By Katie Meyer, DC Volunteer
Often people think of networking when they think about Washington, DC. But how do all those networking opportunities happen? Happy hours.
Shortly after arriving to DC and attending numerous happy hours to meet, socialize and network with people, I realized these are a huge opportunity for fundraising and also awareness about important issues. After the Breaking Ground campaign began last fall, I racked my brain to think of ways to include my young professional friends who had limited cash, but were very interested in supporting Many Hopes. I approached bars that already had strong happy hours and spoke to their managers about partnering with Many Hopes.
While first gaining the approval and support from our sponsoring bar were critical steps, the real work came with marketing the happy hour event. Asking friends to bring their friends brought in the majority of the funds raised that night, but another a huge part came from explaining Many Hopes to the people who happened to be at Rock Bottom Brewery that night. We shared stories of how we each became involved in Many Hopes and why the organization was worthy of their time and money.
Overall, the event was a huge success not only in the amount of money raised, but more so in the partnership we gained with our sponsoring restaurant, the renewed support from our friends, and the gained interest from strangers. The main lessons we took from this fundraiser were:
- Utilize what you know: we went with the happy hour bars we knew best and relied on our friends to bring their network as well
- Don’t be afraid to ask: we asked Rock Bottom for additional help and they welcomed further opportunities to market themselves and support our cause
- Never miss an opportunity to share the mission: many of our friends came and brought more friends, but we did not miss the chance to tell others about Many Hopes and what it means to us