Looking for a school fundraising idea that engages students, doesn’t involve order forms, and has a great profit margin? Perhaps it is time for your school to organize a student hosted dinner party fundraiser! This is a fun way to get the students to take ownership of the fundraising for the school.
Choose the School Fundraising Dinner Venue and Date
First, you need to plan a night. If it is held at your school make sure it does not coincide with other school sponsored activities. Another option would be to hold it at a local hotel, event center, or church. This can cut into overhead cost, unless the sight will donate the use of space for the cause. It never hurts to call around and ask! The date could coincide with a holiday season, but may be more successful if it is a less busy time of year (like January or February) so that more people are available to come.
Consider offering child care
Selling tickets may be a lot easier if free child care is offered on-sight. There are some logistical challenges to keep in mind (such as space, safety and equipment). If the challenges are too difficult, offer child care for a specific age (5-12) and simply show a family movie during the dinner in a separate room.
Ticket prices should depend on the average income in your area. For affluent areas you may even consider throwing a black tie dinner and selling tickets for as much as $100 or more a plate. If you have younger families, simply throwing a spaghetti dinner for $5-10 a person is an idea. Decide if it will be a buffet or a plated meal, and how many courses there will be. This information can be printed on the tickets. Encourage students to sell tickets to parents, grandparents, neighbors etc.
Have the Students Prepare the Food
Decided who will prepare the food, and how it will be done is the most complicated part of the process. You may want to have students take complete ownership and have groups of students prepare a portion of the meal, and groups of students serve the meal. There are many ways to get the students involved in the different parts of planning, running and organization.
There are many other school fundraising ideas out there, such as coffee, which could be incorporated into your dinner fundraiser. Cookie dough, doughnuts, and candy bars are other food options, but they don’t fit a school sponsored dinner atmosphere as well as good coffee does.
Student entertainment is a great way to make the night memorable and enjoyable. Have a variety show. Have musicians, comedians, skits, soloists etc. perform for the audience. Displaying student art for the parents and guests to look at is a nice bonus as well.