Transitional Resources’ Fall Event 2021 – Choose your own date!

As much as we miss you, we still aren’t able to plan for our large gatherings quite yet. Therefore, we will be bringing the event to you! Visit www.transitionalresources.org/fall-event-2021 for more details of our exciting virtual experience!

We will provide the program, the inspiration, and all the support you need to host your own small fundraising gathering at your convenience! There will also be ways to participate individually from home.

See below for ideas an tips on how to host your own party, and head over to our Fall Event 2021 page for updates and more information on our experience and to sign up for event support from TR staff!

Q: What kind of party should I host?

A: It’s up to you and the folks you plan to invite! Be sure to consider the current public health guidance for gatherings as well as your guests’ comfort level. You may wish to host a small gathering in-person, or a virtual gathering.  Once you’ve made that decision, you know what works for your crew – would they be more into a sit-down dinner? An informal backyard soirée? A lunchtime gathering at work? If you are planning for a virtual event, you can do it any time of day that suits you. We recommend keeping things simple – not only will that make hosting easier on you, it also means more of your support and attention can go toward TR’s mission.

Q: How do I host a “virtual” gathering?

A: A virtual gathering would be held on an online platform where you and your guests can watch the program together and interact. You can use any platform that you feel comfortable with, such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, or Facebook. Just make sure you have access to an account that can host the number of folks you are hoping to invite for approximately 45 minutes or longer, depending on how much time you want to have for your guests to socialize.  You will also want to make sure the platform can play video files to the group and has a chat function so you can post relevant links and information to people as well, although you can also send information via email before the party if needed. If you have questions or suggestions of other platforms, please contact us!

Q: Why is there a timeframe for these events?

A: We are putting together a complete kit to help you host a house party or a virtual gathering in place of our annual Evening of Inspiration that normally takes place in the fall. We are asking you to host your party at a time of your convenience between September 23rd and October 7th so we can be sure we have the staff and program resources to support your party, and so your fundraising efforts coincide with the revenue we’d normally generate during this time of year.

Q: I don’t know Transitional Resources’ programs and mission inside and out. Should I still host?

A: Of course! We can help you get up to speed on the basics further along in our toolkit, and we can provide staff support to events as requested. But more importantly, people support organizations like TR because of they share our beliefs and values. Your guests will be much more moved if you can help them understand your own connection to the agency and our work. We can fill in any facts and figures!

Q: But what are we going to DO at this event?

A: TR is putting together a recorded version of the program similar to what we would normally present at our fall fundraising dinner. We will provide registered parties with a copy of the program as well as provide support for showing it in your home via TV, computer or projector, or online via a video conferencing platform. We’ll also provide some other goodies and suggested activities related to our work. And of course, at the end of the party, you and your guests will have an opportunity to make a gift to support our mission. We hope that the party will be a nice chance to connect with your community in support of a good cause.

Q: Who should I invite?

A: Anyone that you think may be interested in learning about and supporting TR’s work. We have learned over the years that everyone is impacted by mental health and homelessness in some way. Consider your friend groups, co-workers, neighbors, and family, as well as existing groups that may enjoy gathering in support of our work – like your book club, your department at work, or members of a shared organization like Rotary Club. You may also want to pair up with another host or group and combine your efforts.

Q: What’s the best way to invite people to my event?

A: We recommend connecting with people personally first, so an individual, warm email is a great first step. We’ll provide some scripts to help you get started. You may wish to use an online invitation platform like Evite, Paperless Post, or Facebook, which sometimes include some easy built-in tools to remind and communicate with your guests in the lead up to the event. Take advantage of social media to spread the word, and ask each guest to bring a friend or two along. If you are co-hosting, you can discuss with your co-host which method works best for your groups and divide the work!

Q: How should my guests and I make our donations?

A: Very good question! At the end of the program, we’ll provide instructions for making the “ask” for support and ask that you reserve a few minutes to let guests do so right there at the party. We have a few options to make that easy:

For an in-person event:

  • We can provide paper giving envelopes for guests to provide credit card info or checks, which the host should collect and give to TR staff as soon as possible.
  • We can provide a QR code or link directly to an online giving page for guests to make a gift directly from their phones or tablets.
  • We can set up laptops as payment stations for guests to use to make a gift online.

For a virtual event, we can provide you a link that you can drop into your group chat at during your appeal for support.

Q: But how do I ask people to make a financial gift? I hate talking about money!

A: First, always be upfront that you are hosting a fundraising event – no one likes to be surprised with a request for support! We even encourage you to set a fundraising goal for the event, and to include the invitation for support on your agenda. Making your goals clear makes the actual moment much less scary. We will provide materials, scripts, and info that you can lean on. Finally, remind yourself how making a gift to TR makes YOU feel. Hopefully that’s a good feeling – and one that you would want to invite others to share!

Q: Are my guests going to get tax receipts for their donations?

A: For all gifts made directly to Transitional Resources, we always send an acknowledgement and tax receipt. We also strongly encourage hosts to send their own thank you notes to all the attendees of their parties – and we can provide sample notes. If you opt to have guests pay for meals or other costs of the party, those costs are not tax-deductible.

4 to 6 weeks out

  • Visit our survey to select a date/time and level of support that works for you. (Coming soon)
  • Decide on your location and event format.
  • Set a fundraising goal. People will be more motivated to donate during your party if the finish line is in sight and they can help you cross it. TR staff can help you set a goal and help you articulate what can be achieved with those funds.
  • Create your invite list – not everyone will be able to make it so don’t be afraid to invite over your preferred guest amount. We find that inviting 1.5-2x your attendance goal is usually helpful.
  • Send your invites out. Email, Facebook, email invite, or old-fashioned mailed invites all work great. Go with what is easiest for you and your guests!

3 weeks out

  • For in person events – Plan your menu and create your shopping list. We will provide some options for catering if you prefer, but a basic set up with fruit, cheese and crackers works just as well.
  • Follow up with anyone who hasn’t responded yet. A quick email, phone call or text to check in is a nice touch. If it turns out they cannot make it, ask if they’d be willing to donate anyway and send them a link to the TR donation page.

1 to 2 weeks out

  • You will receive your packet of supplies from Transitional Resources
  • For in person gatherings – do the shopping for any food, drinks, serving wear, and décor you may need.
  • Send a reminder to your confirmed guests letting them know how excited you are to see them at your party and provide any details they may need. For virtual events, it is helpful to send out the link early and often.
  • Create your agenda: Consider setting aside time at the beginning and end of the evening for people to trickle in and out, and for socializing. Then you’ll show the recorded TR program and execute any activities you choose to include. Finally, make sure you set aside a few minutes after the invitation for support at the end of the program so that people have time to make their gifts.

The day of

  • In person events:
    • Prepare your space, food, and drinks. Don’t forget to make space for people to mingle and sit.
    • Help us collect your guests’ information. Ask them to put their name, address, and email on the sign in sheet. This will allow them to receive email updates to stay connected with us.

Download our FAQ and check list document on how to host your own party!