Friday, August 05, 2011

Host A Scrabble Night and Fund Raise For Your Bi/Pan/Fluid Org!

How We Staged a Successful Game Night/Fundraiser

Objective: We wanted to raise money for the organization and provide a great social event for our
members.

Solution: We decided to stage a “Scrabble Night and Silent Auction” at which we raised $700.

Key Organizational Elements: The following are all things to consider when you decide to stage
something like this:
  • We were able to have the event in GLBT friendly church basement (one of our members is a member of the church), so they didn’t charge us anything.
  • We bought some soft drinks in bulk, but had Board members bring pot luck type items – things like chili, chips, baked goods, etc were the norm. We didn’t try to provide an actual meal, just some snacks.
  • We advertised on our website, listserv, and Facebook. Definitely encouraged people to bring a friend or ally.
  • Two people we specifically in charge of going to local businesses and asking for donations to the silent auction. Note: it generally does not work for people to donate their own personal possession, unless it is of obvious value. Donating to a silent auction is not the opportunity to clean out your basement. Having said that, others on the Board and in the organization were encouraged to go to business they patronize and ask for donations.
  • We focused on Scrabble and had a mini-tournament, but we brought other board and card games. To be honest, the tournament aspect of the evening faded away and people just enjoyed playing. I would recommend that you just have games and table set up and let people get together and play. If you do a tournament you have to have time limits, keep scores, etc. The 2 or 3 ace, Type A players will be disappointed, but everyone else will enjoy it more.
  • At the entry point, have a table set up where you “check in” folks. Checking in entails getting their email address if they want to join the listserv, giving them a name tag and asking them to contribute the “suggested giving” amount (we went with $10).
  • We made periodic announcements about bidding on the silent auction items.
  • Areas to assign someone to be responsible for the event: Publicity, Silent Auction, games, food, set up and clean up.
Thanks to Jim Larsen and the Bisexual Organizing Project for providing details on a great and FUN fundrasing tool!  Just in time for Celebrate Bisexuality Day planning!

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