​Make Your Holiday Party Really Buzz!

By Phyllis Stiles, Bee City USA Founder & Pollinator Champion, Xerces Society
At Bee City USA, we are frequently asked how to find funds for pollinator conservation. Here’s a fun and easy idea.
A friend hosted a birthday party for her husband earlier this year and used an online invitation service that offers the option of making a charitable donation. Just by naming the local Bee City USA leader, Asheville GreenWorks, as their charity of choice, they raised twelve gifts totaling $485. It also stimulated another $10,000 gift paid directly to GreenWorks.
Capitalize on the Season of Giving
What better time than the holiday party season to offer your friends a good cause to support? Online programs such as ECHOage and Evite make it effortless.
The service my friend used was Evite. Basic services are free and they have attractive invitation designs. (I’m old enough to remember when we snail-mailed invitations!) They store all of the RSVPs and alert you to guest comments through your email. Evite also sends party reminders and lets you thank everyone for attending afterwards.  It’s really fun to collect and share party photos when you follow up.
Online Donation Program
Evite partners with the Pledgeling tax-deductible donation program.  Nonprofit organizations must register with Pledgeling to be included, but registering is simple. The entire donation, less third-party credit card processing fees, are sent to the recipient nonprofit. Pledgeling sends the party host an alert via email each time someone donates, which also makes it easy to thank them right away.  Each communication before and after the party includes the donation opportunity, but in a very low-key way.

Don’t Have a Nonprofit or Fiscal Agent?
If you don’t have a nonprofit or a fiscal agent to accept tax-deductible donations, don’t despair! You may want to consider Facebook’s donation service. On your effort’s Facebook page, there’s  an “Add a Donate Button” option with this message: “Add a donate button to your post to raise money for a nonprofit, and we’ll take care of the donation processing with no fees. To raise money for a personal cause instead, create a personal fundraiser.“. You can set up a “personal fundraiser” on Facebook and include that link in your online invitation.

Too Late To Plan a Holiday Party?
No worries!  This concept works all year long for any occasion.
Are you ready to party for pollinators?

An initiative of the Xerces Society, Bee City USA’s conservation work is powered by our donors. Your tax deductible donation will help us to protect the life that sustains us.

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