Let's get ready to party!
Here are a few fun tips to get your party started. Hosting a successful fundraising event is easy when you follow this expert advice from Charlene, Shira, and Brianna Zeiberg, three amazing animal advocates who have hosted birthday parties to benefit The HSUS.
- Start planning! Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Pick a date. Plan a date and time that you think will garner the best attendance.
- Choose a location. Planning a charity birthday party is similar to other birthday parties except for one important detail: the more people who attend, the more money you can raise! When picking a location, consider those that don't charge per person, as it can get costly. Consider having the party in your home, a local YMCA, a movie theatre that books parties for a flat fee, or a park or beach.
- Set up your online fundraising page through myHumane. Customize the page with event details, photos of the hosts and their pets, and a video if possible. Tell your guests why you are supporting The HSUS and why animals are important to you. Don't forget to tell them about your fundraising goal!
- Create a guest list. Make sure you have the contact details of everyone you want to invite, especially email addresses. But, remember to share your online fundraising page with everyone in your contact lists-even if they can’t attend in person they might make a donation!
- Set a theme. Help your guests understand how their donations will support The HSUS's animal protection programs. You can build your theme around dogs, cats, farm animals, horses, or any other animal. If you choose to have a theme, the food, decorations, and giveaways can match the theme.
- Use the social media sharing tools and the link to your page in your invitations. Share your party on Facebook, Twitter, and using our easy email tool! You can also use the link from your fundraising page in your invitations, so that your guests can make their donations before they arrive.
- Make your personal fundraising page stand out! Even if your event is in the real world, a lot of the action happens online. Here are some ideas on how to use your page and Fundraiser Center:
- Make it personal with a photo, video, and story. Tell everyone why you're hosting this event.
- Set a realistic fundraising goal. Aim high!
- Provide a link to your page in your invitations. Encourage your friends to donate even if they can't attend.
- Share your page everywhere. Include a link to your fundraising page in your personal email signature and use the easy sharing tools to post a link on your Facebook page.
- Provide valuable event information to your guests. Include basic event details like the date, time and location, as well as updates and reminders for your guests.
- Encourage your friends to make secure online donations at any time. That way, they won't have to carry cash or checks, and you will see immediate progress towards your goal!
- Track and thank. Track the money you raise, and thank your donors and sponsors for their generous support.
- Get your community involved! In addition to asking your guests to make a donation to The HSUS, consider asking for monetary donations from your local merchants*, using these points as a guide:
- There are many local merchants from whom to request support, including: the party venue, local party supply stores, bakeries, pizza restaurants, and stores where you will purchase party favors or items for your "doggy bags" (goodie bags).
- Offer to include a list of all sponsoring merchants in the "doggy bags" to provide recognition for their participation and generosity.
- Ask local pet supply stores to donate a gift basket. You can sell raffle tickets at your party for a small donation (for example, $5 a ticket) to raise additional funds.
*Please note that The HSUS will not be able to provide a donation receipt to merchants for in-kind gifts of supplies or space. The HSUS is not able to reimburse you for costs incurred when hosting a fundraising party – we believe that all of the funds you raise should support The HSUS's animal protection programs.
- Show the world what you've done! Thank your supporters, and spread the word about your success:
- After the party, publicize your success. Don't be afraid to approach local media, such as newspapers or websites. Send a picture from the party along with a short explanation of the party and its purpose. If you're hosting a children's party, inform your child's teacher and school principal about your child's accomplishment. Let everyone know that it is better to give than receive!
- Thank your guests and sponsors. Using the easy email tool in your Fundraiser Center, send personalized thank you email messages. Be sure to express your appreciation for their support, and tell them how they have helped animals. You can also thank donors publicly; it will inspire continued support! Donations will continue to come in even after your party has ended, so don't forget to check back to your page for your final list of donations.