Put a donation container in a room other than where diners will be (believe it or not, the bathroom works well!) and allow your guests to contribute anonymously. Make sure that the container is sealed so that guests can't see what others have donated. You can let your guests know what the total is at the end of the evening or later on an individual basis.
Sell tickets throughout the evening (these can be as simple as names on a piece of paper). At the end of the evening, draw for the person who will receive the benefit of the charitable tax receipt for the total donations of the evening. The more tickets you buy, the more likely you'll get the tax receipt.
Review the Donations Page of our website, either before your guests arrive, or with your guests. Challenge your guests to raise all the funds for that specific project by the nights end.
Charge your guests for tableware and cutlery! For example $2 for plates and cups; $1 for knives, forks and spoons; $1 for a napkin. You can even charge extra ($5) for specialty items like dessert forks or wineglasses.
Select a variety of pastries from your local bakery, or make cupcakes with different icings and accessories (ie sparkles, smarties, jellybeans, etc...) Leave the desserts out for inspection before and during dinner and then auction them off at dessert time.
Simply let your guests know that there is a plate fee for their dinner...and tips are welcome!
Have each guest bring an item for auction that is in a brown paper bag. These items can vary in expense and can be the real thing or silly gag gifts. Auction the items off during the evening and have the fun of seeing who gets what for how much.
Organize different games like charades, cards, or pictionary. Charge an entry fee for each player/team. Split the entry fees 50/50 with the winner of each game. You'll be amazed at how often the winners also donate their winnings to the cause!
If you have any other great dinner fundraising ideas, please let us know and we'll add them to this list.