How to Throw a Spaghetti Dinner Fund-Raiser

by Laurie Brenner

Spaghetti dinner fund-raisers are a simple and affordable way to raise funds for your favorite cause. Set a calendar date that doesn't conflict with other community events or holidays, choose a venue, get the word out, sell tickets and prepare the food. Don't forget to organize a group of volunteers to help cook, serve and clean up to make your fund-raising event a success.

Organize Volunteer Staff

Solicit volunteers to help you put on the event. You need them to get the word out to local newspapers, radio and TV stations, newsletters or school bulletins; to create posters and flyers; and to sell tickets. These same volunteers can help on the event's night to prepare and serve the food at the event and clean up afterward.

Date Selection

Choose a date and time that makes sense and allows you to organize the event and sell tickets well in advance. Check with the local chamber of commerce and schools to ensure that the date you select doesn't compete with a school or community event. The idea is to attract as many people as possible to your event.

Ticket Pricing and Advertising

The amount you set for the event's tickets depends on how much it costs to put it on. If you can get donations for the majority of the items for the event, you will make a greater profit for your worthy cause. Avoid overpricing the tickets, as most people won't want to overpay, even if it's for a good cause, just to eat a spaghetti dinner. Offer reduced prices for children. Include information in your advertising as to the specifics of the fund-raiser. For example, let people know that the money raised is to feed the homeless or buy supplies for earthquake victims.

The Right Venue

Select a local venue that can accommodate the amount of people you expect. After selecting the venue, check with the local health department to ensure you follow safety and health laws for your fund-raiser, such as wearing vinyl gloves when cooking and serving and adhering to safe and healthy food temperature requirements. Choose a venue that has a kitchen outfitted with the supplies for cooking and plenty of tables and chairs for the meal to avoid having to rent them.

Sponsors and Donations

Ask for donations from local businesses such as food and paper plates, eating utensils and napkin supplies. Include the names of the sponsors on all flyers and advertisements in exchange for their good will. Assuming the fund-raiser is for a good cause, ask the venue's owner to donate the hall for the event so you don't have to rent the space. If you do have to rent the space and buy the supplies, price the tickets so as to cover all expenses and still make money for your cause.

Food Menu and Prep

Besides the spaghetti dinner, include salads and dressing, garlic bread and drinks. Offer coffee, lemonade, water and ice tea, or flavored drinks for the children. Have plenty of condiments on hand, such as salt, pepper, creamer, sugar and Parmesan cheese, for the spaghetti. Have volunteers make a variety of desserts for a delectable finish. Have a table where people buy T-shirts or other fund-raising items to help your cause.

About the Author

As a native Californian, artist, businessperson, contractor, journalist and published author, Laurie Reeves began writing professionally in 1975. She has written for newspapers, magazines, online publications and sites. In 2003, she and her husband moved into the home she designed, they built and decorated. Reeves graduated from San Diego's Coleman College.

Photo Credits

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