Last Saturday, we threw a party. It was our second year in a row, and both years the party had two main goals.
First, we said thank you. This is an event of gratitude, free of charge and free of appeals. We asked people to bring a dish to share, and many people made donations, but the event was low-key and designed to be fun.
Second, we wanted to celebrate. The event coincided with our centennial celebration, so we managed to do both at once. We nodded to our accomplishments throughout the year.
Some highlights for me included talking with a 98-year-old woman to was born on the property before it was donated to our organization. I also spoke with long-time alumni and supporters. The result was fantastic – we had 235 people show up and added a number of names and email addresses to our mailing list. But my favorite part was seeing people return for the first time in many years and revive their memories.
The beauty of this event was that people felt our gratitude (you can never say thanks often enough) and because we had a good time, people talked about it (word of mouth marketing rocks, too). As Kivi and many others have written, the best fundraising events are the best parties.