Hosting a charity night-in is always a barrel of laughs and a super easy way to raise money for a worthy cause. Nowadays you see a lot on TV encouraging people to host fundraisers in a way that people would actually want to participate in. Last year, I hosted the Macmillan Night-In and it was a huge success. I invited my whole class (around 30 people) but only 5 people came (everyone elses’ loss really) but they were all good friends so we had a brill night just laughing and playing about. I ordered a food shop from Asda with little buffet items and fizzy soda for mixing drinks. I also went to the shop and got silly little ‘party favours’ like whistles and yo-yo’s. I had pre-planned out some games and a music playlist to keep the evening flowing but naturally, conversation amongst friends is never dull and there was never a silent moment! Together we raised £76.50 which I was very impressed with considering they were only 6 of us but some other girls who couldn’t make it had donated later which was super kind :) so I thought I’d share my tips on how to *successfully* host a charity night-in to encourage you to host one too!
Choose a Charity
There are a million different charities out there so choosing the right one to raise money for is key when hosting a night-in as you can theme your entire night around it. You may already have some charities in mind that are close to you such as Cancer Research UK, Alzheimer’s Society or Rape Crisis UK. Once you’ve chosen your charity, email them and let them know you’re planning on raising money for them and they’ll more than likely be happy to send you their logo etc (if, unlike Macmillan, they don’t do party packs – small charities may not be able to afford it) for you to decorate your night-in with. You can use the colours of the charity to theme your night or information about the work they do or statistics or facts about your charity to pin about to highlight why you’ve chosen it.
Pick a Theme
Your theme can be centred around the colours of your chosen charity or something totally random! You could host a pyjama party or a wacky onesie night or go all-out with a Disney theme! I’m currently working on writing my own Murder Mystery for a charity night-in which (spoiler alert) is going to be VEGAS themed! Don’t worry, I’ll post a How To on that with a pdf of my party plan so you can write your own too!
Decide on Date/Venue/Guests
You need to be able to give everyone plenty of notice so they can arrange childcare for the evening or book it off work. If you’re not hosting it at your home then you should consider attaching directions to the invitation so your guests know where to go. It’s hard to decide on how many guests to invite because you always want to raise as much money as possible but unfortunately, you can’t fit everyone in your home and make sure they’re all included/cater for a million mouths. I’d consider inviting your close friends and if there’s only a few then recommend they bring a friend but set a limit so you know how many to cater for/organise your evening around. I prefer small groups because they’re more intimate and allow you as host, to enjoy your evening more as you’re not worrying about if everyone has tried the fancy chicken satay.
Plan your Entertainment
This one seems obvious but so many people underestimate the amount of games or music or food they’ll need to keep the night swimming. Remember, it’s always better to have too much than too little! I made a 6 hour music playlist but left my laptop sitting out so people could change to whatever they felt like. I ordered enough food for 15 people even though only 5 showed up but it was 85% gone by the end of the night. We started at 7pm and finished around midnight which was ideal for tidying up and getting to bed on time (I have a routine). Planning games is the hardest because you ever know how long they’ll take but just plan a few and let your guests set the pace. You don’t want to have a constant row of games where one ends and straight away you’re onto the next. It’s important to allow time between to laugh and chat with people too (plus food). At my Macmillan Night-In, we played homemade Pictionary, Guess Who and Charades which were all hilarious! Make sure to tailor all your entertainment to all your guests needs as you don’t want gluten free or vegetarian friends going hungry. I always recommend some cheesy 90s tunes to get everyone laughing!
After you charity fundraiser, make sure to thank each guest personally for their donation/participation in the evening. Without them, money would not have been raised. It’s also good to tell your guests/make an announcement on how much money was raised and make a public thank you to everyone involved. It’s just common courtesy and makes more people aware of hosting a charity night and will hopefully encourage others to do so too!
I hope you found this helpful and I’ve inspired you to host your own charity night-in :) Have you ever hosted one before? Any tips for newbies you’d like to share about what went well/could have been better about your night?