How to Host a Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser

by Barbie Carpenter

Hosting a spaghetti dinner fundraiser is an effective way to raise money for a worthy cause. Spaghetti is easy to cook in bulk, making it a manageable menu for even a large number of potential donors. Hosts can identify multiple ways to raise money at the fundraiser, helping to push the organization toward its fundraising goal. Networking within the community can increase donations from private individuals and local businesses.

Find a low-cost venue. Community centers, school gyms or church halls work well for a spaghetti dinner fundraiser because they provide a lot of space at little (or no) cost. Ask around the community for available venues and set a date once you identify your location.

Find sponsors. Getting the food you need for your spaghetti dinner menu donated will cut down on costs and increase profits. Talk to local grocery stores or Italian restaurants about donating food and offer them advertising space at the event in exchange for their donation. As Step by Step Fundraising explains, "obtaining sponsorship may help you offer a fancier or more generous meal to your attendees." At a minimum, you will need donations of pasta, salads, garlic bread and desserts.

Publicize your spaghetti dinner. Post fliers on community bulletin boards and advertisements in church bulletins and in school or neighborhood newsletters. Use word-of-mouth advertising as well---ask friends and family to attend and bring a guest. Post notices about the event on social networking sites.

Set a ticket price and sell tickets. The main fundraising tool at the spaghetti dinner is profits from ticket sales. Guests pay to get into the dinner, essentially paying for their meal, and the organization takes home the ticket sales. Fundraiser Help recommends setting ticket prices "fairly low" and offering discounts for families and senior citizens. A $5 to $10 ticket price is reasonable and will attract donors.

Decorate the venue. An attractive setup will help set the mood for a successful spaghetti dinner fundraiser. Top tables in white or red-and-white-checked linens to set an Italian mood. Top the table with votive candles and play Italian music in the background. Guests will appreciate your effort and perhaps show their appreciation with additional donations.

Enlist a team of volunteers to execute the fundraiser. First NEMO recommends serving the pasta family-style to cut down on waste. Have volunteers serve as wait staff and bring large, family-style plates to each table for guests to share.

Tip

  • Raffle off prizes donated by local businesses to drum up more donations. You can supplement your ticket sale profits with raffle ticket sales to increase the success of your fundraiser.

About the Author

Barbie Carpenter worked as a technical writer and editor in the defense industry for six years. She also served as a newspaper feature page editor and nationally syndicated columnist for the Hearst Corp. Carpenter holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from the University of Florida and a graduate certificate in professional writing from the University of Central Florida.

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