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Church Fundraising Invitation Letter document sample
Church Fundraising Invitation Letter document sample
Fundraising Dinners & Banquets Guide 2 Why Hold a Banquet? A dinner or banquet can become the foundation of your FHFH ministry’s annual fund- raising plan. This type of event can help you: raise money for your FHFH ministry build a list of contacts and supporters for your FHFH ministry, and share your FHFH ministry with a group of people who will hopefully talk about it with their families, friends, co-workers, churches, businesses and other organizations. A banquet can be successful regardless of how many people attend. You never know who might be in the audience and how they might be able to help long-term once they learn more about the FHFH ministry. This guide will teach you about the basic ele- ments of planning and conducting a fundraising banquet for FHFH in your area. We’ve included descriptions of what is involved from planning through follow-up. These ideas can be adapted to make the event fit your needs. Depending on your level of fundrais- ing experience, you may choose to follow this simple format or you might decide to add other elements to tailor the event to the needs in your area. Getting Started First you will need to DECIDE THAT YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE A FUNDRAISING BANQUET. This sounds simple, but many people put it off thinking that they won’t be successful. We thought about holding a banquet here in Maryland for years before we finally held our first one last September. When the event was over we wondered why we had waited so long! Two obstacles stood in the way. First, we didn’t know what to do (now that you are reading this that excuse won’t work for you any more!). Second, we had some fear that the event would be a flop. Well here’s the secret...the only way for a banquet to completely fail is if you don’t have one at all! Next you MUST FORM A BANQUET TEAM TO HELP YOU. YOU CAN’T DO IT ALL YOURSELF! A team can be as small as two people or as large as twenty. All that matters is that you find some people who share your interest in feeding the hungry and are willing to give you some time and effort. Finally, you and your new team NEED TO SET A DATE FOR YOUR BANQUET. It’s easy to put something off numerous times until you finally sit down together with a calendar and find the date that will work for you. Be sure to take into account other local events and schedules—you don’t want to schedule your banquet the same night as the annual harvest parade or your son’s homecoming football game! 3 Location & Food The location and the food for your banquet don’t have to break the bank. By doing a little homework you can likely find both at a reasonable cost (or free). Many local churches and other organizations have multipur- pose facilities now with tables, chairs and a podium ready for use. Some are available to outside minis- tries like FHFH at no cost while others can be had for a reasonable fee. Restaurant chains and local eater- ies will sometimes provide donated or discounted food for charitable events. Outback Steakhouse is one chain that encourages their restaurants to work with charities. Local Outback Steakhouses in Mary- land and Ohio have already provided meals for FHFH events at no charge. Other restaurants that have pro- vided donated or discounted food include Chick-fil-A, Red Lobster, Ryan’s and Fire Mountain Grill. If you end up using a local club or fire hall, check to see if they offer a combo price for the hall and a meal. Who Will You Invite? FHFH is a hunting organization, a Christian ministry, and a hunger relief charity all in one. This gives us the unique opportunity to invite people from several different groups including sportsmen, churches, and anyone with a heart for the needy. That’s a pretty wide audience to draw from! Personal invitations will bring more people to your banquet than advertising. It’s good to put up posters and make use of public service announcements on the radio and in the newspaper, but most of the people who at- tend will be people that were invited by someone else. Having more people on your banquet team really helps with this part. Each person will have their own contacts that they can pursue. The best way to fill seats quickly is to recruit people, busi- nesses, churches and organizations to be “table sponsors.” This means that they purchase the tickets for a whole table and they work on filling the table with the people they want to invite. Ticket pricing should be set to cover any expenses for the hall and the food and still provide a few dollars for your program. Additional money will be made through the si- lent auction and by inviting people to make gifts and pledges after the FHFH presenta- tion. The lower your hall rental and food expenses are the more you will be able to make from each ticket sold. 4 What’s Your Agenda? Once you have planned the location, the food, and have started inviting people you will need an agenda for the banquet program. A basic agenda consists of the following things... Welcome and Blessing the Meal After welcoming the guests, explaining the banquet layout (don’t forget to share the bathroom locations!), and sharing any other important details, offer a prayer to giving thanks to God for the meal and for the evening. The prayer can be given by the FHFH coordinator or someone else. At this point the meal may begin. The Silent Auction The silent auction consists of a variety of items that you have gathered for the event from local donors and businesses and/or through the FHFH national office. People bid for the items they like by writing their name and bid amount on a sheet placed with the item. People may continue to bid and re-bid for items throughout the evening. In- clude a wide variety of donated items such as artwork, jewelry, sports event tickets, furniture, baskets, hunting gear, etc. to make the auction appealing to the whole group. The items should be arranged on a row of tables with a bid sheet and pen for each. For any items that were purchased, a starting bid may be added to the sheet to ensure that the winning bidder doesn’t give you less than you paid for the item! The auction will close near the end of the program at which point the winning bidders are announced. Door Prizes Door prizes are a fun way to involve more people. You can use the numbered ticket stubs (from the tickets provided by FHFH) to draw for the prizes throughout the evening. Door prizes are generally do- nated items such as hats, t-shirts, music CD’s, discount cards, etc. that are provided by local businesses and/or FHFH. Table centerpieces are also nice door prizes. An- nounce that the person at each table with the birthday clos- est to the banquet date (or something else that you come up with) gets to keep the centerpiece. Partnering and Supporting Organizations A few minutes should be included in the program agenda to introduce representatives from any partnering or supporting organizations that are present. These can include sportsmen’s organizations, food banks, feeding ministries, churches, and other minis- 5 tries and organizations. These groups could also be invited to set up displays in the banquet hall. This is a valuable opportunity to help these other groups learn more about the FHFH ministry and to show the attendees that FHFH works with a wide vari- ety of other organizations to feed the needy of the community. The FHFH Presentation The FHFH presentation is given by the local FHFH coordinator or by another FHFH representative. If you have access to a notebook computer that you can use for the event, FHFH can provide a PowerPoint presentation about the ministry along with a multimedia projector. This presentation explains the basic history of FHFH, how the ministry works, what has been accomplished so far, and the goals for the upcoming year. The FHFH presentation concludes with an invitation for people to consider how they will help support the ministry. Response cards are provided for people to give you their contact information, make a gift or monthly pledge commitment, and indicate other ways that they’d like to help. These cards are distributed by volunteers at the end of the presen- tation and then collected after the audience has had 5-10 minutes to complete them. Guest Speaker You may choose to have a guest speaker in addition to the FHFH presentation. The guest speaker could be a local or regional celeb- rity, the director of a food bank or feeding ministry that uses meat from FHFH, or a local pastor. Their message should focus on the importance of helping our needy brothers and sisters through pro- grams like FHFH. Maybe the director of the local rescue mission or other ministry that uses FHFH meat would be willing to attend along with some of the people who benefit from that ministry. They could have their own ta- ble and provide their testimony about how valuable the meat from FHFH is to them! You’ll have to decide if you want to include a guest speaker based on whether or not you have contact with someone who can deliver this sort of message to your audience. If not you can skip this part. Your banquet will be a little shorter in length but trust me...few people will complain! Banquet Follow-Up After the banquet you’ll need someone to help you count and organize the checks, credit slips, and cash from the ticket sales, silent auction and response cards. These will be forwarded to the FHFH main office to be deposited into your program fund. Be sure to separate and label donations, ticket sales, and auction item payments. Follow- up letters will be sent to collect the gifts and pledges made on the response cards. Thank you letters need to be sent to any guest speakers, supporting organizations, si- lent auction item and door prize donors, table sponsors, etc. You might consider doing something special for the members of your banquet team. The FHFH main office can help with these thank-you’s and can also supply certificates of appreciation. 6 Attachments... Some attachments and sample items are included with this guide to show you what the FHFH main office can supply. These include sample posters, tickets, programs, re- sponse cards, silent auction bid sheets & item cards. There is also a sample banquet preparation checklist and a photo summary sheet from a banquet that was held in Maryland. SAMPLE—a checklist can help you make sure all the details are covered. Banquet Checklist 1. Welcome Table Cash box Table assignments (if seating is pre-arranged) Table layout posters Reminder to keep their ticket stub for silent auction & door prizes 2. Silent Auction Finalize item list Finalize auction procedure Participant instructions Sign-in cards (auction sign-in table) Auction item display cards 3. Door Prizes Finalize item list Tentative drawing times in program Ticket stub container for drawings 4. Food & Drinks Coffee/sweetener/creamer Cold drink jugs Ice coolers and ice (Continued…) 7 Cups for hot and cold drinks Plates, napkins, flatware Condiments, salt, pepper 5. Tables & Decoration Balloons (road entrance sign) Centerpieces—if used as door prizes decide how to select winner at each table (closest birthday to banquet date, etc.) 6. FHFH Display Table (optional) Literature—brochures, newsletters, magazines, CFC flyers Merchandise—hats, t-shirts, patches, etc. 7. Printed Materials Programs FHFH Brochures Table sponsor table name cards Extra tickets (for walk-ins) Response cards (for contact information and pledges) Response card envelopes—cards and pens inside on each table 8. Program Finalize agenda—type an emcee script/outline Background music (FHFH office can supply Gospel CD by Matt McPherson of Mathews) PowerPoint background slides to run during meal FHFH PowerPoint presentation 9. Follow-Up Payment to caterer, sound and tech support persons Pledge collection letters to those who made gift pledges Thank you letters to merchandise and food donors Thank you letters to speakers Thank you letters to supporting organizations that sponsored ta- bles, presented, etc. 8 Farmers and Hunters Feeding SAMPLE—the FHFH office provides customized posters to help you promote your banquet. the Hungry 2004 Banquet Friday, Sept. 24th ~ 6:30 pm Tri-State Fellowship 13153 Cearfoss Pike Hagerstown, MD Silent Auction ~ Door Prizes Menu: Sirloin Steak, Grilled Chicken Breast, Caesar Salad, Baked Potato, Bread & Butter, Cheesecake with Raspberry Sauce Donated by the Hagerstown: Ticket Information: $25 indiv./$40 pair/$175 table (8) (Age 12 and Under: $10) Use ticket order form on back or call 301-739-3000 . 9 SAMPLE—the FHFH national office provides consecutively numbered tickets that can be used for door prize drawings 10 Special thanks to the following: Table Sponsors: Catoctin Fish & Game Club Jeff and Jackie Kelley Christ Lutheran Church John Lewis Citibank Randy & Gwen McLeod Rick & Joyce Ellis New Life Christian Ministries Faith Christian Fellowship Larry Price Family Recreation, Inc. Showalter Masonry J.L. Koontz Heating & AC Door Prize, Silent Auction Item, & Supply Donors: 4-Star Athletic Complex Knight Rifles Adidas Matt McPherson The Baltimore Orioles Middletown Cleaners Black and Decker Murray’s Sporting Goods Cabela’s Nature’s Essence Dick’s Sporting Goods O’Connell Jewelers 11 The Frederick Keys Rapid Lube Grease Monkey Red Barron Furniture & Bedding Hagerstown Furniture Outlet Reliable Home Furnishings Hagerstown Trust Linda Showalter Hawg’s Limited Spicher’s Appliances Tri-State Fellowship for the use of their facility. The Hagerstown Outback Steakhouse Welcome to our for graciously donating and serving our meal. The Hagerstown Chick-fil-A 2004 Banquet! for their donation of iced tea. How Did FHFH Begin? From Rick Wilson—FHFH Founder Banquet Program I was driving down a Virginia highway in late Sep- 6:30 pm ~ Welcome & Invocation tember a few years ago to meet with some friends. 6:40 pm ~ Buffet & Silent Auction Open We were planning to clear a little brush at the farm where we hunt and celebrate the landowner's birth- 7:40 pm ~ FHFH Presentation day with a barbecue. About five miles before turn- Josh Wilson ~ FHFH Maryland Coordinator ing down the gravel farm lane I spotted a woman Rick Wilson ~ FHFH National Executive Director standing by her car with the trunk open. I was a little RuthAnne Callahan ~ Exec. Director of Food Resources, Inc. late and tempted not to stop. I'm glad I did. Jackie Cavell ~ Director of the Middletown Food Bank Rev. Lynn Singleton ~ Exec. Dir. of Mt. Hope Prison Ministry From her dress and the appearance of her old car of many colors it was obvious she was not doing well. When I asked if her car was broken she 8:10 pm ~ Guest Speaker said, "No could you please help me over here beside these bushes.’’ What Congressman Roscoe Bartlett ~ U.S. House of Representatives was waiting for me over beside those bushes? Hesitantly, I followed un- Maryland, 6th District til I spotted a fat but slightly battered 6 point buck on the ground. She 8:30 pm ~ Dessert slowly asked , "Could you please help me put it in my trunk?" When I asked if she had hit it with her car she said, "No." Next I ex- Did You Know…? 12 plained that unless she reported the deer to the State Police or a Wild- life Officer she could be issued a citation for transporting an untagged deer. She looked into my eyes and slowly answered, "I don't care...my One out of five children goes to bed hungry. kids and me are hungry." Too much talk and too little action...we loaded One deer will feed 200 hungry people. the deer into her trunk. As she closed the lid of her trunk I asked one last question. "Would you like me to field dress it for you?" Her reply answered all, "No, since my Last Year’s Results: husband left, me and my kids are gettin` good at it at home... and they don't bleed all over my trunk anymore." Standing there as she drove 2,400 deer ~ 60 TONS of meat away I knew I had just looked into the eyes of Jesus, who tells us in the Provided 480,000 meals Bible that when whenever we demonstrate love to even the least of his brothers and sisters, we are loving Him. Meat processing costs: $ 121,000 In the fall of 1997, we began Farmers and Hunters Feeding the Hungry (FHFH) in Washington County as a ministry of Christ Lutheran Church. FHFH was patterned after a successful Virginia program—Virginia This Year’s Goal: Hunters for the Hungry. That first season we had 2 TONS of meat do- Process and distribute over 3,000 Deer nated! Now nearly 40 different FHFH programs are operating in over 25 States nationwide. Last year meat donations in Maryland alone to- (need to raise $40,000 more than last year) taled 60 TONS and with your help, we plan to top that record this year! the opportunity to provide you with their contact information, make a financial gift or pledge, and of- SAMPLE—special response cards provided by the FHFH office give those attending your banquet Response Card CONTACT INFORMATION Name_____________________________ Address ___________________________ ___________________________ Phone #___________________________ FINANCIAL SUPPORT I/we would like to make a contribution fer to help you develop your program as a volunteer. of: $_________. I/we would like to make a monthly pledge of: $_________. Please make checks payable to FHFH OPTIONAL: Use your credit card! Circle One: VISA MasterCard #_____________________Exp. _______ Signature _________________________ PERSONAL INVOLVEMENT I/we would like more information about: Hosting a table at the banquet next year Sharing FHFH with my church, business, or club Organizing a fundraiser at my church, business, or club Other ________________________ 13 Table #5 Sponsored by: J.L.Koontz Heating & Air Conditioning SAMPLE—table tents can help people find their seats (if seats are assigned) and also gives recognition to a person or business (if any) that sponsored the ta- Baseball Tickets Donated by: The Frederick Keys SAMPLE—items in your silent auction should be displayed as attractively as possible along with the item name and donor. 14 Banquet Results September 24th, 2004 Hagerstown, MD 15 Attendance: 250 Support: $14,000 The first ever Maryland FHFH fund- raising banquet was a tremendous suc- cess! More than 250 people gathered on Friday evening, September 24th at Tri-State Fellowship near Hagerstown, MD to enjoy a meal provided by Out- back Steakhouse, participate in a si- lent auction including a wide variety of items, and listen to an FHFH presen- tation including PowerPoint slides, testimonials from several area food banks and ministries, and an address from Congressman Roscoe Bartlett. Just over $14,000 was raised through ticket sales, the silent auction and ad- ditional contributions and pledges. Banquet Results April 23rd, 2005 Havre de Grace, MD 81 Guests Provide 16 Over $ 2,200 ! The first ever Northeast Maryland FHFH fundraising banquet was a tre- mendous success! Eighty one guests gathered at the Level Volunteer Fire Hall in Havre de Grace to enjoy a meal, participate in a silent auction including a wide variety of items, and listen to presentations about FHFH as well as the Franciscan Center in Balti- more—one of the ministries that feeds FHFH venison to the hungry. Over $2,200 was raised through ticket sales, the silent auction and additional con- tributions and pledges to support the FHFH mission of providing donated venison to the needy of Maryland.
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