Coffee Mornings have become one of the most popular ways to raise money for charity while catching up with family and friends over a cuppa, slice of cake and other fun activities.
If you are new to fundraising, here are some points to bear in mind to ensure your day runs smoothly and you raise as much as possible.
Pick the perfect place
This will determine how many people you can invite as well as the activities. If you are having a small event with friends and neighbours, your home or garden could make for a relaxed setting where you are relatively flexible with timings.
Ambitious fundraising targets and a guest list of a few dozen people or more could mean you are best holding it at a community space such as a village hall or activity centre. Bear in mind that the latter could mean hosting fees, but there is also the chance that the council or owners may be generous and offer it for free.
Many Coffee Mornings are held on a day which the charity decides, but this doesn’t mean you are restricted to this time. They simply dedicate a day to raise awareness.
Ask around the invitees and try to find a time which accommodates everyone. Weekends may be best and also bear in mind that half-term holidays or over summer may mean people are on holiday. Leave plenty of time to promote your morning too – don’t organise it for next week. Planning a month or so in advance is usually a good idea. This also gives people a bit more time to organise any changes to their schedule.
Get the invites out
If you are hosting for a particular cause or charity, many provide poster templates, invites and even things such as bunting, information packs and money collection boxes. You can get these online or when you sign up for a fundraising pack.
Don’t be afraid to use social media channels to spread the word, especially if it is a public event, and create groups on Facebook or via email so everyone can organise what to bring and be notified of any changes to the day.
Bake, bake, bake
(Or nip to the local cake shop if don’t have the talents of Mary Berry).
Baking things yourself could be a lot more fun, especially if there are kids who can get involved. Why not make baking the official event of the morning? If you have the time and space, a Bake-Off style competition means everyone is kept busy, has fun and the end result is cake. Ask for help too. If everyone brings one item, it means there is plenty to go around.
If you are buying, check to see if the event has an official partner. Macmillan Coffee Mornings are partnered with M&S, for instance. Purchasing from there could mean some of that money goes toward the charity and they could have special decorated treats. Last year, Colin the Caterpillar even got in the spirit.
Provide plenty of choices for people to eat, as well. Take note of any dietary requirements from guests, such as veganism or allergies, and even choices for those who don’t like chocolate or creams. Oh, and don’t forget to keep the tea and coffee flowing (but also have a selection of cold drinks or water).
Raise the money
Decide how you want to do this. Set prices for all of the cakes? A voluntary donation on the day, or an entry fee? Raffles, games and activities also give another way to raise some extra funds, and you could also set up a fair or stall and get any crafty friends to sell their goods, with a portion going to the charity.
As well as the valuable funds, having fun is another important factor of Coffee Mornings. It is a chance to get together, have a chat and check in on people, especially if they have been affected by the cause you are raising funds for.
Also, give everybody a final update after the day in follow-up communication. Thank them for coming and donating, let them know what the final total is and that you have or will be sending the money off. Tell them to keep any future dates free, too…
Coffee Mornings 2020
Not decided the cause yet, or want to check when it is? Here is a list of some being held this year. Remember that a charity doesn’t always need to have an official coffee morning event for you to find it is the best way to raise money and participate.