Welcome to the Table Party Toolkit
This toolkit has everything you need to host a fundraising party in support of your neighbors on the path to citizenship. We are here to help! If you have questions or suggestions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Step 1: Set a Fundraising Goal
- $495 – let a “Dreamer” keep dreaming by covering DACA fees*
- $495 – Help an immigrant renew a permit for work authorization.
- $725 – Make it possible for a legal permanent resident to become an American citizen.
- $1,225 – Enable a fellow New Yorker to apply for a green card and obtain legal permanent residence.
Note: These fundraising levels are examples. All money you raise will be used to subsidize immigration-related applications fees. For logistical reasons, we cannot earmark the funds from individual parties. Welcome to the Table and our partner organizations take no portion of the money raised. The online fundraising platform does charge an administrative fee.
*On January 10, a federal judge ordered that USCIS must continue to accept DACA renewal applications. We don’t know how long this ruling will be in effect. Help us raise funds now to allow as many Dreamers as possible to take advantage of this window.
Step 2: Decide What Kind of Party You Want to Host
Your party will depend on your fundraising goal, your personal style — and the size of your apartment. Here are some ideas:
- Dinner Party: Break out the good dishes (or paper plates) and open a bottle of wine. Welcome people to your table as a way to help welcome others to the American table.
- Open House: Celebrate a country that is open to new people and new ideas. Set out a buffet and invite people to drop in over the course of the afternoon.
- Family Fête: Future voters for future Americans! Children and adults alike are sure to enjoy the treats and activities.
Step 3: Decide on a Suggested Contribution for Your Guests
This will depend on your goal and the type of party you have. For example, you may decide on:
- $15 x 33 friends at a house party = $495 = work permit renewal
- $75 x 10 guests at a sit-down dinner = $750 = one new citizenship application
- $50 x 15 guests at a cocktail party = $750 = one new citizenship application
- $35 x 35 families for a picnic in the park = $1,225 = green card application fees
Step 4: Set Up for Donation Collection
- Choose your partner organization. The Center for Family Life provides neighborhood-based family and social services. (hot link for CFL that opens in a new page) Atlas DIY works with immigrant youth ages 14-24. (hot link for atlas that opens in a new page) Not sure who to choose? Both are wonderful organizations – let’s keep it even!
- Sign Up for ActionNetwork (https://actionnetwork.org/users/sign_up). Action Network is a site to help progressive grassroots organizations organize, communicate and raise funds. Welcome to the Table does not collect funds directly, all funds go directly to Center for Family Life and Atlas DIY
- When your account is setup join Welcome to the Table group (https://actionnetwork.org/groups/welcome-to-the-table)
- Once you have been added to the group, create a fundraiser (https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/new?group_id=102072)
- When you “Add a Recipient” search for “Atlas” or Center for Family Life” DO NOT add “Yourself” or “Welcome to the Table”!
- Set a fundraising goal, add a picture to personalize your page and send a link to your page to friends and family. You can include the link in the invitation you send out for your Welcome to the Table event.
- A step-by-step guide for setting up the fundraiser is available on YouTube. You do not need to setup an account with WePay or Stripe, if you are asked to do this go back and check your “Recipient” choice.
- If you have any problems setting up your page, please email us at email@example.com
If you have any questions about fundraising or the fundraising platform, email firstname.lastname@example.org. We can also setup the donations page for you.
Step 5: Invite Guests
You may want to
- Send an email invitation
- Use a service like Evite or Paperless Post
- Reach out by phone or invite guests in person
- Find the stamps and put a good old-fashioned invitation in the mail, or
- Invite people via social media. #welcometothetableny
We encourage you to include a link to your fundraiser in the invitation. People may want to donate, even if they cannot attend.
Step 6: Plan Your Party!
Regardless of whether you’re hosting a formal dinner, open house or dance party, here are some suggestions:
- Share foods from your family’s country or region of origin, or from your favorite cuisine.
- If you don’t want to cook, order from an immigrant-owned restaurant. Or, consider catering from:
- Eat Offbeat, https://eatoffbeat.com/, a catering company that delivers authentic and delicious ethnic meals that are conceived, prepared, and delivered by refugees living in New York City.
- Émigré Gourmet, https://emigregourmet.weebly.com/, an immigrant-run worker cooperative affiliated with our partner, Center for Family Life.
- Emma’s Torch, https://emmastorch.org/ a non-profit social enterprise that provides top-notch culinary training to refugees and helps them find meaningful careers in the food industry.
- Or, consider American “classics” such as hot dogs and hamburgers, mac and cheese, and apple pie.
- Whatever you decide, plan ahead! Make your menu, shop and think about setup ahead of time. Choose dishes that can be prepared ahead of time so that you can enjoy the company.
- Pick music to match the mood of your party and the immigration theme.
- Ask guests to bring their favorites, whether it’s world music or the American Songbook.
- Kids coming? Sing along to children’s music from around the world, or patriotic standards like “This Land is Your Land.”
- Can YOU pass the U.S. Citizenship Test? Hand out copies to guests, or use the questions in a trivia contest.
- Ask guests to share the stories of when their families migrated or moved.
- Post questions on posterboard and hang them on the wall. Leave a marker or pen and sticky notes so your guests can share their answers.
- “The People’s Citizenship Test”: What is one thing you think every U.S. citizen should know?
- What is your American Dream?
For additional ideas or questions, email email@example.com.
Step 7: Have Fun!
Welcome guests, serve food and drink, enjoy music and party activities.
During the party, announce how much money you have raised so far. Don’t be shy: Ask if people want to make additional contributions.
Encourage your guests to host their own Welcome to the Table parties. Hand out flyers to your guests.
Take pictures and post to social media. #welcometothetableny
Step 8: After the Party
- Please email us to let us know how your party went! Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us know how much you raised and how much fun you had. Give us tips and suggestions to share with future guests. And don’t forget to send us photos.
- Email or call your guests to thank them for coming and encourage them to host their own Welcome to the Table parties.
- Post about your party on social media. Encourage others to host and make donations. #welcometothetableny
Sample Email Invitation
Subject Line: Welcome to the Table – An Invitation
Welcome to the Table!
Please join me for a very special dinner party.
I am hosting this party to raise funds to help our immigrant neighbors cover the costs of immigration-related application fees.
Did you know? It costs:
- $495 every two years for immigrant youth to maintain temporary work authorizations and educational opportunities through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
- $495 every year to renew a temporary work authorization.
- $725 for legal permanent residents to apply for U.S. citizenship.
- $1,225 to apply for a green card and obtain legal permanent residence.
I am hoping to raise enough money to ________________. If everyone who comes to the party donates $50, we can do this! If we all donate a bit more, we may be able to subsidize a green card application. You can learn more about the amazing organizations that we’re working with here:
- Atlas: DIY: http://www.atlasdiy.org/
- Center for Family Life: http://sco.org/programs/center-for-family-life/
Please RSVP for the party at email@example.com so I know whether to set a place at the table for you. And click on my fundraising link to make a donation.
Sample Guest Thank You
Thank you for coming to my house on Sunday for my Welcome to the Table party. I had a great time, and I hope you did, too!
I am so happy to report that we raised $_____. This is enough to (choose one):
- $495 help an immigrant youth maintain temporary work authorizations and educational opportunities through Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) for two years.
- $495 allow an immigrant to renew a temporary work authorization for one year.
- $1225 help an immigrant apply for a green card and obtain legal permanent residence.
- $725 enable a legal permanent resident to apply for U.S. citizenship.
Thank you so much for making this possible. And please consider hosting your own party. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and the Welcome to the Table team will send you a toolkit with everything you need.