A spaghetti dinner fundraiser is a tried and true fundraising event, but many groups overlook additional profit opportunities. Just putting together the spaghetti dinner is not enough.
You need to give people a strong reason to attend and then you have to provide them with multiple ways to help raise the needed funds. Here are some event tips on maximizing turnout and several fundraising activities you can easily add to your event.
Fundraising Event Tips
Many groups overlook the power of publicity and wonder why they didn’t get a bigger crowd. Improve your turnout with a press release focusing on the most newsworthy aspect of your event.
A human interest story is always newsworthy, so be sure your summary paragraph details why you are raising funds and how they will benefit the recipient.
Newspapers, radio stations, and television stations all want to offer news stories that have widespread appeal and tug at the heartstrings, so be sure your press release has a newsworthy angle. Include pictures whenever possible because a good picture practically guarantees lots of publicity.
Once your publicity campaign ensures a good turnout, make sure you price your tickets correctly. Too cheap and you won’t raise enough funds. Make them too expensive and you’ll price yourself out of the reach of many customers.
It’s usually best to keep ticket prices fairly low and offer discounts for families, small children, college students, and senior citizens.
Place a large jug or bucket right next to the cash register and hang a large sign above it asking for donations. Attach a sheet of paper to the donation container saying something like ‘Every Little Bit Helps’ or ‘Donations Always Welcome’ or ‘Make Checks Payable To.’
Oftentimes, you can raise as much in donations as you did with ticket sales. The key is prominent placement where wallets and checkbooks are already out. Even if people only donate their change from buying tickets, you are ahead of the game.
At any fundraising event, silent auction items are a great way to raise money. Ask local business to donate goods or services and then place those items on tables where people wait in line.
Include a full description of each item in large, easy-to-read type. Tape down your bid sheets and pens so that it’s easy for an adult to bid while using only one hand.
Conducting a raffle is another great way to fundraise at your spaghetti dinner. Take the best item or service that was donated and sell raffle tickets both before and during the event.
If you can’t get a good enough prize that will attract more in raffle ticket sales than it will sell for, then consider offering a cash raffle. What you do is offer tickets where the prize winner gets half of the total raffle ticket sales and the other half goes to the cause.
Again, the best place to sell the tickets is right near the cash register where people already have money in hand.
Other fundraising ideas
There are lots of other ways to add fundraising activities to a spaghetti dinner. You can sell advertising space on the placemats. You can use local celebrities as waiters. You can ask local businesses to be sponsors of your event.
In certain cases, you could offer a cash bar or include a wine tasting as part of the event. You could ask a local celebrity chef to participate and cook a special tableside dessert for an extra fee or as a prize of some sort.
The key is to include as many fundraising activities as possible and extend your reach even to people who can’t make it to the event through raffle ticket sales, silent auction items, etc.
You first task is to get as many attendees as possible, so use every form of publicity. A good newsworthy press release is one way to maximize turnout. Another is to promote heavily through newsletters, roadside signs, and word-of-mouth.
Offering raffle tickets and silent auction items are proven ways to raise more funds at any event. Providing an easy way to accept donations is often overlooked, but very worthwhile.
Include as many fundraising activities as possible and your spaghetti dinner fundraiser will be a resounding success!
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