High Tea fundraiser

Events, functions and fundraising activities

Throwing a High Tea Fundraiser is a great idea, particularly for those clubs who have members who will enjoy an afternoon of yummy nibbles, warm drinks and chat.

It involves an afternoon of fine dining with delicious treats, engaging conversation over a pot of tea and maybe a glass of bubbly or two. The ideal venue can be a residential home with garden space, at your club, or off site at a venue that is large enough and offers an atmosphere to complement the food and drink of the day.

Your club can charge members and your community to attend and could also run additional fundraising activities during the afternoon.

Why a High Tea?
A high tea is a great fundraiser that can be relaxing and appealing to people of all ages. There are no physical requirements or loud music and this allows for people of all ages to be included. Traditionally an event that women are more likely to attend, if your club has a large number of females, this could be perfect.
It can also be easily held in conjunction with other fundraising ideas such as raffles and auctions.
While this fundraiser does call on your club community to donate you could invite your members to bring along friends or family members.

When should I hold this fundraiser?
A high tea can be held at anytime of the year. If you are looking to hold it outdoors in a garden setting then the weather (hot or cold) needs to be taken into account and perhaps a back up plan organised.

Key Activities
These are the tasks you will need to consider assigning to volunteers at your club:

Before the Day

  • Decide a date for the high tea.
  • Promote the fundraiser.
  • Organise the venue.
  • Organise ticketing arrangements.
  • Organise volunteers to help.
  • Organise any food and beverages that will be for sale or provided in the ticket price.
  • Organise any raffles or auctions that might run at the same time.
  • Source tables, chairs and serving plates if your venue does not already supply these.
  • Sell tickets.

On the Day

  • Ensure the room, is set up and ready to go.
  • Brief Volunteers of their roles.
  • Enjoy the event!
  • Monitor the event.
  • Take lots of photos.

After the day

  • Publicly thank everyone involved
  • Announce the amount of money raised in club newsletters, on social media, website and around the club.

Who can help?
It is important to engage your members to help in the running of your fundraiser.
For a high tea you could approach them to help:

  • Promote and sell the tickets
  • Bake yummy treats
  • Organise and run any additional fundraising activities to run on the day
  • Help logistically on the day

You could also approach current club Sponsors for any prizes you plan to use.

Recruiting your people
It is important to create a culture of volunteering at your club to help not only with fundraising but also across the day to day running of your club. For more on how to create this at your club, click here.

Using technology to making it easier

You may like to consider using technology to reduce the workload on your volunteers and increase your fundraising dollars. For an event like this, you may like to sell tickets using a platform like TryBooking.

TryBooking lets you sell tickets, take payments and donations for events online.

This takes care of a great deal of the work that is usually left to volunteers and automates the ticket selling process.

You can set up and customise your own event page and a unique URL in minutes. This lets you easily share the event online and engage members and supporters. Your club may also like to use social media, email newsletters and your club website to promote the event.

Financial Considerations
Venue and catering play a big part in the financial returns of your High Tea fundraiser. If you’re able to secure a venue without huge costs then your fundraiser is well on its way to great returns. If you have a few handy cooks within your club’s ranks who are willing to donate their time and skills to provide the catering for your event then you could look to make $20-$40 per head. 50 guests at a margin of $20 means $1,000 dollars to the club, which is not bad for an afternoon’s work.
Revenue from this fundraiser is mainly through attendance ticket sales. It is a good idea to pre-sell tickets so organisers have an idea of catering requirements rather than letting people pay on the day. Allowing people to sign up on the day could end up with your club over or under catering depending on the numbers that arrive.

Ticket sales are not the only avenue to raise funds at a High Tea event.
Macarthur High tea gets over 350 women for their Mother’s Day tea. On the day, they have a photography booth set up where mums & daughters can get their picture taken together.
Raffles and auctions are also good ways to raise extra revenue but be careful not to spoil the atmosphere of the day with too much fundraising.

High Tea events traditionally have a predominantly female attendees. Therefore it is usually a good idea to promote to the female audience in your club and the wider community.
A high tea could be promoted using:

  • Club website
  • Newsletter
  • Noticeboard
  • Signs around the club (especially the canteen)
  • Blackboards
  • Club Facebook and Twitter.

It is a great idea to encourage your club community to bring their friends for a fun day! The more people that attend the greater the opportunity to raise even more fundraising dollars for your club.

This is an event that can be bigger than just a club event. If this is your goal it is important to promote community wide, not just to club members. It is a great idea to enlist the help of your local radio and newspaper to provide a community announcement promoting your fashion show event.
You can also ask someone at your club to produce a flyer that can be printed and copies left in community centres like shops and schools.

Communication considerations
As a high tea may also double as a social event at your club, you can use social media to build excitement. You can use social media to sell tickets and countdown to the day. You can also live stream parts of the event on the day so that those in your community that can’t attend can still be part of the event.

Social, Moral and Ethical Considerations
Supply of Alcohol
As this event could include alcohol it is important to consider whether there will be limits or restrictions set in advance. Clubs need to consider how they will manage the risks of binge drinking as well as the Responsible Service of Alcohol.

What can go wrong? (Risk Management)
Financial Risks
There are obvious financial risks if enough tickets aren’t sold and set up costs more than is made.
Participant Safety
The health and wellbeing of those who attend your event should be a focus at all times. It is important that your club takes time to consider all possible risks and how to minimise these.

Licenses and Permits
Food handling and service laws need to be considered. Liquor licencing and RSA requirements for serving drinks also need to be adhered to. If in doubt, check with the liquor licensing and food safety authority in your state or territory. Your club should also consider security to promote legal and responsible drinking.
It is also important to contact your insurance company to ensure your public liability insurance policies cover the event.

Additional Factors to consider
When catering food ensure you cater for those with allergies and these are clearly labeled. Allergies can be life threatening and need to be considered seriously.
The primary activity is the serving of light food bites, and tea/drinks but if your light food bites are prepared poorly then you may not have anyone turn up the following year. Think quaint, dainty, elegant.
High Tea is as much about the food as it is the setting. The setting creates the atmosphere and though we don’t advocate striving to make your clubroom or backyard look like it belongs in the pages of a magazine, we do suggest you consult style guides on table settings, cutlery and so on.
Leave it to the Experts
There are many companies out there that will set up your High Tea event for a price per head. The advantage is that you don’t need to beg, borrow and steal to get the event up and running; the disadvantage is that having a 3rd party supplier will drastically reduce the profit margins of your event and could make the price of entry too rich for many.

Additional Revenue Opportunities
A high tea provides an opportunity to run a raffle or silent auction to help build your club’s fundraising dollars. However it is important not to take away from the event by overdoing it on the extra fundraising activities.

Any specific suppliers or links for this particular fundraiser. Could be used for 3rd party advertising in the future.

This procedure should be treated as a guide only. Your club should seek advice specific to the needs of your club and event. Seek further details from authorities and service providers; especially in regards to insurance, licences, permits, spectator and participant safety.