|Purposefully create a loose atmosphere so people donate
what they can without pressure or embarrassment. You will often raise more
money and awareness if volunteers stand behind the literature and direct
people's attention to a particular flyer or ask them questions like "have
you heard about our next event?" At large outdoor events, remember periodically
to take the money out of the donation bucket as the day passes, so that
no one grabs the bucket and runs off with all that you brought in that
Sometimes other groups will ask us to provide food for their events.
It might be hot soup at an outdoor rally or lunch for a conference. The
sponsoring group usually gives us a donation of a dollar or more per person.
If they have special arrangements like transportation or housing, they
might ask for additional contributions directly from the people you serve;
this is up to the organizers. However, if the event is outdoors or open
to the general public, the food is always free and never denied to someone
because of lack of money. At some events, the food is cooked at the site,
while at others it is transported already cooked. Try to be on time at
all events. Obviously, this is especially important when you are feeding
a hundred people lunch at noon during a conference. Also, it is usually
possible to bring your literature table and set it up next to the food
table or in the lobby or hallway.
Food Not Bombs groups often sponsor concerts and events both to have
fun and to raise money. If you plan ahead, your event can be a big success.
Whether for rallies, concerts, or poetry readings, it is important to find
a location and date at least six weeks to two months in advance.
Another good idea is the distribution of flyers advertising the event to local organizations six weeks in advance. An announcement in their monthly newsletters or calendar listings can be very valuable. In addition, post flyers all over town and put them on your table for one month in advance. If possible, send 30-second public service announcements to local radio stations as well. Make a follow-up phone call to be sure the announcement is received, and suggest it be put in their public service announcement folder.
At the event, set up a literature table with buttons, stickers, and
shirts. Depending on the type of event being held, you may want to ask
for a donation at the door or pass the hat during the show. At bigger events,
you may want to create a program that can also be an opportunity for fund-raising.
The program itself can be sold during the event, and you can sell ads inside
it to local groups and businesses. And, of course, a table with refreshments
would be a good opportunity to raise additional donations.
People sometimes argue that it makes the city happy if you get a permit
so they know you are using some city sidewalk or park. You give them the
name of the organization, its mailing address, and a phone number, and
they give you a permit. If the permit policy is really that simple, you
might look into it, but avoid giving the identity of your group until you
know for sure.