Raise your hand if you are sick and tired of going to spaghetti dinner fundraisers! They are almost always the same thing every time you go, aren’t they? Why not break out of the mold and go for something completely different—something easier to prepare and less time consuming? What is this wonderful, innovative idea that you may not have thought of before, you ask? It’s simple: an all you can eat potato bar!
People will be pleased with the idea of a change of pace compared to a spaghetti dinner, and getting ready for it is simple. Turn on an oven, and bake some potatoes. While the potatoes are baking, put a variety of things like butter, sour cream, shredded cheese, and bacon bits for the traditionalists in serving dishes. Of course broccoli, chives, and other condiments such as mushrooms and onions—raw or sautéed—can be served, too. And then, let your imagination go—salsa, ham, spices, hot peppers, guacamole and even hummus are all great and different ideas for baked potatoes. What an explosion of taste they can create in people’s mouths! The only thing stopping you is your imagination…
Involve the younger generations more—kids tend to get bored easily at dinner functions. So why not create fun things for them to do, and even learn? For example, why not show them how to grow a potato, and give them a kit to grow one? Come up with a cute name—Sprout Some Spuds, for example—and use a glass jar, some toothpicks and a potato. Attach the instructions, so that they can take it home, and easily set it up, just like the display. Use recycled glass jars, toothpicks are cheap, and potatoes are too—it will cost you very little.
Remember when you were in kindergarten and made stamps out of potatoes? Why not show the kids how to do it here? Little kids love crafts wherever they are, and it will keep them busy, and out of their parents’ hair. Some cheap ink, paper and potatoes, carved out in different shapes provide plenty of entertainment. For those little ones who are industrious, perhaps they can make their parents a thank-you card for bringing them to such a fun and yummy potato bar!
Raffles are a great way to bring attention to your potato dinner. Whether your raffle is for part money and part prize, totally cash, or totally prizes, the word raffle does get potential customers’ attention. So, make up flyers, use ads in local papers and put up posters—and don’t forget to put the word ‘raffle’ on those things. It will amaze you how much more traffic you will pull into your potato fundraise than you would otherwise!
Let the public know how and when tickets are available—at the door, in advance, by mail or whatever means you choose. Even the Internet will work. And don’t forget the price. From there, your potato dinner fundraiser should sell itself due to its uniqueness, but don’t forget to put some effort into it, too.