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How to Host a Dry Bones Open House

To Do
1. Email Haley
at least two months in advance and let her know when you would like to host an open house to make sure that the office space is available. *You can choose to have the event at a different location if that suits your connections better. For example, you could host the event at your church or workplace. The Dry Bones office is the preferred location, for getting people into the space is very effective, but do what works best for your people.
2. Find a staff member AND one other board member/volunteer/friend to host the event with you. If you anticipate having more than 20 people in attendance, find a second staff member or board member/volunteer to help you host the event.
3. Determine what you want the open house to be like. Do you want to offer wine and dessert? Appetizers?
4. Make a guest list. Who do you want to know about Dry Bones? Who are you connected to that already knows about Dry Bones and could invite some of their people?
5. Invite people. Email Haley at least 6 weeks in advance to get postcard invitations printed. Invite people. If you have people’s addresses, you can send those to Haley and they can be printed on the postcards. Otherwise you’ll need to address the postcards yourself. Send the postcard invites out, create a Facebook event and invite people, and email and/or text people. The more personalized you can make the invite, the better.
6. Find dessert, food, or beverage donations if possible. Email Nikki if you are not able to find someone to contribute food or drinks for the event, and she will give you a budget to work with.

Materials to Get from DB Staff (Haley) for the Event
1. Postcard invitations
2. Volunteer brochures
3. Annual fundraiser postcards
*If you’re hosting an open house at the Dry Bones office, just check in with Haley and make sure that there are enough of #2 and #3 printed and at the office.

Suggested Timeline
*We suggest having your open house last two hours.

  • The first 45 minutes – Give people time to arrive and get some dessert, drinks, and/or appetizers.
  • The next 20 minutes – Keep this portion brief and no longer than this.
    • Gather those in attendance and introduce all the hosts and explain your connection with Dry Bones. Thank people for coming.
    • Explain what Dry Bones is and what we do.
    • Give a tour and explain the space they are in. You can do this from wherever you are gathered and just have people turn around and look at the various things you point out.
      • Things to point out: the shower and laundry room, the counseling room, the gathering space and family-style table, the summer interns and Purple Door wall, the memorial wall
    • Then, show a Dry Bones video and/or have the staff member in attendance share a story about the work we do.
    • Finally, explain that Dry Bones is mostly funded by the generosity of individuals and families and that we are in need of more supporters, particularly people who are willing to donate monthly, even if it’s only $10 or $15 a month.
    • Explain the pledge cards and ask people to fill one out if they so desire. Have a laptop set up and open to so people desiring to donate online can do so right then and there.
    • Ask if anyone has any questions. If there are a lot of questions, encourage people to speak with one of the hosts and/or the staff member afterwards. Thank people for coming again.
    • Let people know they can take a brochure that contains information about volunteering with Dry Bones if they are interested. Also let them know that we will be having a bigger annual fundraiser on Friday, October 9th. They can take a postcard with more information if they would like.
  • The final 55 minutes – Let people linger, enjoy more drinks, desserts, and/or appetizers, and engage in conversation with people.

After the Event
1. Follow up with everyone who came. Send your people a thank you not or give them a call and thank them for coming and/or donating.
2. Invite those who didn’t show up to the annual fundraiser.

Thank you so much for doing this! Please feel free to reach out to Haley if you have any questions.