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27 SEPTEMBER 2016

MAD TEA PARTY FAQ

How can I best explain the idea behind the tea party to guests?

The tea party is a way of having a great time together while helping children with serious illnesses. This is our third year running this kind of tea party, and we’ve seen that to many people, it’s become more than an excuse to get together with friends and hang out. Many have decided to display their talents and put together plays, talks or workshops. In addition, the tea party is an opportunity for organisers to tell their friends about why they feel it’s important to support the foundation’s activities, and attract more caring people who want to help. We can always achieve more together, and the tea party is a great way to prove it!

Why a tea party, and why a mad one?

Our Mad Tea Party comes from the story Alice in Wonderland – a great example of a party, since it has everything: tasty treats, surprises for the guests, lots of fun, and, of course, a hat into which guests can put their donations. Whether it’s cosy teatime at home or a coffee break at the office, a tea party with delicious snacks and such an important concept at its heart is sure to evoke positive emotions, to delight and inspire. And most important of all – it’s very easy to set up.

Are there any hard and fast rules when organising a tea party?

There are no special complicated rules. All you have to do is make a page on our JustGiving platform, then get in touch with friends, colleagues and family, and tell them that on a certain day, you’ll be looking forward to seeing them at your Mad Tea Party. As for how to arrange it, that’s up to you. But the key part is that the tea party has to help children, so your guests can express their gratitude for your hospitality with the aid of a hat, a box or any other container. Then you just need to transfer all the funds gathered to the foundation (via your campaign page, or by some other means after contacting one of the foundation’s staff).

I’m not comfortable collecting money from guests – what can I do?

Explain to your guests in advance that this is a charity event, and that with their aid you want to hold a party which will help someone receive medicine and medical care, and take another step towards being healthy again.

Tell them that there’s no good deed too small, and that any donation can save a life. After all, it’s the little donations that add up to the sums which let us pay for treatment for the children in our care, and run other highly important projects.

If you don’t want to collect cash, suggest that your guests donate via the JustGiving platform. Then you can see the funds arriving in real time, and tell everyone who took part how much you’ve been able to gather thanks to their readiness to help, and how much aid this amount will provide.

How can I take part if I don’t have a penny to spare?

A Mad Tea Party doesn’t have to be some big party or expensive event at all. There’s no need to spend a lot of money on organising it.

Here are a few tips on how to make the event interesting:

– we’ll send you a file with a set of materials which you just have to print out to instantly make your tea party bright and attractive;
– invite your guests to bring some baking or their signature dishes, and together you can make a big and beautiful spread;
– ask your office administration to give you a free or discount space for your charity event;
– think about surprises for your guests: making sweet snacks together, games, a raffle – these things don’t take much effort, but can really liven up a party;
– a sense of comfort, warmth and looking out for each other costs nothing at all, but will stay with people more than anything else!

Tell me about a couple of the best tea parties you’ve seen – what did they have in common?

One of the most important ingredients for a successful tea party is an original concept. You can find inspiration in anything, like your hobbies or your passions. For example, some volunteer photographers set up free photoshoots over tea; girls who loved handicrafts arranged a tea party where they taught all the guests how to weave bracelets; there were also tea parties with talks about people’s favourite topics. A talk over tea about your favourite writer or artist is sure to be fun for both you and your guests.

Themed tea parties can be very striking, whether literary, theatrical or dance. They’re enjoyable to prepare for, and leave many memories. The place makes a difference as well. You can prove by example that it’s possible to have tea anywhere – on the roof of a skyscraper or in the middle of a hike, backstage in a theatre or by the seashore.

How should I not host a tea party? What are some common mistakes?

First and foremost, don’t gather money on the street, in subways, on trains etc. No matter how good and pure your motives, these are approaches often used by dishonest fundraisers, and you will often face a lack of understanding from passers-by. We’re not asking you not to run such events to help us; it’s just best not to hold tea parties for strangers in the street.

Second, if you want to make your own decorations or posters with the foundation’s symbols for your tea party, please get in touch! We’ll help you, and provide blanks with the event’s logo and other materials (we worked really hard preparing them, and get very sad when people don’t use them).

If you’re still keen to make something of your own, then let us know! We’ll send you a logo for charity events in aid of the foundation.

And of course, you mustn’t forget that the tea party is above all about your guests’ goodwill and their personal desire to help children.

How should I use the JustGiving platform? After all, it’s awkward – people will forget to donate, and I can’t exactly phone  to remind them.

The JustGiving platform is actually the most convenient tool for describing your event in detail. You can add text, photos, the date and the location, and repost it to social networks. You can also add news about your event, and thank everyone who supported your campaign. So don’t be afraid of modern technology 🙂

Just because you’ve created a page doesn’t mean you can only fundraise online – yes, some of your guests might find it more convenient to make a donation in advance via the page, but others will prefer to make it at the tea party itself. For cash donations, you can use a donation box (which you can label with stickers from our kit) and our fundraising form (which will help you ensure transparency and provide a report for your guests). You can then simply transfer the funds using your page.

The outcome of your event will be shown on the page, and you’ll always be able to share the fruits of your joint good deed with your friends!

And if you and your friends are very busy, you can always use the page to hold a virtual tea party: drink tea together via Skype (we’ve seen successful tea parties of that sort as well), and help children with an online donation.

What’s the best way to host a tea party at the office?

Tell your superiors and your colleagues that you want to organise a special break, and invite everyone to gather during lunch. You can use a mailing list or a poster in the office to make sure all staff know about the event. We’ll help you design the poster, if needed.

Office tea parties work well with fun creative ideas. Maybe your colleagues will enjoy wearing hats over their break, or dedicating the tea party to sharing their funniest experiences from work? Invent a theme for the break – once again, inviting the colleagues the office to bring their own culinary creations to the tea party is a very effective idea. Don’t forget to take photos with the teacups and post them with the hashtag #madteaparty, #безумноечаепитие and you’ll see how many friendly groups throughout the world are coming together to help.

How can I attract more people to my tea party?

Tell your friends about the event, and don’t forget to suggest that they post about it on their social networks. That way, you can let large numbers of people know about your tea party at once.

If you’re holding your tea party outside, tell your neighbours about it! We can help you make flyers to put in their letterboxes.

As you can see, it’s really simple! Above all, remember the date: November 26th (25th and 26th at the office). Create your campaign on the JustGiving platform in advance, and if you need help with ideas and materials, don’t hesitate for a second to write to Marina marina@giftoflife.eu!