February 20, 2009
Benefit Jam: San José, Costa Rica
Host: Andres Valenciano
In San José, three bands drew a crowd of nearly 300 young people to “jam” together for housing. None of the bands charged a single Costa Rican colón for their time, and the host, a local venue aptly named Jam, only required 10% of the entrance fee to turn their space over to the cause.
Andres’ objectives for this event, however, reached beyond getting friends together for one night of fun:
- Mission 1: Raise funds for Habitat Nepal, where Andres was scheduled to travel as a volunteer.
- Mission 2: Raise funds for Habitat Costa Rica, where Andres lives.
- Mission 3: Raise a voice for Habitat among his peers, and inspire them to get involved in the long-term.
- Mission 4: Raise awareness of Habitat’s mission and identity.
- Mission 5: Sell lots of T-shirts and give away schwag to push Habitat’s name out onto the streets.
Andres offers the following tips for hosting a sweet event for a great cause:
- Find the right place to host the event—make sure that it’s not so big that it could end up half full. You want participants to feel that the event was a success so that they come to the next one.
- If it’s a concert, get bands that you know can pull a crowd. Even better if you get different types of bands that all pull different types of audiences—you’ll be able to deliver your message to a wider variety of people.
- Make sure that everything is either donated or obscenely cheap.
- Use social networks to promote it.
- Get friends to pitch in–the toughest part is making sure that all your bases are covered and that everything is on time. Delegate…that’s what friends are for and it inspires them to be almost as invested as you are.
- Make sure that take the time to plan how you will explain to attendees exactly where their donation is going.