Fundraising so often gets a bad rap. It’s a scary, daunting word, but you don’t need a degree in nonprofit management to host an easy, no-stress fundraiser in support of Generation Veggie. A group of my Seattle friends recently came together and decided to host a family-friendly vegan wine and cheese event – and let me tell you, it was over the top fun and took not much more effort than getting together for coffee.
Yes, you can channel your inner fundraiser and do this, too! Trust us, it pretty much plans itself, and the good feelings will last long after the party. Plus, the cheese. Oh, the cheese.
Here’s a foolproof planning list that will have you wondering how soon you can host another!
You don’t need to rent an event space, host in your home or a friend’s home. You also don’t need a lot of seating, just a table or counter to display the cheeses and other food options. If you live in a warm climate or would like to host in the summer months, a backyard event would be a great idea. If you’d rather not host in a home, check your local community center – they often donate room use for non-profit activities and many have kitchens, which is a nice plus.
While an easy starting point is your current circle of vegan or vegetarian friends, don’t be afraid to invite people of all walks of life. Who doesn’t enjoy getting together to taste new foods and meet new people? We used our local Meetup group to coordinate RSVPs and our group’s PayPal account to accept the event donations. We charged $25/couple, but this is really up to you. You don’t need to use Meetup or PayPal – you can use a Facebook event or a free online invitation service like Evite, and you can accept cash/checks at the door.
This is where it gets fun! Request guests to sign a potluck list so that you can keep track of the items and ensure there aren’t too many duplicates. We asked that each family bring a vegan cheese and a beverage to share. Many attendees offered to bring additional items like veggie trays and crackers. We used the Meetup site for guests to post their goodies, but you can use your online invitation, and there are even free online services like Perfect Potluck that make this a snap. Plus, you’ll look pretty tech-snazzy.
If you are interested in hosting a vegan cheese event, you don’t need to live down the street from Whole Foods or a natural foods market. There are quite a few vegan cheese makers that sell products online, deliver in non-perishable packaging, and will time delivery to make sure that cheeses are fresh and delicious for your event. Here are some great online options:
Other options you may be able to find locally: Daiya, Treeline Cheese, Kite Hill, Field Roast, Follow Your Heart, So Delicious, NüCulture, Fauxmage, and Violife.
If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, why not try your hand at making your own? One of our friends made a vegan brie en croute that was heavenly.
This is optional, of course, but we thought it would be nice to have someone on hand to play with the kids, while the parents enjoyed a rare opportunity for adult conversation. We asked guests with children to bring $10 cash for the sitter pot, which worked out beautifully. Of course, we couldn’t keep the kiddos away from the cheese for too long!
Another great idea is to create tent cards so everyone can easily see what they are sampling. You don’t have to do this beforehand, or be crafty in any way. Our host set up a little table with tent cards, scissors, markers and tape. When guests arrived, they had fun creating little signs for the items they brought. It lends a certain one-of-a-kind, homemade quality to the event that leaves you warm and fuzzy.
Well, obviously this is the point! It’s also a nice idea to chat with guests about Generation Veggie if they aren’t aware of the project. It doesn’t have to be a formal presentation, simply share the mission and where they can go to get more information. Don’t forget to take photos of the event! Share on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram – the social media sky’s the limit! Oh, and come with a hungry belly. You’ll thank me later.
No need for anything elaborate, everyone just wants to feel appreciated. Send an email, drop a quick note in the mail, share event photos. You know what to do, your mama taught you well.
This is a bit easier if you have accepted donations via PayPal, since you can simply transfer funds to Generation Veggie by using the Donate feature on the website. If you have accepted cash/checks, I’d recommend getting a cashier’s check from the bank and mailing it as one donation. It’s easier, and you’ll have a receipt for your records. It’s also a great idea to include a list of your donors – so we know who to thank, too! You can easily share photos by emailing them to firstname.lastname@example.org – we’d love to see them! You can also return to this post and let our community know all about your event. Maybe you’ll inspire someone to plan an event, too!
Put your feet up, pour yourself another glass of wine, and feel really, really good about the money you just helped raised. Your generosity will help Generation Veggie provide much-needed support and community for families raising kindhearted, plant-powered kids. And we couldn’t do it without you.
If you’re interested in hosting a fundraising event for Generation Veggie, we are here to support you every step of the way! Contact me at email@example.com with any questions.
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