Event Planning 101

While it would be impractical to list all the advice I have about event planning, I thought it might be helpful to some to share one piece of wisdom that keeps going through my head as I prepare for Thursday's educational event: "Think Global, Drink Local."  If I've learned one thing about event planning over the years it's:

In other words, don't put anything off until the last minute. 

For example, a very important thing a lot of people forget is thank you cards to send out after the event.  The day after the event, you're going to have a lot of thank you cards to write.  That's why I like to prepare them in advance by making sure I have them, writing return addresses, making a list of who to send them to, and writing some basic verbiage that can be changed for each note.  This will save me a lot of time (and stress) the day after when I want to get the thank you cards out within 24 hours of the event.

One note: thank you cards really mean a lot to people but isn't using paper not very environmentally friendly?  Buy post-consumer recycled cards!  If you don't have an address for someone and need to send a thank you by email, I suggest using http://www.care2.com/ecards/.  They give a donation to save the rainforest for each card you send!

preparing for the event

Currently we have 23 confirmed guests for "Think Global, Drink Local."  We also have over 30 maybes, including an elected official !?!  We only have room for 50 people so get your RSVP confirmed as quickly as possible.  The event is only 10 days away.

To view the event flyer: http://www.overflowcoffeebar.org/OctoberEventFlyer.pdf

To view the event on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/event.php?eid=149855851497&index=1.

Think Global, Drink Local: Direct Trade Coffee and Changing the World

After oil, coffee is the second most widely traded product in the world. Its impact on human cultures and the natural environment extends literally around the world. It takes hundreds of people to get each coffee bean from plant to cup. Every cup of coffee we buy and drink connects us with a web of hidden stories.

The leading producers of coffee are developing countries in Latin American, Africa and Asia. A major source of income, coffee is critical to their economies. Yet, less than 15% of the revenues end up in their hands. This is roughly 3 cents for your average $3 latte or americano. The United States consumes over 18 million 60 kg bags of coffee per year. We have the potential to change the circumstances for developing counties – getting more revenue directly into the hands of the communities that grow and harvest the coffee beans. Our choices as consumers make a real difference in their lives.

Want to learn more? Overflow Coffee Bar is sponsoring an educational event on October 29, 2009 from 7:00pm to 8:00 at (locally owned) South Loop Wine Cellar. Tim Taylor, a Chicago-based coffee buyer and roaster will share from his personal experience in the direct trade coffee movement. Amanda Neely, Executive Director of Overflow Coffee Bar will share about a new non-profit coffee shop opening in the South Loop.

For more information about the event, download the flyer at: http://www.overflowcoffeebar.org/OctoberEventFlyer.pdf.

To RSVP email info@overflowcoffeebar.org or call 773-919-6960.

Overflow Coffee Connections, October 2009

Here's issue 3 of our monthly e-newsletters. Feel free to download, digest and distribute.

Download or click the image below to view online.

stepping into a new season

Yesterday was the last day of my internship at The Common Cup... Today is the first day of this next stage of the journey.  I'm calling these next three months the "Kickin' it into High Gear Months."  Here's a snap shot of some of the things I'll be doing:

Grant Writing - Starts with research, research and more research.  Then I move on to intoductory letters, phone calls, emails.  After a "cultivation" period, I'll get to start writing grant applications for the "Set Up Shop" Campaign.

Projects - Our first educational event will be coming up on October 29.  We'd love to have another by the end of December.  There are other projects to work on too: blog posts, e-newsletters, board meetings, etc.

Individual Fundraising - We still have a goal to reach for individual contributions.  I'll be doing some more asking people to give.

Business Plan - There are still some holes to fill in our business plan because I need to research and read more in order to plan well. 

Networking - I'm looking to get involved in some of the non-profit activities going on in my neighborhood.  I want to know better what's going on.  We're also networking with individuals who we think might be interested in getting involved in what we're doing.

I'm sure there's more that will be coming up but those are my marching orders for now.  Changing the world takes work - hard work - but it'll be worth it to see the lives changed in the process.
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