, and it can help your friends get to know your charity better without feeling pressured to donate large sums of money. Here are some tips for throwing a fun party without a lot of work:
- Find the right venue, and then let them do all the work. Bars and restaurants are always looking for new ways to bring people into their space (and get them spending money), and throwing an event for charity is a win-win. Finding a venue with a back room or private space that is a suitable size for your group is half the battle.
- Negotiate. See if you can get the bar to donate a percentage of the tab (if your charity is a registered nonprofit in the U.S., their donation would be tax-deductible). At worst, they should at least be able to offer some pretty sweet drink specials (you can give them names if you’re feeling really cute too!).
- Hold a raffle. Raffles are great because people who are comfortable giving a lot to the cause will, and people who don’t have a lot to give won’t feel pressured to spend a lot. And of course there’s the added benefit of possibly being able to win something.
A fancier party will be more work, but could also be a lot of fun and will enable you to meet a higher fundraising goal. Here are some tips for throwing an upscale party:
- Know your network. There are many different levels of “upscale,” and different people in your network will have different capacities to give. The key to meeting your goals and having a good time is having a good sense of how many people are likely to attend, how much they are willing to spend, and what their style is like.
- Create an environment to match your guests’ interests, and communicate it clearly ahead of time. Are your guests more interested in a DJ and a club or would they prefer wine and cheese in an art gallery? Both of these could be successful fundraising events, but not if your guests don’t know which to expect.
- Get help. Throwing a fundraiser can be a big job, and it is best done with a team of volunteers. These volunteers won’t just help you make decisions and prepare the space – they can also grow your network and support you in reaching your fundraising goal.
Want to support a charity but aren’t sure which one? Check out my recent post on choosing a charity here. Looking for other tips on how to have a positive impact on the world? Check out my Advice & Tips section. As always, thanks for reading!