29 minutes | Mar 14th 2019

EP7: House Party Fundraising with Christie Perdue

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In this episode, we're joined by special guest Christie Perdue the powerhouse behind CP Consulting, a fundraising, marketing, and strategic development firm based in Michigan. Christie shares with us one of her favorite donor development tools—a house party! While this is a high-touch activity, we also explore the ways technology and digital marketing can help get the party started and keep it going. What is a donor house party? As Christie describes, a donor house party is an intimate gathering of current and prospective donors held in a home setting. This is a volunteer driven activity, meaning the host will lead decisions and manage the details including invitation list, food and beverage menu, and invitations and RSVPs. Guests are typically close friends of the host. Ideally, there will be 10-20 party attendees. Guests attend the house party to learn more about the nonprofit organization, its future goals, and ultimately they are asked to support the organization by making a gift. The event should last 2 hours or less with a brief "presentation" from the nonprofit lasting 15 to 30 minutes. It's mostly a time for mingling, having fun and asking questions about the cause. 5 tips for a successful house party (1) Find a passionate host. Not everyone immediately thinks of themselves as a possible host, so try and plant the idea with a current donor, board or committee member who might be a stellar candidate (well connected, has already given, not afraid to open their home, etc). (2) Be really thoughtful with the invite list. Work with the host to create a list of people who know each other, might want to know each other, sprinkle in a current donor or two and include good prospects. (3) Be clear that there will be an ask. This is a fundraising activity, so don’t shy away from this on the invite or even when planning with the host. Make it clear that the goal is to inform and ask for support. (4) Follow up. Send thank yous from the host and the organization. The organization should send follow up communications a gift or pledge card included. (5) Allow past hosts to help recruit new hosts. Many hosts are super excited about their event and the results. They are eager to share the experience and can be great mentors for your next house party host. How can technology support your house party? Depending on the guests, print invitations may not be necessary. An email invitation (note: NOT a Facebook event invitation) can be used instead. Build excitement and curiosity by sharing photos from the event on social media. Send follow up emails. Need help with quick graphics? Try Canva.  Resources Download the CP House Party Toolkit
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