5 Best Practices for Serving Alcohol at Fundraising Events
Serving alcohol is a common way to enhance your guests’ enjoyment at a fundraising event. It can create a more festive atmosphere, encourage more participation and even amplify donor generosity. If you do decide to serve “adult beverages”, take careful steps to protect your organization and ensure all your guests can enjoy the event responsibly. Here are five best practices should you decide to serve alcohol at your next fundraiser:
Keep the focus on your event
Whether you have an open bar or host your fundraiser auction items event in a place that already serves alcohol, make sure that drinking takes a backseat to the event itself. For example, a pub crawl might be fun, but it can quickly turn into a party that overshadows your cause, preventing you from raising much money and maintaining your organization’s integrity. Keep the focus of your event on activities like dancing, golfing, music and the live and silent auction.
Always serve foodYou don’t necessarily need a formal five-course meal when serving alcohol, but you should offer guests some type of food to munch on. Whether you offer a buffet, sit-down dinner or simple appetizers, food will not only enhance your guests’ experience, it will ensure they aren’t drinking on empty stomachs. You should always offer a variety of non-alcoholic drinks, as well.
Get the right permits and insurance
More and more, organizations are being held accountable for the actions of their guests after they leave an event where alcohol is served, so it’s crucial to obtain the correct permits from the local government. Check with your organization’s insurance carrier to see if they cover any injuries or incidences during or after events. Some event locations include permits and insurance as part of their rental fee. Other times, particularly if you’re running the event yourself (like hosting an outdoor barbecue), you’ll need to get permits and licensing on your own. In most cases you will also need to register your event with the local Liquor Control Board and Police Department. Don’t bypass this critical step!