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Could your organization help nonprofits host a mystery dinner fundraiser? Consider sponsoring this fundraising idea to expand your network!

How to Host a Mystery Dinner Fundraiser

Here are some easy tips you can follow to host a successful mystery dinner fundraiser.

1. Plan the mystery.

Jump into your mystery dinner with the fun part: planning the mystery! Craft a compelling story with a bewildering narrative. You’ll need to think of the following components of the mystery for the events of the night:

  • The crime: Typically, mystery dinners are centered around a missing person or chilling murder. Decide what mystery your guests will have to solve.
  • The conclusion: Of course, the events of the night won’t be a mystery to you. Predetermine who the culprit will be and to what conclusion your dinner guests will arrive.
  • The clues: Lastly, plan the pieces of the puzzle that will lead your guests to the answer. What clues will they use to find the culprit?

Once you’ve planned the plot of your mystery dinner, you’ll also need to solidify the logistics of your event. For example, you’ll need to find a venue, a caterer, and potentially costumes!

2. Recruit volunteers.

If any of your active volunteers have a passion for acting, now is the time for them to shine! Even if they aren’t great actors, it can be a fun experience for them to play make-believe to support your cause. You may need volunteers to fill the following roles:

  • Butler
  • Dinner host
  • Undercover guests

Be sure to choose a volunteer with a good poker face to be your culprit!

3. Sell tickets for the dinner.

Now, it’s time to launch your event. Promote your mystery dinner and sell tickets to supporters who want to participate. You can host the mystery dinner on several different nights or multiple dinners in one night. Just be sure to let your guests know they have a time limit and challenge them to solve the mystery before the end of the dinner.

4. Let the detective work begin!

After your planning and promotion are complete, the rest is up to your donors! All that’s left is for them to solve the mystery—you may even incentivize them to solve it with a special prize or award.

Benefits of Hosting a Mystery Dinner

Hosting a mystery dinner might sound like a lot of fun, but how does it further your cause? Unless your nonprofit is tied to detective work in some way, launching this fundraiser might sound irrelevant to your mission-centric work. However, there are several ways a mystery dinner can benefit your nonprofit, including:

  • Reflecting teamwork: No one works alone in the nonprofit realm, and mystery dinners are the perfect way to reflect the teamwork necessary to fulfill your mission. When supporters work together to solve the mystery, your nonprofit can make the connection between their work in the fundraiser and their work for your organization.
  • Strengthening connections between supporters: Nonprofit work can build new relationships between like-minded people, and what better way to encourage this than through a team-building event? In the same way, teamwork can teach supporters a valuable lesson about their work for your nonprofit, it can also help them connect with each other and form strong relationships with other supporters.
  • Expanding your audience: A mystery dinner is so fun that it will appeal to more than just your active donors. Other people may register for your event simply because they’re interested in solving a mystery, which gives your nonprofit an opportunity to introduce its cause to a new audience!

Capitalize on the benefits of a mystery dinner by planning one today!