Sister District Portland Eastside Hosting a Zoom Friendraiser

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By Robin Johnson, Sister District Portland Eastside leader

The idea was quite simple – – get my friends on a Zoom call to connect, learn about our two candidates in North Carolina Frances Jackson and Brian Farkas, ask my friends to donate using the team’s ActBlue links, and provide some kind of easy activity/entertainment to make it fun.

Pulling Everything Together

After setting a date & time, I asked a chef friend to teach us how to make some quarantine treats – – snickerdoodles! I also found Mark Bittman’s salty lime martini recipe which I renamed “NC GOP tears”.


10 days prior to the event, I sent out an evite to everyone I knew. I asked our Zoom host and our guest chef to also invite friends and together we reached out to 100 people.

A week prior I sent out reminder emails with a personalized note sharing why flipping North Carolina blue is so important, as well as a grocery shopping list for the cookies & cocktail so they could bake & drink along.

Bump in the Road

The day before the event our chef has a last minute family emergency and was no longer able to join us. I then started to work the phones, searching for volunteers to help fill the 45 minutes needing to be filled. I procured all ingredients to make the snickerdoodles and planned to still bake. Luckily, my son and daughter-in-law signed up to read a poem and play an original song, a friend offered to share some stand up comedy and Neal from Sister District joined us to help create excitement over the possibility of turning NC blue!

Day of

On the day of the event, I sent out one last email invite to all the invitees explaining what to expect and how to donate for those that couldn’t join us. Recommendation: send text reminders day-of to your list of Zoom registrants!

Here’s my reminder email:

The original plan has been adjusted since wonderful cook Anne has had something come up and can’t cook with us tonight. Instead you’ll get to see me channel my inner Nats from “Nats What I Reckon” (if you haven’t seen their videos do check them out on youtube!). My kitchen will not be clean, so keep your expectations low and it will all be fine. 🙂

We’ve also got some special surprise guests!

Original Music! Poetry! Comedy! Politics! Cookies!

I’m looking forward to seeing some of your faces tonight. For those who can’t make it, you can still donate by texting pdxeast to 833-602-8124 or going to

Just a note, the recipe for the “NC GOP tears martini” makes 4 drinks…so don’t go crazy and drink the whole thing alone! Unless you need to of course, which I totally understand.

Take good care and I look forward to seeing you tonight!

Run of the Show

To help keep the show running smoothly, I made a rough timeline prior and stuck to it! I also printed out the page on North Carolina from, the candidate dossiers and one-pager on Sister District in the Resource Library – – this was really helpful in adding commentary and making a compelling ask to attendees!

My husband kept an eye on the donations as they came in so I could mention how much we had raised and encourage folks to dig a little deeper & give a little more.

My friend who served as the Zoom host managed the screen sharing and had pictures of our candidates at the ready when we moved to the “ask” portion of the event. They also shared the links and info into the chat box making it easy for people to click & donate!

Follow up

Three days after I sent out a thank you email to everyone for coming, letting them know how much we raised and giving the link to register for our weekly Sunday phonebank with Jordan! I also sent an email to everyone who wasn’t able to attend with the same info, plus the links to donate again.

I call it a success: we raised $1040 together and I didn’t even have to clean my house!