This month, our board member Cari Clark Phelps tells us about a creative approach to event fundraising and friend-raising:

I recently attended an event that has seen great success in major cities around the world. The event is called a "SLIDELUCK" where art, people and food meet. I envision this working for a variety of topics - not just art.

What is Slideluck exactly?
SLIDELUCK is a "slideshow and a potluck dinner that takes place in many cities globally and aims to build and strengthen community around food and art."

While SLIDELUCK is a 'brand' and focuses on art, I can see using this format to help engage audiences and educate them on other topics and messages.

Why does this work? People are comfortable with gatherings and having food, drinks and conversation. These are everyday activities we all engage in - whether at a board meeting, at the office or with family and friends. However, art - or whatever the topic is - might be new to an audience, and therefore not get a great response if positioned as the main goal of a gathering. Enter Slideluck…

Invite people to bring a dish. Ask them to bring a friend. The cost is minimal. $2 if they bring a covered dish to share. $10 if not. All the funds raised can go towards the operating costs of the event - or increase the admission fee and promote what organization the funds will benefit.

Share the recipe. At check in, allow the guest to label their food item. Provide check boxes for vegan, gluten-free, etc. Allow them to say who it was made by. Could be Kroger, could be Mrs Smith!

Conversation. Allow people to mix and mingle for the first hour. Slideluck provided a free beverage upon entry with drink ticket. Slideluck Savannah had a band.

Educate.  Consider allowing sales of products, registration for events, etc to help further educate, fundraise and engage.

Eat. Watch slideshow. Present a slideshow (or series of images) that are supplied by guests, contributors, etc. By allowing more people to participate, they’ll in turn invite more of their friends, growing the audience. Allow each to submit a set number of slides / images including an opening / closing slide to share a website, name and / or statement. Keep it short and sweet. Let the image do the talking.

Slideluck actually produces the slide show (including music as supplied by the artist) and helps provide a format to promote the event (website and other materials). To create a slideluck to this level would involve a lot of work for a small organization. However, there are ways to take this concept and grow it into exactly what works for your volunteer hours, capabilities and skill set. Learn more here!