Written by: Ashley Papp
As we get closer to the Holiday season there are two things that come to mind, celebrating with loved ones and helping people in need. The Holiday season is a busy time for everyone so what better way to accomplish both of these goals then hosting a party with a charitable component!
What is a Party with a Charitable Component?
Last year my husband and I bought our first house together. We invited all of our friends and family over for a housewarming party and asked that in lieu of gifts guests bring a donation for the House of Mercy. I asked friends to bring a package of new socks or underwear and any old winter coats that they no longer use. We had a great time and ended up with enough donations to fill our car! The next day my mom and I drove the donations down to the House of Mercy and dropped them off in person. They are always in need of socks and underwear and were thrilled with everything we collected on their behalf.
How can I be a good host?
Hosting a party with a charitable component is easy!
First, pick your favorite nonprofit organization. Friends and family will happily contribute to an organization that is important to you. My favorite nonprofit is the House of Mercy, a homeless shelter in Rochester run by Sister Grace Miller. I love the work that the House of Mercy does in our community and I never miss an opportunity to tell my friends about it.
Now that you’ve figured out who you want to help – let them know! Contact the charity and let them know your plans. Charities want to know who is promoting their name to raise funds, so do this as a courtesy even if you don’t need any assistance at the event. Ask them what they need – you could ask your guests for financial donations or donations of needed items. Take a look at the nonprofit’s website and browse their wish list to see what they need most. For the House of Mercy that is packages of new socks and underwear. You know your group of friends best decide what is appropriate to ask of them.
Finally, invite your friends and family over for a fun night! After you’re done celebrating gather up your donations and bring them to the nonprofit you selected.
While you’re at it – don’t forget to consider any logistical issues! For instance, if you are hosting a food or clothing drive, figure out how you will get your donations to the charity.
- Housewarming Party
- Friendsgiving / Thanksgiving
- New Years
- Game Night
- Cocktail Party
While this year we are not having a housewarming party I do have a milestone birthday this month! I plan on asking my friends and family to make a donation of a package of new socks and underwear instead of gifts for my 30th birthday. Our housewarming party brought in a number of donations for the House of Mercy but also helped to spread the word about a great nonprofit that means a lot to me. Nonprofits always appreciate your donations but they also need your help in getting the word out about their great missions.
- Make donating easy with an Amazon Wish List – if guests aren’t able to attend but would still like to donate, set up an Amazon Wish List so they can easily donate online! Some organizations have one for themselves – like this one from House of Mercy.
- Create a Facebook event to get the word out there and keep track of RSVPs.
- Take pictures to send to the nonprofit to share on their social media.
Guest Blogger: Ashley Papp
Ashley Papp is a Salesforce Administrator at Thermo-Fisher Scientific, Board Member at the House of Mercy, and longtime volunteer in Rochester. Ashley is an avid reader, happy traveler, and lives in Greece with her husband Ben, and her two dogs. You can connect with Ashley on Twitter or LinkedIn!