Is your group planning a dinner dance event? This is a very popular type of event that can also be a good fundraiser for your group. Here are some tips to help make your dance run even more smoothly this year and help with your fundraising.
Try to Plan Early. The success for many events is simply having the extra time to be able to get organized. You can “shop around” for sponsors or for items needed for the event like decorations and food. Extra time can also help you find more volunteers, committee members and let people know about your event.
Plan a Great Menu. When your dance event also includes dinner, it’s important to have a menu that your guests will enjoy. The food you choose may depend on the style of your dance – is it formal, semi-formal or casual? Or is it a theme party, like a ’50’s dance or costume party? Choose a menu appropriate to the style or theme of your event. Also keep in mind the types of foods your guests will enjoy and don’t forget to have desserts! A dance for adults may feature a cash bar, which a school dance would have sodas. You could even rent a margarita or daiquiri machine, or slushie machine if it’s a student event.
Add a Raffle or a Silent Auction. A great way to raise funds at a dinner dance is to add a raffle or a silent auction. The best way to create these is to have volunteers or committee members that are focused on obtaining items for for the event. Encourage committee members to be friendly and ask everyone they can think of for some type of prize, you never know who might come up with a great prize. Of course it is unlikely that you will get prizes unless you ask for them! A raffle and/or silent auction can help to boost the fundraising aspect your dinner dance fundraiser event.
Ask for Dinner Sponsors. You can ask for people to help sponsor the cost of the dinner. This will help you raise more funds. These sponsors can be recognized in a special way (in the program or at the event itself). You may need sponsorship for catering, disk jockey, dessert, linens, glassware and liquor.
Create a Program. Many dinner dances give away a journal or program for the event. This a terrific way to thank your volunteers and a good way to obtain even more sponsors and get donations for your dinner dance. Committee members and volunteers can ask people if they are interested in purchasing advertisements in the dinner dance program. One way to “sell” even more journal ads is to have different levels of ad sponsorship available, based on the size of the ad and/or the amount of donations. You will need to have some dedicated volunteers or committee members in charge of the journal, and a terrific graphics person to put it all together. Make it a Photo-Op. Hire a photographer or recruit a great amateur to take photos of your event. You can set up a special photo area for couples and friends to get photos made together. Your photographer can also take group photos and casual shots. Dance guests can then order photos after the event. You may find a photographer who puts proofs online and then guests can choose or order their own prints.
Say “Thank You”. It is important to thank everyone involved in the dinner. From the staff that worked on the dinner to the volunteers that helped in any way and the guests that attended thank them in person at the event for their help. An thank you note or letter sent by mail can also be a nice touch. If this was primarily a fundraiser, let people know how funds will be spent. People will remember your appreciative attitude, in addition to the great time that they had at your event.