I started this year focused on finally bringing to life My Giving Table, an idea I had been hatching for some years for a simple and transparent dinner party fundraising platform. Most of the concepts and hard work was done I just needed to pull it all together and test run it. . A booking and event planning concept for hosting dinner parties and small events in homes or venues. Where the host donates their time and their hospitality and their friends pay a ticket price to attend their event, becoming a donation to the charity of the hosts choice.
So as we come to a close on 2021 I am indulging in a little festive wrap up of 2021 - the year that was, sharing some reflections on the year we have had at My Giving Table.
Chatting to different charities over the year, I have been reminded why I set up with compliance and transparency front of mind. So often funds do not go where they are supposed to. Instead ending up going to other places. It is no wonder that donor fatigue is a real thing in our community.
It makes me sad to hear these stories, but more determined to keep growing our network and keep encouraging hosts to make a real and powerful difference by hosting fabulous and fun events with friends, in their homes. I am glad that we put in the time and money to be compliant with the Collections Act and approved by the Office of Fair Trade - it was not easy and it was certainly an investment in capital, but it means we have a system that works transparently and successfully, where hosts, guests and the recipient charities can be sure of where their funds are ending up.
But it is meant to be all about the fun and good will created ....So how about our amazing hosts and guests. I love the events and the fun that each of them have created and I simply love the beautiful giving spirit that has been at each event.
I asked recently of several hosts "What did you most enjoy about hosting a MGT dinner?"
Sarah Hutson from SFH Designs said "I love the creative side of planning the theme, decorations, and food menu. We went with an Arabian Nights Theme and had a fabulous time creating a fun and colourful night with friends at our home. It was super easy as I only needed to send the event link, created by MGT, to friends who easily registered and paid"
Sarah's event was certainly exotic and colourful and soooo much hilarious fun. Sarah was smart and enlisted clever help in the kitchen and in decorating from good friends Sher Lo and Nive Kundar, it was a pretty joyful experience for all. I loved that Sarah said after her party -"fundraising dinner parties are the new in thing to do".
Host Rani held a wonderful Mauritian cooking class in her home which was so an incredible afternoon. We had 13 different nationalities there and guests ranged in age from their early 20's to their mid 80's, the conversation and positive energy was simply beautiful.
There were also the 2 amazing champagne events that host Amanda, The Bubble Diva held and the fabulous night on the French Riviera that luxury travel expert Nicole Beasley hosted, just to mention a few of our MGT fundraisers. We also had our first major venue supporter with an event for 60 people at Mr and Mrs G's that was an incredible fundraiser for Open Haven. There was also a progressive picnic on Hamilton Island.
What about the charities involved? We have so far raised funds for Open Haven, Volunteer Marine Rescue, Birthing Kits Australia, Orange Sky Laundry, Women's Legal Service Qld and the Dancing CEO's and have some fabulous new charities coming on board in the new year. Cant wait to hit our first 100K raised - who is with me?
To say I am pleased with how the last several months have gone is an understatement. We have raised over $40K for various small charities (yes $40K WOW ) through our simple "parties with a purpose, assisting in helping, during a particularly challenging period, people who are doing it tough in our community.
I am so extremely thankful to all our generous hosts who opened their homes and hearts and the wonderful guests who attended with such good spirit. I have been so amazed to see how the events have unfolded and the generosity of spirit behind each one.
And what of 2022? We have a couple of big campaigns to launch in 2022 and I will be so excited to share those plans with you as we lock them in, all I can say is watch this space it will be BIG. There are also already some fabulous private and public events filling out the calendar next year. Another cooking class is booked in with Rani, so get a ticket to that before you miss out and we have the start of our Dancing CEO's campaign with some great events booked. Bring it on, I just cant wait.
And Don't forget we still have our amazing host incentive prize, luxury yacht weekend, to draw at the end of this week (are you in the draw?)..... It is as simple as booking in for a My Giving Table "party with a purpose" next year - you just need to send me a date that you hope to host your event and I will set it up in the calendar, to go in the lucky draw for this amazing weekend in the Whitsundays. Details can change you simply need to just commit to be in the draw and you could be enjoying the Whitsundays in style. An easy birthday party date perhaps? Or simply an excuse to see in the New Year with kindness. Do this today...as we draw this on Thursday night and one of our hosts will win.
I send wishes of good will and kindness, compassion and love this Festive Season, Santa knows that one thing we all need at the end of 2021 is some extra love and kindness.
Take care, be kind and stay safe.