Hosting a political fundraiser at your home can be an amazing and rewarding experience. You will support a cause you believe in and get to meet and mingle with like-minded people in a relaxed, homey atmosphere.
Planning a political fundraiser can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right preparation and organization, you can host an event that’s both successful and fun.
This step-by-step guide will walk you through the process, from selecting the right candidate to inviting guests, setting up the event, and collecting donations. With this helpful guide, you’ll have everything you need to host a political fundraiser in the comfort of your own home.
How to host a political fundraiser at home (9-step guide):
Select the right candidate
The first thing you’ll need to do is select the right candidate for your political fundraiser. Hosting a fundraiser for the wrong candidate can be detrimental to the cause, especially if the candidate does not win the election.
This can cause donors to lose faith in the candidate and their party, resulting in fewer future donations. Because of this, it’s important to select the candidate carefully. When selecting a candidate, look for someone who shares your values, who you believe in, and who has a good chance of winning the election. This will give the fundraiser more legitimacy, resulting in more donations.
Set the date and time
Once you’ve selected the right candidate, the next step is to set the date and time for the fundraiser. The best times to host a political fundraising event are during the week, as weekends are the most popular times for political fundraisers.
Avoid hosting your event during major holidays, as many of your guests will be away. If you can’t avoid hosting on one of these days, try to make it a lunch event instead of a dinner event.
Guests will be less likely to make the trip, and you’ll get more attendees. When setting the date, remember that the election is usually around 8 weeks away, so you’ll want to give yourself enough time to organize everything.
Determine the budget
Before you even start planning the event, you’ll need to determine the budget for your political fundraising event. You’ll want to include all the event costs, including the venue fee, any food or drinks you serve, any decorations used, and any gifts guests receive as a thank-you for their donations.
You don’t want to get in over your head and be unable to cover the costs, so it’s important to determine the budget in advance. The venue where you host the fundraiser is the single most expensive part of the event, so it’s important to choose wisely.
Depending on where you live, you may have more options for venues, or you may have to settle for a less desirable location. If you’re hosting in a public place, you may have to pay a fee to use the venue, so keep that in mind when determining the budget.
The next step in planning your political fundraiser is to invite guests. Depending on how many people you want at the event, you may want to send out formal invitations, or you may want to inform guests of the event via email.
For formal invitations, you’ll want to send out the invitations at least two weeks in advance. Make sure to include the candidate’s name, the date, the time, and a short description of the event. You can email all your contacts for informal invitations, even those you’re not close with. Include the information above, but keep the email short and simple.
Choose the menu
Next, you’ll need to decide on the menu for the political fundraiser. You can serve food at the event, like a cocktail party, or have a light snack, like finger sandwiches. If you’re serving food, you’ll need to plan the menu carefully to ensure it’s budget-friendly.
You can either create a menu yourself or hire a caterer. If you decide to serve finger sandwiches, avoid anything too messy. If you’re serving beverages, make sure to either provide cups or put out a trash can so guests can discard their plates when they’re finished. If you’re having a caterer serve food, make sure to give them plenty of notice so they can get everything prepared and ready.
Select the decorations
Next, you’ll need to select the decorations for your political fundraiser. You don’t necessarily want to go all out and decorate the room completely. Instead, focus on a few key pieces, like the table where guests will be taking the donations.
Make sure you have a place for guests to put their donations, like a table or a nearby countertop. You also want to ensure the venue is accessible for guests in wheelchairs or with other mobility issues. Avoid busy or distracting decorations, as they may make it difficult for guests to talk and socialize. More modern decorations, like clean lines and bold colors, are a great choice for political fundraisers.
Prepare for the event
Now that you’ve selected the candidate, set the date and time, determined the budget, and invited guests, it’s time to prepare for the event. The most important thing you can do to prepare for the event is to confirm your guest list.
You don’t want to get to the venue and realize you forgot someone or have an extra person there that you weren’t expecting. It’s also a good idea to find the weather forecast for the day of the event. If it’s going to be rainy or cold, ensure you have an appropriate indoor venue. It’s also important to get enough rest the night before the event.
You don’t want to be tired and groggy on the day of your event, so make sure you’re getting enough sleep. If you have much to do the day before the event, try to get as much done as possible in advance. That way, on the event day, you can relax, enjoy the event, and not have to stress about getting everything ready.
The last thing you’ll need to do is collect donations at the event. Before the guests come, set up a donation table or tablecloth where guests can place their donations. Make sure to collect the names and contact information of each guest who donates and the amount they donated.
This information is crucial in tracking donations and reporting all donations correctly. When collecting donations, put on a smile and be friendly. Thank each guest for their donation, and encourage them to talk to others at the event about voting for your candidate.
It’s important for guests to feel comfortable when donating, so make sure there’s no pressure to donate. If a guest doesn’t want to donate, don’t push them. Thank them for coming to the event and participating in the campaign.
Follow-up after the event
Now that the event is over, it’s time to follow up with your guests. Send out a thank you note to each guest who attended the event. Include a list of names of all the guests who donated to the campaign, including their contact information.
Ensure to include information about how the donations will be used and a breakdown of how much each person donated. You’ll want to send out these thank you notes as soon as possible, as you don’t want people to forget about the event and the money they donated.
You also want to follow up with any guests who did not attend the event. This is an important step to ensure that all of your guests are thanked for their efforts. In your follow-up note, be sure to ask each guest if there’s anything you can do for them. This will allow guests to clarify any misunderstandings about the event or to ask for any additional help with the campaign
Hosting a political fundraiser at home can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it does require some planning and preparation. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your fundraiser is successful. From setting a budget and choosing a theme to promoting your event and thanking your guests, these steps will help you host a memorable and impactful fundraiser. So get started today and make a difference in your community by hosting a political fundraiser at home.