Thursday, May 20, 2010

Party with a Purpose!

When I started writing Ten Ways to Change the World in Your Twenties, the chapter “Ways to Party with a Purpose” was one of the first ones I came up with. After all, it is how we spend a lot of our twenties – celebrating, networking, meeting new people, and gathering information about the issues that matter most to us. It seems like an easy leap to transform some of this time spent socializing into time spent making the world a better place. Parties and fundraisers are also a great way to meet like-minded people, who might have a lead for that perfect world-changing job.

I've been involved with planning a Party with a Purpose in Seattle. Since Seattle is a nexus for global health research and innovation, we decided to put our focus there. We have raised all of the money for the glamorous cocktail bash, and therefore all of the proceeds from ticket sales will go directly towards combating rotavirus, a leading killer of children under the age of five.
It’s so inspiring to see Party with a Purpose come to life, and it wouldn’t have happened without all of the incredible members of the planning committee, who have devoted themselves to making this party one of the best Seattle has ever seen replete with an amazing band, a great locale, sweet swag bags, and awesome raffle items. I’ve only lived here for a short time, and I’m amazed by how many energetic innovators call Seattle home.

No matter where you live or what your budget is, you can plan your own Party with a Purpose. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
  • Gather a few like-minded folks who are also interested in the idea of throwing a party with a purpose.
  • Decide on a cause and a charity that will receive the proceeds. Once you have chosen a few options, contact each organization to see how the potential donation would be used and what the organization would be willing to do to help promote and plan the party.
  • Choose a venue and calculate your budget. If this will be a bigger bash, create a list of possible sponsors. Even if you're doing something smaller at your favorite neighborhood bar, for example, ask potential sponsors to consider donating space, food, drink, helping to recruit a local band, etc.
  • Send out invitations via social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook and ask that everyone pass on the information about the party to their various networks. If you're selling tickets, you may also be able to get marketing assistance from your ticket vendor.
  • Accept help from guests. You will probably need additional volunteers beyond the members of your planning crew, so let guests pitch in as well. Offer different levels of involvement, so that everyone can be involved with the growing community of world changers!

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