What is a House Party?
A house party is an event, held in your home, to which you invite people you know. The goals of the event are to raise money, spread awareness, make new friends for AA&MDSIF, and for you and your guests to enjoy themselves.
A house party is typically an informal gathering. It can be a morning brunch, an afternoon tea, or an evening wine and cheese gathering. Or, you can hold a house party in conjunction with a sporting event, like a football game, basketball playoff or World Series. Light refreshments are served, and at some point during the event, someone talks to the gathering about AA&MDSIF and bone marrow failure disease.
You can tell your own story, hear other patients' stories by playing AA&MDSIF Stories of Hope video on YouTube.com, or view a brief AA&MDSIF slide show with great information on bone marrow failure disease. At the end of the presentation, someone talks about the importance and value of AA&MDSIF's work, and encourages people to make a donation either directly on the Firstgiving.com fundraising page or with a donation envelope.
What are my duties as host/hostess?
As the host/hostess, you have five responsibilities:
- Organize the party
- Determine your invitation list and send out invitations
- Serve refreshments
- Plan a short presentation
- Let us know your results by sending contributions, photos and stories of your party
What support will I receive to plan the house party?
AA&MDSIF is here to help! We'll give you information on how to plan an event and how to set up a Firstgiving.com fundraising page. We'll provide talking points to help you educate your friends on bone marrow failure disease, and to ask for their support. We'll send informational pamphlets and contribution envelopes to distribute. We'll send you links to the videos and slideshow you can play on your computer or television.
What are the steps I need to take?
- Invite people and get people to the party
- Set up your personal fundraising page for the House Party event on Firstgiving.com
- Put together your invitation list - don't forget neighbors and colleagues. Encourage your friends to bring their friends
- Reach out to those far away - invite them to be virtual guests with their donation through Firstgiving.com
- Design your invitation - consider an Evite electronic invitation that's fun and fast
- Set up a Firstgiving.com fundraising page with your $500 goal. Include the link with your invitation make it easy for people to donate regardless of whether they can attend the party
- Make follow-up calls/emails to get RSVPs and encourage donations from those who can't attend
- Send reminders
- Follow up with phone calls
2. Plan the party
- Refreshments (brunch, dessert, wine/cheese)
- Decorations (something as simple as red, yellow and white balloons can be very effective and represent the colors of blood cells)
- Do you want a theme? Choose something that interests you - go simple "Good Friends for A Good Cause" or "Red, White and Going for the Gold to help AA&MDSIF" or go wild with something like "Hula 'Round the World" or "Red Hat Society Tea Party"
- Do you want activities? Consider how your friends like to have fun like playing poker or bridge, bunco, board or trivia games, holiday sing-a-long or karaoke
- Timeline - create a timeline for your event so you'll know when you want people to gather together for the AA&MDSIF presentation
3. It's party time - enjoy the results of your good work
- Ask guests to sign-in - have note cards and pens available that guests can write a note of support for someone newly diagnosed and we'll send it out on their behalf
- Give Bravery bracelets to all guests - then be sure to a take a photo of everyone raising their hands to raise awareness about bone marrow failure diseases during Awareness Week
- Celebrate - Recognize everyone for donating, consider giving special thank you favors for attending, announce the total raised and challenge the group to help you get to exceed your goal (if you've raised $450, ask for the group to get you to $500 before they leave; if you've raised $750, ask them to help you reach $1,000).
- Show Your Appreciation - Thank each guest as she/he leaves for their support, and ask each person to give out 5-10 AA&MDSIF brochures to people they know, including their own doctors to raise awareness about these diseases.
4. Follow up
- Thank your guests for attending and donating with a personal note
- Send us an email or call us to let us know what a great house party you had.
- Send in any donations collected
- Accept our thanks for your support and volunteer spirit. Thanks for getting involved and giving back to help other patients and families.
For more information on how you can plan your House Party, please contact Martha Crews at email@example.com or (301) 279-7202 x103.
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