Many Global Fund donors have hosted successful house parties on International Women’s Day, raising both funds and awareness about women’s human rights issues. We’ve compiled the following speaking points to help get you started.
You can also download a PDF of this information to print out at home.
Hostess Introduction (5 – 10 Minutes)
Gather your guests and welcome them to your party. This is your opportunity to tell your community why supporting the Global Fund is important to you. Public speaking can be challenging for many people and writing out your remarks and practicing beforehand can help you become more confident. Here is an example of a welcome message to help you craft your own:
Welcome and thank you for coming. I organized this house party to celebrate International Women’s Day and to introduce you to the Global Fund for Women. The Global Fund is a nonprofit organization that advances women’s human rights by giving grants to women’s organizations in countries around the world. Every year the Global Fund for Women supports thousands of courageous women and girls working in their communities to end violence, increase access to education and improve the economic opportunities and health services available to women and girls. What makes the Global Fund unique is that they fund women already working on solutions to problems facing their communities. While many charity groups send aid money to developing countries, the Global Fund does not view grantees as passively accepting funds, but rather as equal partners in a movement towards building a more equitable and just world. Unlike other foundations, the Global Fund doesn’t go into an area with a pre-planned project and figure out how to implement it. Rather, the Global Fund makes grants that respect the knowledge and priorities women define in their own communities. They listen to the challenges women face and how they propose to solve them. The Global Fund also cuts out the “middle man” and allows donations to go directly to the grantees.
Now tell your own story. How did you learn about the Global Fund? What led you to become a donor? Pick one of the grantee stories for the International Women’s Day 2008 Brochure and use it in your welcome message.
Guest Introductions (5 – 15 Minutes)
Have group members introduce themselves and answer a simple question to bring the group closer together. Possible questions include:
- What is one resource or service you believe all women should have access to?
- Who is a woman leader who has positively influenced or changed your life?
- If you had $1,000 to donate, how would you like your donation to help improve the lives of others? What are the most critical issues you think we can contribute to?
- Share one short story of how women working together developed a good solution to a difficult problem.
Show the Global Fund for Women DVD (10 Minutes)
This DVD is a short introduction to the Global Fund for Women sharing the organization’s vision as well as the stories of several grantee groups.
Discuss the Film (10 – 30 Minutes)
Talking about the video can help begin discussion. To help begin the discussion consider asking the group these general questions:
- Did the video raise issues that are important to you?
- How do you think investing in women can make a difference in the world?
- How is the Global Fund different than other organizations?
If the group gets into an in-depth discussion serving more food and drinks can encourage the discussion to continue.
Closing Remarks(5 – 10 Minutes)
This is your opportunity to ask your guests to make a donation. You have done your part to make them feel welcome, explain why the Global Fund is important to you, share the work of Global Fund grantees, and worked to engage them in a meaningful discussion of women’s human rights issues. You can now put all this together in a meaningful pitch.
Everyone will have their own unique way of asking their friends and family to donate. Standing up for what you believe in and asking people to support women’s rights does yield financial resources for the world’s women -- but you do have to ask. People know it takes guts to do what you are doing. They can make a choice for themselves as to whether they will give today or in the future. Having a fundraising goal can help. It gives you a target amount to work towards and you can use it as a tool when asking your guests to donate.
Have a friend pass a basket with donation envelopes that guests can either use now or take home. Here is a sample donation pitch appropriate for a house party:
Thank you so much for coming today and for contributing to our discussion of women’s human rights issues. All the work you have learned about today is possible because people around the world have joined together in the Global Fund’s partnership of equals. The Global Fund believes that philanthropy is a shared responsibility and that each of us should have a chance to give and to receive. Each supporter and grantee of the Global Fund is an equal partner in our worldwide network. Almost half of the Global Fund’s current income is from individuals. We could not do this work without people like you and me who decide to contribute to this work.
After what you've heard today, I know you agree that women play a powerful role in making life better for everyone in the community. Who here today can afford to give up $1.37 per day? Let's face it. That doesn't even cover the cost of a latte! Well, over a year, that $1.37 a day adds up to $500, enough to enable five rural Kenyan girls to implement their own business plans when they graduate. And if 25 of you donated $500/year, we've got a grant for $12,500, which could allow the Afghan Women Welfare Department, a nonprofit group of refugees in Pakistan, to train women in how to make candles and how to market them in order to raise their standard of living in the camps.
It's all about combining our efforts. The Global Fund for Women started with 30 individuals each making a donation. Today, the Global Fund is one of the largest funders of women's human rights worldwide. Why? Because people just like you realized they could make a huge difference by giving back. And every year more and more people get on board. Please join me in giving as much as you can.