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Do you love Planned Parenthood?

Do you love a good party?

If so, you could host a your own event for Planned Parenthood! A “party with a purpose” is a great way for supporters to spread the word about Planned Parenthood and financially support our work in the community. Here’s a step-by-step guide to planning your own event for Planned Parenthood:

Step 1: Decide the details

Now that you’ve decided to host an event for Planned Parenthood, the first step is to put together the basic details for the event. Deciding the following details first will make the rest of the steps easier and will make your event more successful:

  • The date of your event

  • The location

  • Approximate number of guests, or size of venue, whichever applies

  • Your fundraising goal

  • Event premise i.e. comedy show, t-shirt sales, house party

 

Step 2: Decide which organization you want to raise money for

Supporters can raise funds for one of three organizations: Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri (PPSLR), Reproductive Health Services (RHS) or Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri (Advocates). Each organization has slightly different rules regarding their fundraising so it’s crucial to pick which one you’d like to raise funds for early in the process.

  • PPSLR is the 501(c)(3) reproductive health care provider who has been a leading provider in the region for more than 85 years. Their mission is to provide, protect and support reproductive and sexual health, services, access and rights.

  • Advocates is the 501(c)(4) group who advocates to influence local, state, and federal legislation that impacts patients of Planned Parenthood. They also work to protect and advance reproductive health and rights in communities across the state.

  • RHS is the 501(c)(3) abortion provider. In addition to being the only state-licensed abortion facility in Missouri for many years, RHS is the longest standing non-profit abortion provider in the state.

It is best to select only one organization for which to raise funds. Although it’s possible to do two or all three, promoting the event will be harder because there’s more to explain to guests. If guests don’t understand who or what you’re raising money for, they are less likely to make a contribution.

 

Step 3: Talk to Planned Parenthood staff about your event

Planned Parenthood staff are here to help you! They can answer any questions you may have about fundraising, your specific event, the different organizations, or if there’s anything you’re having trouble with. Depending on the event, staff may be able to provide videos, talking points, event promotion, swag and/or volunteers to run a table. They can also help by tracking your donations or sending someone to speak on behalf of the organization. While staff may not be able to participate in every event, they want your party to be successful and will pitch in wherever they can!

 

Step 4: Set goals

After the details are in place and Planned Parenthood staff know about the event, it’s time to start planning and set some goals! Here are a few example goals you can set for your event:

  • Have at least 20 people attend

  • Raise at least $500

  • Have at least three people sign up to donate monthly

  • Get everyone in attendance to sign a contact list or pledge to answer a call to action

  • Get at least one person to agree to host their own house party

Remember, no contribution is too small to make your party a success. Choose goals you’re comfortable with and define success according to your terms.

 

Step 5: Structure your event

The best parties reflect who you are and what you value about Planned Parenthood. Here are a few things to consider to make your event as traditional or outrageous as you dare:

  • Appoint a co-host - You may want to ask a friend or two to help coordinate the party and invite their own friends.

  • Menu - Potluck? BBQ? Catered sit-down dinner? How much do you plan to spend on food? Will guests prepare the food with you as part of the event?

  • Asking for support - How will you encourage your guests to support Planned Parenthood? Will you have a silent auction? Will you charge tickets at the door or in advance via an invitation? Will you ask for donations directly? Consider asking your guests to become sustaining (monthly) donors at a level most comfortable for them.

 

Step 6: Have fun!

With all of the planning complete, now it’s time to put those plans into action and have a great time! Don’t forget to take pictures during the event and thank your guests for attending afterward. In later posts, we’ll share a third-party event planning checklist, tips for promoting your event on social media, and tips for success the day of the event.

If hosting an event sounds like your thing, consider throwing your own Party with a Purpose! For additional resources, check out our toolkit. The toolkit explains everything about hosting your own Party with a Purpose including goal setting, party structure and event planning. Go out there and have a great party!

Ania L. Colvin is the Special and Community Events Coordinator for Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region and Southwest Missouri.

Tags: partywithapurpose, Supporters, fundraising