2020 Candidate Appearance Fundraiser with Sister District SF

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Raising for: Felicia French and Coral Evans
Date: Wednesday, April 29, 2020
Time: 5-6 PM
Attendees: 26, including host and two Fundraising Committee Members
Total raised: $3,570 with 27 donors

What were your steps to put the party together?

  • Confirm candidate availability for party date/time
  • Request ActBlue link for inclusion in invitation
  • Set date, create guest list, create invitation => sent two weeks ahead (would have been sooner, but host/candidate availability came up quickly)
  • Create script/run of show – send to campaign
  • Pre-meeting with campaign manager 3 days before to talk through script/run of show via Zoom

How did you recruit for the party?

  • Invited friends

How did you confirm/remind RSVPs?

  • Evite reminders
  • Email a few days before sending Zoom link

How did you prepare for the party?

  • Decide roles for intro of Sister District, candidates, Q&A and fundraising ask
  • Pre-Zoom meeting with campaign manager
  • Meet 30 minutes before party start to reconfirm script roles

How did the party flow? What happened?

  • Guests arrive via Zoom – chatting (about 5-10 minutes)
  • Host starts party – Give a personal host welcome/introduction about why you love Sister District (5 minutes at most)
  • Fundraising Committee Member gives the intro to SDP and the candidate(s) or other speaker(s) (5 minutes)
  • Each candidate or speaker introduces themselves (10 minutes each)
  • Q&A with speaker(s)/candidate(s) (10 minutes)
  • Fundraising Committee Member gives the fundraising pitch and shares screen with donation information (aka “The Ask”) and walk-through the ActBlue donation process (5 minutes); talk about donation menu while people donate
  • Final tally given at end; thank everyone for coming and thank candidate(s) and speaker(s)

What worked?

  • A few minutes to chat at the beginning
  • Have two Fundraising Committee Members, one to intro Sister District while the other lets guests in from waiting room (the party host was a Fundraising Committee Member)
  • Have one guest prepped/planted with first question to get the Q&A ball rolling; have other questions ready in case guests are shy about asking
  • Alternating as much as possible between candidates answering questions and have Q&A facilitator direct the question to one or the other first to avoid candidates’ having to take time to figure out who will answer first
  • For ask, use a QR code connected to AB link on screen share and AB link in Zoom chat (no text-to-donate necessary)
    • Free QR code generator
      • Copy/paste the ActBlue link into the box
      • Download/save the JPG of the QR code generated
    • Insert the JPG into a PDF, Ppt slide or Google slide to screen share during the ask
    • Instruct guests to hold their phone’s camera up to the code on their screen; a popup will appear that they click to take them to the ActBlue donation page
  • Talking about the donation menu while guests make their donations

What challenges did you encounter and how did you navigate?

  • Host had to be reminded to send the Zoom link to the campaigns the night before the party – oops!
  • Host was late working on script, and we were therefore late getting it to the campaigns

If you do this again, what would you do differently?

  • Make sure the campaign has the script and Zoom link a few days before the party

What suggestions do you have for staff in preparing teams to plan/execute similar parties?

Send adaptation of Virtual House Party How-To’s and Virtual House Party Checklist (see template tab) to prospective or confirmed party hosts

Invitation and reminder communications:

  • Evite invitation with Evite follow up and email follow up with Zoom link a few days before the party
  • Post-party email to those who couldn’t attend to remind them to donate (brought in 3 more donations)
  • Personal post-party thank you to donors; I believe she mailed thank you notes