How to Host a Fundraising Champion Party
A fundraising champion party is a great way to kick-off a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign – and a fun way to teach your supporters everything they need to know to be great fundraisers!
At a party, you’ll want to include things like setting up their personal fundraising pages for your campaign, handouts showcasing best practices for fundraising, and online resources your fundraisers can reference as they fundraise (things like sample social media posts, emails, and graphics).
You’ll also want refreshments to thank your fundraisers for supporting your organization, and some music to set the tone – it is a party after all!
Let’s break it down one step at a time:
1. Create a Guest List
Your Guest List is a list of everyone you’d like to fundraise for your campaign. Think of friends and family, your board, spectacular volunteers, dedicated donors, and others.
Compile a list of 20-30 names with contact information. Not everyone will be able to (or will want to) fundraise for your organization, so starting with a larger list and paring it down is much easier than scrambling at the last minute trying to find others! In the end, you’ll want 10-15 fundraisers.
2. Determine Party Details
Just like any other party, you need concrete details so people show up at the right place, on the right date, at the right time!
Book a location. If you have a conference room where you can accommodate 10-15 people, great! If not, it’s time to get creative. If your Board will be fundraising, host the party where you typically host Board Meetings. You can also look into community spaces – libraries, American Legion Posts, Rotary Clubs, and community centers – these spaces typically rent their halls for a small fee or nothing to nonprofits!
Things to look for when finding a location:
- Is there Wi-Fi so your Fundraising Champions can set up their personal fundraising pages?
- Is there an easy place for your Fundraisers to park? Is it easily accessible by public transportation?
- Do they allow food and drinks?
Your location will also determine the date, time, and duration of your party. Book with 30-45 minutes before and after the party to accommodate setup and cleanup.
3. Invite Your Guest List
Once you have your party details and your guest list, it’s time to design and send out your invitation!
An eye-catching invitation will entice your fundraisers to participate! We love Canva for ready-to-go invites where you just update the party details. You can also go a step further and customize your invitations with your own images, photos, and logos.
Things to include on the invitation:
- A way to RSVP so you know who will be attending
- Asking guests to bring their laptops or tablets to set up their personal fundraising pages
- If you’re serving any food or drinks, you’ll want to ask people to provide any allergen concerns.
Once you’ve designed and customized your invitation, it’s time to send it out! You can get fancy and print the invitations then mail them to your guests, but if you’re strapped for time and resources, you can also send it as an image in an email with a catchy subject line.
4. Prep for Party Activities
Now that your invites have been sent, it’s time to dive into the resources you’re providing your fundraisers.
- Best Practices: What do you know about Fundraising? Share that with your fundraisers in an easily digestible format, such as “5 Tips for a Successful Fundraiser”. This can be very simple since most of your fundraisers will probably be very new to fundraising!
- Social Media Messages: What social media messages will you be using to spread awareness about your campaign? Take 5 of those messages and tweak them so they sound like they’re coming from an individual rather than your organization.
- Emails: What email messages will you be using to spread awareness about your campaign? Take 3 of those messages and tweak them so they sound like they’re coming from an individual rather than your organization.
- Graphics: When you’re sharing on social media, or in an email or newsletter, what images will you be using? Share those with your fundraisers so they have something eye-catching they can share on social media and in emails!
Create these in an easily shareable Google Doc so you can send “View Only” links to your Fundraising Champions after the party.
Lastly, decide on the menu. Are your fundraisers more into pizza and ice cream, or light sandwiches and snacks? Either way, make sure you have 1.5 times as much food as you think you’ll need – and that it sticks within your budget. If you’re ordering pizza or a platter, order a day or two in advance and confirm when it needs to be delivered the morning of. Don’t forget drinks, either. Water is always a safe bet!
5. Party Time!
Time to pull together the last details! Pick up the food, print your handouts, and head over to the venue.
Here’s a sample schedule for your party:
4:45PM: Arrive at location and test Wi-Fi to avoid any hiccups!
5:00PM: Set up tables, chairs, and food. Set out your handouts and put on some music.
5:30PM: People start to arrive! Welcome your Fundraising Champions and encourage them to grab something to eat.
6:00PM: Bring everyone together and thank them for coming. Explain what a Fundraising Champion is, show your Fundraising Champions your campaign, provide the resources they need to be successful and walk them through the process of setting up their own pages. Instruct them to set up their pages at the same time!
6:45PM: Begin to wrap-up. Answer any last minute questions.
7:00PM: It’s over! Congrats, you just hosted your first Fundraising Champion party! Time to clean-up and head on your way.
6. Send a Thank You Note for Attending
Great job hosting the party, now you have to follow-up with your champions to thank them for coming, and to make sure their pages are all set and that they have everything they need to be successful.
Send them a quick email like this:
Thank you so much for coming to the Fundraising Champion party last week. I hope you had a great time!
I wanted to follow up to make sure you had all the resources you needed, and if there were any other questions I can answer for you. Just as a reminder, you can find all of your emails, social media posts, and best practices, here: [LINK].
I hope you enjoy fundraising for Appleton Literacy. Your efforts will ensure we can provide tutoring services to children and adults for years to come!
Now you’re all set to host your own Fundraising Champion party!
Remember, a Fundraising Champion party is all about getting your Fundraising Champions EXCITED about your campaign, so have fun with your party, get pumped about the campaign, and have a great time fundraising!