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Fundraising Q & A

From: LEAVEN, Vol. 41 No. 3, June-July 2005, p. 65.

LLLI has launched a fundraiser that can be enjoyed by Leaders around the world. We are organizing house parties to celebrate the upcoming 50th anniversary of our organization, as well as fund raise for our future. House party fundraisers are perfectly suited to our organization -- we love getting together, we enjoy sharing food, and we are comfortable in each other's homes.

Are you unsure about having a party of your own? Check out the question and answer section below to see how easy and fun it can be to support LLLI and help us reach more mothers and babies.

I'm not much of a hostess. How can I get involved in this fundraiser?

House parties can be as elaborate or as simple as you like. Some hostesses may choose to serve a meal and others will be happy with cheese and crackers. If you really don't feel up to having people at your house, consider teaming up with another woman and share the duties. You could add the information into the party Web site while she cleans her kitchen! You might also consider asking a local restaurant to donate space for a party. Find one with a party room or schedule your party at a time when they are not typically busy.

Who would I invite to a house party?

Many of us will think of our LLL friends as obvious guests. Leaders and Members who already support the organization are likely to enjoy this event and give generously. Do think outside your typical LLL circle, though, when building a guest list. This could be your best opportunity to involve members of your congregation, neighbors, work colleagues, and family who do not otherwise have a connection to LLLI. People like giving to other people and if they learn that you care about LLL, that may be all it takes to encourage them to support LLL as well. Consider inviting local business owners, health care professionals, and politicians -- invite anyone who cares about mothers and babies!

I've heard something about the Founders being on conference calls during house parties. Is this true?

Although you can host a party any day or time, you may want to join us for one of several simultaneous party days. On those days, you can dial into a conference call with one of the LLL Founders at a particular time. The first call was on Sunday, April 17 with Edwina Froehlich. The second call with a Founder was on Sunday, June 12. Future dates will be announced on the party Web site and through LLLI News. All you need is a speakerphone for your guests to enjoy a brief visit with one of the Founders!

How much should I expect to raise at my party?

Every hostess will have a different goal, but it does help to set one. Most people will give more money if there is not a specific donation requested, so we encourage you to publicize your goal amount and then ask that guests give as generously as they can. Think about your guest list when forming your goal. Do you expect to have 10 people who you think can give $25 each? Then set your goal around $250. Are you hoping for more people? Or fewer people but bigger individual donations? Some hostesses like to set a high goal to encourage guests to stretch and donate a bit more than usual. Others anticipate guests will throw in small donations. LLLI hopes to raise $500,000 by 2007 so we do want you to be as successful as possible. But every dollar contributed is a chance to support more mothers and babies.

I'm not a fundraising person. How will I convince people to make donations?

Studies show that people give to causes that make changes in the world that they would like to see. Who among your friends and neighbors is not interested in healthier babies, happier mothers, a cleaner environment, and more efficient economies? All you have to do is share your enthusiasm for the work of LLLI and have some information available for those who ask questions. If you are comfortable saying a few words at your party about why you support LLLI, that would be great. If not, consider planning your party for one of the simultaneous party days and let the Founder on the conference call make the pitch for you. Or think of a person in your town who was helped by LLL and ask her to speak with your guests for a few minutes.

For more information about planning and hosting a house party for the 50th Anniversary Fund, log onto www.partyhostcenter.com/lalecheleague.

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