Although event fundraising is not my favorite avenue, it is a great place to start. In order to begin fundraising for the Women Film Foundation, we hosted “happy hour fundraisers.” This was a good venue for me because I was in my early 20’s and so were my friends. Neither of us had much money, but I knew they would be willing to support. The event was held from 5-7 p.m. after work at a local restaurant bar.
There were two ways we made money: ticket sales and raffle ticket sales. In order to lower the overhead, I asked a friend (who was owner of a bar) to host the event by donating the food and booze for the evening. The ticket sales were 100% profit. I asked lots of my other friends if they could donate in-kind products – purses, gift certificates, free massages, hotel stays, etc. – as raffle prizes. Each event ticket came with a raffle ticket (along with food and drinks), but guests eagerly purchased more raffle tickets.
I invited my friends, colleagues, and friends of friends to attend. They supported generously and we were able to raise $500 or so from the event. It may not seem like much, but when all programs were being paid for out of my pocket, it felt like a fortune.