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How To Give A Fund Raising Party


There are no hard and fast rules about how to give a fund raising party - either in person or virtually on line. Tips that we've heard that have helped other people are the following:

In Person Fund Raising Party

  • Keep in mind that people do want to help. Think about how you have felt about friends who had a need, particularly one caused by health, and how you wished there were something you could do.
  • Keep expenses as low as possible.  Give the party at home or in some one else's home. Paying for a place for the party goes against the grain.
  • Send invitations via e mail. If you use snail mail, use inexpensive invitations.
    • Be upfront about the reason for the party. Try to be humorous if you can. 
    • Set a minimum donation to come to your party. Let people know that if they cannot donate cash, you welcome services that you would otherwise have to pay for.
    • Ask for donations if people are unable to come.
    • If you are looking to pay a medical bill, let people know. If the creditor is a not-for-profit, the person who makes a contribution may be able to get a charitable deduction if the check is payable to the not-for-profit. At the least, the expense could be considered to be a medical expense for tax purposes. (For information about medical expenses and taxes, click here.)
  • The party
    • People do not expect a lavish spread or expensive drinks. In fact, expensive food or drinks may even be a turn-off.
    • If you are going to serve food, pasta with a primavera sauce can go a long way on a small dollar. So can an Asian rice based vegetarian meal. Both are also nutritious.
    • You can save money purchasing beer if you buy it by the keg. 
    • Big box stores are a great source for large quantities of inexpensive food and inexpensive wines. If you are not a member, perhaps a friend will take you. 
    • Set a party mood. In a very real sense, the party should be a celebration of friendship.
    • Control the mood through music - preferably not via a radio station with commercials. Alternatively, ask a band in which a friend or acquaintance plays to play for free. All local bands look for a way to play in front of people. It's good practice. It's a good way for them to test material. It can't hurt to ask.
    • Place a big bowl or other receptacle near the front door for people to put their donations in. 
  • Consider creating a raffle - after checking the legality in your state. Raffles can be profitable - particularly if you get the winning item donated or at least at wholesale. To learn about the law in your state, type "raffle law ____ state" into your favorite search engine. You can find a list of the laws at offsite link. However, the site tries to sell you a guide for creating rafflfes which is likely not necessary. 

OnLine Fund Raising Party

If you have already given a party, or if your friends are scattered across the country, consider giving a party on line. For example, via social media such as a Facebook offsite link page. Still send out invitations for your friends and acquaintances who are not social media users. Call it something like a "A Virtual Fund Raising Party." 

NOTE: Please share additional ideas about giving a fund raising party that have or have not worked to Survivorship A to Z

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