A house party is a great way to cultivate a group of donor prospects in an informal and intimate way. Each house party is different and will be unique to the hosts of the event and will change from house to house. At some parties, the host only expects to open up his or her home and the organization’s role is to invite the guests. Other parties will be focused specifically on the friends of the host family. And most parties will fall somewhere in the middle with some friends of the host and a handful of friends of the organization.
You will be the most successful if your host takes an active role in inviting his friends and contacts to the event. House parties can be a great opportunity for a donor to introduce friends to an organization that they strongly support and believe in. Guests feel more interested when they have a personal connection; it gives them a feeling of being a part of the “in crowd.” An environment like this also helps guests to feel more comfortable and be open about what their real interest level is in the organization. If your host invites his friends, there is a good chance you will be able to bring some people closer to the organization that you would never have been given an opportunity to meet.
As you are planning the event and working with your host, have an open conversation as to whether they would be interested in inviting their friends to the event. Make invitations and planning as easy as you can for your host. You may have to find a couple of different polite ways to ask for potential guest names from your host.