Yesterday I gave a fund-raiser for Barack Obama. I called it "Something Old for Something New" even though I'm way too old to believe that. I posted it on the web site and leafleted my street and sent out e-invites to some friends. Years of giving children's parties have given me a lot of experience running parties--its important that there be something for everyone to do and important that there be some kind of goody bag. This party was its own thing to do, since everyone brought something, and its own built in goody bag, since everyone got to take something away.
Its a tough time of year for the kinds of people we know because everyone is either running from children's event to children's event, away on the weekends, or at weddings and things that eat up every hour of the weekend. Still, we got 22 donating couples. Each couple or single brought one thing they had loved but wanted to get rid of--a vase, a picture, a piece of jewlery, some fancy cushions, a set of cooking magazines--and donated 20.08 or whatever they wanted to to the campaign. We had punch and snacks for a couple of hours, they filled out their donor cards and some filled out volunteer cards as well, and then everyone got to choose one item from the table full of strange things. We kept Obama campaign pictures from the Scout Tufankjian web site running in a loop on a tv in one room, I had the volunteer stuff out, and I kept my own exhortations to a minimum and just reminded people that this is going to be a hard, bloody, campaign and we are going to need a lot of money and volunteer effort to fight it.
We raised 1,150 some dollars in two hours for the Obama campaign (I haven't quite figured it out yet because some people donated directly on the web site, some by cash and check). More importantly, everyone had a blast, came out for the campaign, and I had a chance to recruit other people into doing something for the campaign. It was so much fun that some people have said they would like to throw a similar party. Its pretty easy to do, really, so if you like to throw parties I highly recommend it.