Over 60% of Help One Now donors heard about us through a friend or someone they trust. It’s further proof that relationships matter more than almost anything else on earth. And yet, we so often feel trepidation about going deeper in relationships with people.
It’s obvious that our culture is desperately in need of people who will take the bold step of gathering people together. Everyone is hungry to be with others, so right now is a golden opportunity for you to be a gatherer.
We are spending this next season prioritizing presence, and one of the best ways we can think to do that is to HOST a party with a purpose. That is, you can gather a group of people together, first and foremost because we need each other, and also to bring people together to hear about a good cause and consider committing to a common purpose.
Now the question is, how do you host a party with a purpose yourself?
Decide to Be a Great HOST
You DON’T need to be the most popular person in town, an expert on any particular subject, or the world’s best chef. You just need to do these four things:
Have a heart for people.
This is not about being a “people person” or having an extroverted personality. In fact, sometimes introverts make the best party hosts because they are especially sensitive to others who may feel uncomfortable at first.
Having a heart for people is believing that everyone matters, that everyone needs people, and that everyone is worthy of being loved.
Open a space to get people together.
It could be your home if you have a space where people can get together around a table, a living room, a deck, or an outdoor space.
It could also be a local event center, a coffee shop, a local park, or a restaurant with a meeting room. There are a lot of “third spaces” beyond home and work that serve as excellent gathering places for groups of people.
Serve your guests with love.
One of the ways people feel loved is when their needs are noticed and cared for. Pouring another glass, serving good food, and making people feel comfortable are several ways among dozens to help people feel loved at your party.
Tell everyone what you’re passionate about.
You’ve probably been invited to “parties” that were ultimately all about a sales pitch. It can sometimes feel like a bait-and-switch invitation. We’ve found it’s best to let everyone know the big purpose of your gathering ahead of time in informal language, like:
At this party, we’re going to share a couple of stories about how we’ve seen lives and communities changed by the work of an organization called Help One Now.
And then, when you do share, lead toward a deeper relationship, not a sales pitch. Instead of, “If you’d like to donate…,” just try, “If you’d like to know more, I’d love to connect you.”
Tips for Throwing a Great Party
Beyond the big ideas above, we have plenty of advice about the little things that make a great party with a purpose.
- Try to gather two or three dozen people at most – any more can seem impersonal.
- Choose a time that doesn’t conflict with major local events like festivals or big local home games.
- Enlist help – people who are invited to show up early to prepare for others feel even more included.
- Introduce people to each other, but don’t ask anyone to share with the whole group on the spot.
- Serve food anyone can eat – offer an option or two for people who may have special dietary needs.
- Have music playing as people enter – people are more likely to talk when there is background noise.
- Share stories instead of speeches – people connect to the stories of your experiences.
- Zero in on those who seem to feel out of place – make it a point to put them at ease and make them feel included.
- Keep your presentation somewhat short – twenty to thirty minutes is usually more than enough to share a story or two and the heart of the cause you’re sharing.
- Serve treats made by small local businesses and express thanks to them as a way of connecting.
- Send everyone home with something – it could be something you’ve printed or even a small gift of appreciation.
If you want to host a party with a purpose and point your friends to the work Help One Now is doing to end extreme poverty around the world, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us to let us know what you’re thinking. We’re happy to offer suggestions, provide material you can hand out, and celebrate with you as you go!