Fundraising Creatively With Wine
Looking for a twist on your guild’s previous events? Consider the ideas we’ve “heard through the grapevine” about how including wine can help you increase your fundraising profits and add new energy to a luncheon, dinner, auction or party.
Wrap a variety of wines in colorful paper and host a mystery wine pull. Guests pay a set fee for each bottle. Get creative and add a theme such as “Spicy Reds” or “Summer Whites.”
Note: The set fee must be equal to or above the manufacturer’s cost (what it cost the manufacturer to produce the wine, not the retail purchase price), for the most expensive bottle.
Set out a variety of wines on a low table or the floor and invite guests to purchase rings to toss onto the wine bottles. When a ring lands around a bottle neck, the guest wins the wine.
As in a wine pull, the fee for one ring must be equal to or above the manufacturer’s cost for the most expensive bottle.
Wine as a Silent Auction Item
Wine catches the eye in a silent auction. Pair a restaurant gift certificate or a box of chocolates with a bottle of wine to encourage additional bidding.
Drinks for the Table
Kick off your live auction by offering guests the opportunity to bid on drinks for their table. A wine flight or a platter of cocktails can be a popular auction item.
“We sold two platters of cocktails as the first two items in our live auction,” says We Believe Guild member Darcy Hollie. “We themed the cocktails to match our event and added special glasses and stir sticks. We were blown away by how much money the platters raised. It was a fantastic way to get the party going with minimal effort and cost.”
“Instant Wine Cellar” Auction Item
Ask each of your guild members to bring a bottle of wine to a guild meeting and then combine the bottles as an “instant wine cellar” for your live or silent auction. Use your imagination and choose a fun way to display the wine. For example, you could sell a “Wheelbarrow of Wine” in your live auction and have guild members sign the bottles they contribute.
Personalize, Personalize, Personalize
Guests often attend guild events because of their personal connections with guild members. Personalize your wine packages with guild members’ tasting notes, or include pairing notes and recipes. A bottle of wine and movie tickets may sell better if the package is themed as a specific guild member’s “favorite Friday night date.”
Use bottles of wine, port or Champagne as table centerpieces and invite guests to bid on the bottles.
Note: When guests purchase a sealed bottle of alcohol, as in any of these examples, it is considered a “to-go” item and may not be consumed on the premises.
Reminder: Special Occasion License
If you serve or sell alcohol at your event, you will need to obtain a Special Occasion License from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board. File the license application at least 45 days prior to your event; the fee is $64. Learn how to apply for a license (or a Banquet Permit, when applicable).