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  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 day. 


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. 

Concerts and Events 

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. 
When making the arrangements, be sure to get the correct addresses of all parties involved, so that you can stay in touch. Send a letter confirming the date, time, and other arrangements to the managers of the location as soon as you can, and once you have the space confirmed, contact the performers and send them letters confirming the date, time, location, and duration of their performance. It would be unfortunate if the performers did not show simply because they never received their letters of confirmation. If the event goes smoothly, these performers will support you in the future. If you are having a concert, ask the bands whether they have sound equipment and a sound person. If not, they may know someone who does. Work out a complete schedule in advance with specific times for each performer, including set up and sound check, and be sure to send the schedule to all parties involved, including the people whose space you are using. 

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. 

Legal Tips 


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. 

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