So you want to host a fundraising house party?
Thank you so much for considering this step! This type of fundraising is hard work and requires time and effort, but can make a big difference in realizing the dream of Building the Pink Tower.
Q: What is a house party?
A house party is a fundraising event that includes socializing, refreshments, and most
importantly, a presentation of the project followed by an appeal for donations. This is a
fun way to champion Pink Tower and spread the word to garner a wider net of support.
The ideal host is someone who believes in our film project and is willing to say so, to
open up their address book and their home, and who will make a donation to motivate
their guests to follow suit.
Q: How do I get started?
The first step is to pick a date. This should be at least six weeks out in order to prepare
everything necessary for a successful house party. The best times are usually two
hours on a weeknight or a Sunday afternoon. Remember, this is not a huge soiree- it’s a
social gathering with a distinct intention.
Q: Does a house party have to be held at my house?
Your home is a comfortable, inviting setting in which to share your passion for the
project and show your personal investment in its message. However, fundraising events
can also be held at schools, community centers, restaurants, and other venues. What
matters most is the spirit and sense of purpose for the event.
Q: How big should the party be?
A fundraising house party can be as large or small as you like, although if it gets too
big you may lose the intimacy that encourages people reach for their checkbooks. It is
important to invite many more guests than you hope will show up. A general rule is to
send invitations to three or four times your goal – so invite 60 guests if you would like 20
people to attend. Of course, this rule will vary depending on the connection your guests
have to the mission of our project and to you.
Q: Who should be on the guest list?
Reach out to your friends, family, work colleagues, members of religious or social
groups, fellow parents, Montessori alumni, and teachers – anyone who you believe
cares about children and the future of education.
Q: What about invitations?
Some people prefer to send paper invitations, some like email, and others like to use
Evites and other online tools. Once you contact us about hosting, we will provide you
with templates and easy-to-use instructions for both paper and digital invitations. As the
party date approaches, you will likely need to make some follow up phone calls or send
reminder emails in order to collect all your RSVPs.
Q: Should I serve refreshments?
Most hosts choose to provide refreshments at a house party. This need not be a
full meal, but just some light snacks and drinks to keep guests satisfied during the
presentation. Finger food that is easy to eat standing up and is not too messy is the best
way to go. These are served in the first half hour or so while guests arrive and mingle
before the presentation.
Q: What does the presentation involve?
After about 30-45 minutes, which allows for everyone to arrive, put on name tags, look
at the informational materials, chat, and enjoy refreshments, you as the host will gather
everyone in front of the television or projector (which has been tested earlier in the day
to make sure it is working properly) for the presentation. The presentation consists of a
brief introduction to the party and the project by you, the host. Then, if we are present,
we will take over, going into more detail about Building the Pink Tower and showing a
trailer or video clip to give an idea of the artistic direction and story. If we are not at your
house party, we will be sure to share talking points with you to guide the presentation.
This should take about 15 minutes, leaving an additional 20 minutes for Q & A and
conversation in the group.
Q: When do we ask for donations?
After the presentation, someone will make the “ask.” This is the most crucial part of
the evening. This appeal for donations can be made by you, the host, or by someone
else who is a respected, enthusiastic peer of the guests, but not by the filmmakers.
This peer will talk about the film’s projected budget, the monetary goal for the evening
and how specific amounts of donations will help, then ask everyone to contribute. Both
the peer and the host should ideally be willing to make a donation and publically share
that information. This gesture shows that you believe in our project, which coming
from you will inspire your friends to do the same. After all of this, the party doesn’t end
immediately. We let everyone process what they have seen and heard before they
decide if and how much to donate.
Q: How can guests make donations?
There should be several opportunities for people to donate – we want to make it very
easy for them once they have decided to give. If at all possible, you should have the
ability to take credit card payments, and give everyone receipts for tax purposes.
Donation cards should be available at the entrance, on their seats at the presentation,
after the pitch, and at the end of the evening. It is also smart to add a link on email
invitations as well as an option on paper invitations for those who cannot attend but
wish to contribute.
Q: How do I follow up after the event?
After the party, send thank you notes by mail or email to everyone who came, whether
or not they donated. Emails can include a link to our website and donation page. This is
also a good chance to follow up with people who said they were possibly interested in
donating later or hosting their own party. This leaves guests with a positive impression
and cements networking contacts.
Hosting a house party takes some work, but it is worth the effort. These events can
bring in several thousand dollars for the Building the Pink Tower project, as well as
invaluable support and connections. If you feel ready to move ahead with a house party,
contact us and we will help you get started. Thank you for helping us Build the Pink