Church Fundraising Invitation Letter - PDF by mqj94353

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Dinners & Banquets
  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
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!

              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.

   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

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-

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.

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

 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…)

   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.

                                                                                          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 .
SAMPLE—the FHFH national office provides consecutively numbered
tickets that can be used for door prize drawings

     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

          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…?

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         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
                                                                                                          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
                                                                                                           Organizing a fundraiser at my church,
                                                                                                            business, or club
                                                                                                           Other ________________________

             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-

                       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.
     Banquet Results
         September 24th, 2004
           Hagerstown, MD

     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

 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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