With everything going on, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and ineffective. In an effort to build community and put a little good out into the world, one of my good friends started hosting what I like to call "Sneaky Philanthropy Dinner Parties".
Photo by Ann Larie Valentine.
The concept is pretty simple: My friend Amanda, who is an excellent cook, makes a meal and invites as many people as she can fit around her table. She takes care of everything, and simply asks that her guests donate whatever they would usually spend on a night out to ACLU. It's a lovely evening. Not only do you get to eat good food and hang out with cool people, but it has this nice, philanthropic byproduct, that doesn't feel forced.
Of course, you don't have to make dinner. You can do a Lazy Philanthropic Brunch, a Lazy Philanthropic Cocktail Hour, or a Lazy Philanthropic Taco Tuesday, but the key to the event's success lies in these three tips:
- Don't ask for a specific amount of money, but have people donate "whatever they would normally spend" on a meal out, night of drinking, or even movie night with popcorn and lollies. Also, make sure your guests know about the donation ahead of time; no one likes fiscal surprises.
- Have the direct link to your charity of choice at the ready, and have people donate directly from their smartphones. (If you want to get fancy, you can even print it out on seating cards or menus.) This prevents you from having to deal with cash, and keeps the amounts donated private.
- If you do want to get an idea of how much money you raised, you can pass around a sheet of paper and have people write the amount without signing their name. The charity you choose is also totally up to you.