Anyone can hold a fundraiser, but to make it successful, you need to know a few tricks. It is important to know what steps you need to take before you begin, so that you can give yourself enough time to get everything done. Here is a guide to planning a successful lunch fundraiser.

Step 1.

The first step is to choose a date. Be sure the date gives you enough time to organize the event. I recommend three months ahead of time, but if you are detail-oriented and punctual, you probably have what it takes to pull off a fundraiser in one month. If you are planning a luncheon, you need to make sure your date falls on a Saturday or Sunday. If you choose a day of the week, most people will be working, and won't be able to attend.

Step 2.

The second step is to secure your location. It is important to do this immediately after you choose the date, in case the desired restaurant or banquet hall is already booked. You don't need a very expensive restaurant, as long as you find one whose owner is willing to let you do some decorating. You can jazz up just about any place with the right decorations.

Step 3.

The third step is to hire the caterer. If you are using a restaurant, they will tell you the price of the meal, and work with you on choosing which dishes to serve. If you are using a banquet hall, you need to find out if they have a catering service or if you need to find one. It is important to do this as soon as you secure your location, because caterers, too, book up fast.

Step 4.

Now you want to buy your decorations. Most luncheons have a theme. If you haven't chosen your theme, you need to do it now. Consider what charity or concern you are raising the money for, and how you could you tieit in to the theme of your fundraiser. If you are having trouble deciding which theme to go with, contact your local party-supply store; they should be able to give you some great suggestions.

Step 5.

Now that you have a theme, a date and a location, you can create your invitations. You can do this inexpensively by using your own computer. There are so many great templates out there that you don't even need to hire anyone to do a design. If you don't want to print out hundreds of invitations, just print one and take it to a printer or store with similar capabilities. You want to mail out your invitations about three weeks prior to the event.

Step 6.

Now you need to contact local businesses and find some items they could donate. You can raise a lot of money through a silent auction. Throughout the luncheon, your guests can browse and bid on all the items. Secure as many items as you can from local businesses. The more you have, the more money you can make. The highest bidder at the end of the lunch wins the item.

Step 7.

The final step you need to take is to gather some volunteers to help you set everything up on the morning of the event. Don't think you can do it all yourself. The decorations take time to set up, and so does each of the items up for auction. You'll need to check with your caterer, too, and make sure that everything is on its way. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Most people would be glad to give their time to a cause they believe in.


If one of your local businesses doesn't have an item to donate to your auction, ask them to donate a gift card.


Stay on track with your checklist. If you don't follow it and complete your tasks on time, you are more likely to have something go wrong on the afternoon of your event.

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