How To Plan a Fundraising Dinner

Let’s say your school needs new classrooms or an additional wing for the library. That’s all good but how about a better idea? To make it nobler still and get more people involved you might want to start a scholarship program for deserving kids who can’t afford university. Truly apropos in these times when student loans are practically burying students whose aim it is to complete a university degree. This would be more heart-tugging, right? Bring this baby home by organizing a fundraising dinner to reel in the funds.

Here’s how to plan a fundraising dinner.

  1. Talk to the school board about organizing a fundraising dinner. You must have their support before launching your project. Prepare your project proposal including the cost of such and your target collection after the fundraising dinner. Remember, you should not start on this project without clearance.
  2. Find an ideal location. Since yours is a cause for the youth, ditch a ballroom or a restaurant and go find a location that will excite the donors. A fundraising dinner by the beach, barbecue party at the school grounds, or any location that will add spice instead of weighing the fun factor down.
  3. Encourage student participation. Nothing excites a roomful of young people than the idea of a party even if it is a fundraising activity. Their excitement will truly rub off on you and creative ideas will spring like wild mushrooms. Organize the students into committees to help you get this project moving forward.
  4. Seek sponsors. Not in the form of cash sponsors but rather in fundraiser swag. Swag is slang for giveaways and loot bags that the guests can bring home after the fundraising event.
  5. Always ask for exchange deals. Exchange deal arrangements are very common in events like fundraisers. These come in the form of freebies and discounts. Examples are free drinks to the first 50 guests, 10% to 15% off the total dinner package, and product samples. You can request for these from participating venue and sponsors in exchange for their inclusion in event posters, flyers, banners, souvenir program, media tours, and announcement of their company names during the fundraiser.
  6. Make a list of your guest donors. Start with the most important names that will not turn you down. These names will make up your VIP list. Work your way down the list from there in order of importance. In this case, the Mayor, Vice-Mayor, Head and Members of the school board, the parents of your students.
  7. Print the tickets and invitations. Price your tickets in such a way that it covers all your expenses and will have a substantial amount left over for the scholarship fund you’re pushing. Your invitations should look specially made and must be appealing to the donors. Have these printed all at once. Sell the tickets six months in advance while the invitations to your VIPs and donors must be out one month prior to the date of the event.
  8. Conduct bidding and discount sale during the fundraiser. Present a local celebrity and start a bid for the highest price for a kiss on the cheek for example. Another example would be items from the sponsors that they can get for much less than its retail price.
  9. Make sure the food is great, drinks are flowing, and entertainment portions are engaging. These will contribute to the success of your fundraising dinner in a major way.

Never forget to thank every single person and company who made your fundraiser a success.


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