Host Your Own Women in Rotary Tea Party
I’ve always loved hosting events. I remember back in 2011, I started hosting tea parties at Ploughcroft Tea Room in downtown Lynchburg for the ladies in the theatre department. I wanted to create a sense of unity among the women whether they performed on stage or helped on crew. Fast forward eight years and I’m still hosting tea parties in the same place trying my best to make women feel welcome.
The Women in Rotary Tea Party event is special because it connects women of all ages. We’ve hosted this event twice in our area and each time women have raved about the fellowship they’ve experienced. Some women have driven up to 3 hours to attend this event!
I’ve taken a few minutes to step back to show you how simple it could be to duplicate this event in your city. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to drop a comment on this post and I will be sure to respond.
Choose a date & time
I like to have this event the third Sunday in January. I don’t have to compete with summer vacations, back to school or the holidays. It’s also cold so there are fewer events happening in general. Feel free to choose a date that works best for you but that’s what went into my decision.
Send out invitations
Believe it or not, I send out paper invitations in pink envelopes. There is just something special about receiving something unexpected in the mail. Rotarians in the printing industry help me defray that cost but if you charge $25 you should have a good budget to account for the printing expenses if necessary. Any remaining funds are donated to PolioPlus since we designate the event a World’s Greatest Meal as well. We collected card payments on our club website and check payments in the mail. Save your treasurer the hassle and have the checks made out to your club but sent to you . This way you can collect the payments, notate who paid and then pass them along to your treasurer in groups rather than one at a time.
Start to market the tea party
Create an event on your Rotary FB page, invite the women who received an invitation in the mail and encourage them to invite potential members as guests
Send out a series of emails leading up to the RSVP cutoff
Post updates on the FB event as you get closer
Line up your volunteers
One person selling 50/50 raffle tickets
(this is a great thing to do to raise a bit more money for PolioPlus)
Photographer and/or videographer
One or two people to help setup the tables
We had area wide brochures at each place setting that helped promote all the clubs in our area to the potential members who attended. Many of the guests from the WIR Tea Party have become Rotarians! These brochures were also printed for free by a fellow Rotarian. Engage your membership by giving them opportunities to use their vocation to sponsor what you need as an in-kind donation.
PS. NAME TAGS, NAME TAGS, NAME TAGS! Make it easier for women to get to know each other by getting everyone to make a name tag when they arrive if you don’t have them created beforehand.
The Women in Rotary Tea Party leverages your time to accomplish four things at the same time.
ENGAGE your existing members by inviting the women in your area
PROMOTE your tea party which promotes Rotary and helps Rotary’s public image
INVITE potential new members which will drive your membership
RAISE MONEY for PolioPlus by making it a World’s Greatest Meal and have a 50/50 raffle, 50 goes to an attendee and the rest gets donated to The Rotary Foundation