Steps to host a party:
- Find a location: You can host at home, at a park, or at your neighborhood brewpub (after you talk to them)!
- Pick a date: The best times to schedule house parties are Wednesday and Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons. Once you’ve settled on a date, confirm it with Maren at [email protected] or 507-226-3578
- Build a guest list: Invite your friends, neighbors, coworkers, and members of groups you’re involved in. Recruit co-hosts to help you spread the word and invite their contacts. Invite four times as many people as you expect to attend (really!).
- Plan the party: Think about details like easy directions to your home or the party location; where your guests will park; providing enough seats; what food and beverage will be available, etc. It doesn’t need to be fancy.
- Send invitations: Use social media or Guestlist.co instead of paper to save trees and time! Please use the following text, whether you send digital or paper invitations.
- Reminders: Make follow-up phone calls and send social media reminders to invitees who haven’t responded.
- Make a pitch plan: Make a plan for presenting your guests with information about the organization and making the pitch for support. If we are able, Sensible Change Minnesota will send a representative, or several, to make a presentation about the organization and coach the host to make the perfect pitch. If we can’t make it, we will send you the organizational materials to distribute, and our team will talk you through the pitch process over the phone or email ([email protected] or 507-226-3578).
- Enjoy your party: Have fun! Raising funds for and awareness of Sensible Change Minnesota’s work is pretty cool.
It is important to make sure it is clear to your invitees that this is a fundraising event for Sensible Change Minnesota. If you want, you can provide a link to our website for digital invitations: changemn.org. We can also send you a digital image of our logo to add to your digital or print invitation – just let us know! Include date, time, location, directions, your own message, and any other additional information about your party (theme, what will be served, etc.) Consider asking each guest to bring a guest! If you’d like us to make you a graphic like this one with your name, just let us know.
What the heck do we do during the party?
Organize your party in whatever way you think will work best – be innovative and creative. Should you want a guideline, here is a party timeline (for a 6pm to 8pm event) you can use:
6:00 – 6:30 Host welcomes arriving guests. Guests sign-in (see sign in sheet at the end of this document) so we can keep them updated about Sensible Change Minnesota in the future.
6:30 -7:00 Guests mingle, enjoy food and drink.
7:00 – 7:30 Host addresses group, welcoming them and introducing representative(s) form the organization (if possible, for representative to attend – not always the case due to scheduling and travel expenses) who make a 10-15-minute presentation about the organization explaining the mission, goals, programs, etc. If a representative is not able to come, the host can give a short talk about the organization (using provided organizational materials).
7:30 – 7:35 Host explains why they support the organization and asks guests to make financial contributions to the work of Sensible Change Minnesota. Our team will talk you through the pitch and the best way to do it before the party.
7:35 – 8:00 Host or Sensible Change Minnesota representative thanks guests for their support. Hosts invites guests to have more to eat and drink.
- If possible, depending on travel expenses and availability (we’re all volunteers!), at least one engaging representative to talk with your guests about Sensible Change Minnesota.
- Guest sign-in sheets, literature, donation envelopes, swag (if available).
- Opportunities for you and your guests to get involved, take action, and support Sensible Change Minnesota.
Party Supply List
Food and drink: Finger foods are great! Food preparation can be as simple or as elaborate as you like. If at a public location, you can always just provide your guests a menu – just make sure you talk to the venue first!
- Savory: Fruit and veggie platters, chips and dips, cheese and crackers, pita and hummus, breads or rolls, skewer-style grilled veggies, soups, etc.
- Sweet: Cookies, brownies, cupcakes, etc.
- Beverages: Alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages.
- Supplies: Plates, cups, napkins, utensils, garbage bags, theme supplies.
Frequently Asked Questions
A host is responsible for making the pitch for support—explaining to their guests why they financially support Sensible Change Minnesota, and then asking the guests to join them in supporting the organization (we will help you in choreographing this pitch pre-party). The host should therefore be a donor to Sensible Change Minnesota, as a pitch is not generally successful unless it is made by someone who is also investing in the organization’s work. Besides this, the host and any co-host(s) take on the usual party planning responsibilities: pick a date, invite your friends, prepare refreshments, plan out the event, and enjoy your party.
You and your guests will have the opportunity to get involved in making real change in Minnesota promoting compassion, restorative justice, and public health, and participate in an engaging discussion about this topic and the future of cannabis legalization in Minnesota.
Beyond raising funds and having the opportunity to meet a new group of potential supporters of our work, house parties are a great way for fostering community connection. By throwing a party for us, you and your guests are supporting the work and mission of the organization.
Family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, folks in other groups you are a part of—anyone who you think would care or be interested in learning about the mission of Sensible Change Minnesota. Also, keep in mind that although having some folks who already know Sensible Change Minnesota in attendance is helpful for getting others excited, the main function of a house party is to reach out to a new group of supporters who aren’t familiar with our work.
A co-host’s primary purpose is to expand and diversify your guest list along with helping to plan and prep. If you have a great space but not a large guest list or a great list but a studio apartment, then co-hosting may be an excellent idea.
Figure out how many people fit comfortably in the party space. Invite four times as many people as you hope will attend. We know this sounds crazy, but this equation has been tested and found to hold up.