I had a blast at cookie exchange and lunch on Friday. Linda Rapp Nelson and her husband Alan hosted the party as a benefit for the Blind Spot Animal Sanctuary. They raised $460! Everything went so smoothly that I wanted to share her technique with you. What a way to raise spirits and funds! Read on for the recipe for a successful event. The fundraising part is strictly optional, but I included it because it’s such a low-pressure way to help an organization close to your heart.
Linda sent me an invitation through Facebook, but you could use email, EventBrite, or whatever works for your circle. Linda’s invitation was detailed and welcoming. She included:
- When and where.
- Who she was raising funds for, with a link for the curious.
- What to bring: “a dozen cookies, an appetite, and a $25.00 donation.”
- Why: “Everyone will leave with at least a dozen cookies, a full stomach, and the satisfaction of helping the 100+ animals at a local sanctuary.”
- Bring a dozen vegan cookies and a container for those you will take home.
- If you want to come but can’t afford the full donation, no problem. Just contact her in advance.
- If you want to come but can’t bake, no problem. She will make cookies for you for a $40 donation.
- If you want to come but can’t attend, we’ll miss you. You can still donate.
- Invite your loved ones and friends too.
- RSVP by (give a date) if you plan to come.
Linda and Alan’s home smelled amazing when we arrived. She was taking braided challah bread out of the oven as I came into the kitchen. (Swoon!) Three slow cookers full of soup steamed on a counter next to a stack of bowls. I tried the vegetable soup with Field Roast sausage and the curried lentils. I wish I’d had room for them all! Bite-sized quiches, a cheezy broccoli dip, and a mouth-watering cheeze log gave us plenty of snacking opportunities too. Find the recipe for that cheeze log in Robin Robertson’s book Veganize It!. Linda used rolled the log in toasted crushed walnuts instead of pretzels for lasting crunch.
This luncheon demonstrated that an all-vegan meal can be savory, hearty, and normal.
Linda set up a big glass jar for donations in an easy-to-spot place near the food. That’s a friendly and easy way to collect from a group you know and trust. If you are shy about asking people to pay, please know that you don’t need to. For groups with more strangers or a bigger crowd, you could have a volunteer take money at the door and give name tags to contributors.
The glass jar and the $25 donation encouraged people to round up. (Everyone there had a soft spot for animals too.) I spotted a hundred going in and I contributed two twenties, even though I brought cookies as well.
Telling the Story
Linda told us why she admired the Blind Spot Animal Sanctuary, including the way they work closely with the police and shelters. That way, when someone finds an abandoned or homeless farm animal, they know to contact the sanctuary.
Linda had several stands and trays ready for our cookies. Some people left their baked goods on the plates they’d brought. Just like at most potlucks, there were no duplicates. We admired the cookies during the luncheon, then collected our assortments just before leaving. I left with a wide variety of treats, plus the warmth of connecting with old friends and making new ones.
Have you held a cookie swap or fundraising luncheon? What worked for you? Please log in and share your suggestions and questions below.