Last week we shared the exciting news that “Memphis Rocks” is now a category at the 14th annual Memphis International Film & Music Festival, taking place April 25-28, 2013. This gives us a catch-all category and platform to share our perspectives on what makes Memphis great and to showcase the amazing work you, your company, nonprofit, or school are doing in the community. This week, with football season in high gear and basketball season tipping off, let us revisit one of the original thoughts that kicked off this “Giving Back” column more than two years ago: the power of hosting a “beneficial watch party.”
The “beneficial watch party” is a time-tested favorite when it comes to weaving giving back into your everyday life. Every weekend now presents a prime opportunity to have fun watching your favorite games while easily and effectively raising money and awareness for a nonprofit you support. The plan is simple: host a watch party at your house and invite your family and friends, telling them in advance that the event will benefit your selected nonprofit. As host, you provide the normal food and drinks, but ask attendees to consider donating what they would typically spend on lunch or dinner to the nonprofit. You will be pleasantly surprised how much money one of these events can raise. It will also warm your heart knowing that whether your team wins or loses, your event is a true victory in blessing others.
These watch parties are perfect for football and basketball games, any type of television show or awards show, or even a movie night at your house. You can also apply this same concept to a birthday party, backyard cookout, or swim party, once the weather heats back up. The exciting thing is that a “beneficial watch party” works well with everyone at all ages. I have heard great success stories with families and college students equally raising hundreds and even thousands of dollars by hosting these types of events. In fact, one friend who has been hosting these over the last two years throughout the entire football season has already been able to raise and contribute over $10,000!
Just as important, know that you are also helping to raise general awareness for the organization. Having some literature on hand, directing your family and friends to a website, and personally sharing your story or testimonial on why you selected the nonprofit will open great doors of possibilities for the future. The other key is that you are acting as a role model and encouraging others to do something similar where they can weave giving back into their normal day and life.
So, as you start planning ahead for this weekend or next, consider helping others by hosting your own “beneficial watch party.”
Jeremy Park, director of the Lipscomb Pitts Breakfast Club, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter (@lpbreakfastclub) and Facebook (facebook.com/lpbreakfastclub).