10 Steps to a Successful Celebrity Waiter Event
As Lisa Szarkowski from U.S. Fund for UNICEF states in this week’s Strategy Session, there are many ways celebrities can support your organization. And celebrity can be defined in a variety of ways.
For Soroptimist International of Santa Cruz, a local chapter of an organization devoted to improving the lives of women and girls, the celebrities at its celebrity-waiter fundraising dinner are high-profile members of its community.
The organization has held the dinner since 1991. Each year the event has raised greater funds and support from the community and has required less and less work on the part of the organization.
A case study on the Web site of the Corporation for National and Community Service, a national grantmaker that supports community service and volunteering, looks at the organization’s outline for a successful celebrity-waiter fundraising dinner.
The key element of the celebrity-waiter dinner is the participation of high-profile community members serving as waiters.
Below are some of the organization’s tips and best practices for identifying and recruiting local celebrities for a successful celebrity-waiter event:
1. Determine the purpose for the event. For the Soroptimist International of Santa Cruz, the purpose is to raise funds, increase visibility and recruit new members.
2. Assess organizational resources.
3. Get support from board members and create a leadership committee and subcommittees. Subcommittees should include fundraising, decorations, food, sponsorships, auctions and celebrity waiters.
4. Appoint a treasurer. This person prepares a preliminary budget, seeks out sponsorships and is responsible for obtaining insurance and permits and for supervising volunteers and/or staff who handle the money at the event.
5. Write job descriptions for committee chairs.
6. Create an event time line. The time line should begin one year in advance of the event.
7. Define and identify potential celebrity waiters. For Soroptimist International, the most ideal celebrity waiters are successful professional women in the community and community leaders. The most high-profile women in the organization asked potential waiters personally to join the event.