House Party Toolkit

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This training walks you through how to maximize your impact by bringing your friends, family, neighborhood, or coworkers together to eat, drink, learn about CCL and take action. You might include a CCL fundraiser in your event too!
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What is a house party? 

House parties are a quick and easy way to raise awareness and/or money for Citizens’ Climate Lobby/Citizens’ Climate Education (CCL/CCE). It doesn’t even have to be in your house to be a house party. Have brunch at your favorite restaurant, a picnic at a park, or coffee at your neighborhood café. Invite folks to attend, tell them about why you care about the work CCL/CCE is doing in the community, have your CCL/CCE chapter leader come and speak with your guests and answer any questions, and leave them with an easy way to donate or get involved. 

Whatever type of gathering you choose to host, make it unique to you and your guests. You know them better than anyone else, so shape your party to what will best resonate with them.

Where do I start?

This Toolkit Includes:
  • FAQ to guide you in your party planning
  • Party Checklist that covers everything you’ll need to host a great event
  • Sample party agenda, though this is completely customizable to your event
  • Sign in sheets so we can reach out to guests who want to know more
  • Sample email invite for you to personalize
  • Canva graphics you can use with invitations and on social media.
  • Sample thank you email with handy links for your guests to stay involved

Q: What kind of party should I host?

A: That’s totally up to you! You know what would be most fun for your friends. Are they more sit down dinner folks or more for backyard barbeque? Tea party, park playdate, or even a game night. Some people like to host house parties as part of another celebration such as a birthday or anniversary. It doesn’t have to be fancy – light refreshments are great, the less work you take on as a party planner, the more you can focus on the mission of your event.

Q: What’s the best way to promote my event?

A:  Invite people as you would to any party you might host: call them, send an email, send a text. If you choose to send your invite through an online platform there will likely be some built-in features that make it easy to remind and communicate with your guests. Take advantage of social media to spread the word, and ask each guest to bring a friend or two along. Expand your list even further by co-hosting with a friend or colleague – bonus points if you don’t have overlapping social circles.

Q: If I include a fundraiser in my party, how should my guests and I make our donations?

A: Great question. We’ve made it simple for you to collect donations from your guests using one (or more) of these options:

  1. Ask your guests to donate online at They can donate before or after the event, or even during the party on their phone. Guests you invited that cannot make it to the party can make a donation online as well.
  2. Collect cash donations during your event and then make an equivalent donation online after the event. With this option, your guests will not receive individual donation receipts.
  3. For folks who bring their checkbooks, have them write the check to “Citizens’ Climate Education” or “Citizens Climate Lobby.”  You can collect the checks and mail them all to: Citizens’ Climate Lobby, 1330 Orange Ave, Suite #309, Coronado, CA 92118.

Q: Who should speak at my event?

A:  If you or someone in your chapter attended the June Conference and Lobby Day, you might invite them to speak so they can highlight their experience. You could invite your chapter leader to speak. If you have a breakthrough or anecdotal story about your involvement with CCL, you could also speak.

Q: What else might I include at my event?

A: You could show one of CCL’s videos. We have a library of CCL videos to choose from! You could set up your chapter’s tabling materials including our Who We Are handout. 

Q: If I include a fundraiser and my guests donate, will they get tax receipts for their donations?

A: We always send an acknowledgement to individuals who donate. Those donating to Citizens’ Climate Education will also receive a tax receipt. If your guest does not make a gift, they won’t receive a tax receipt or acknowledgement.

Start to Finish Checklist

6 to 8 weeks out 
Decide on your location, date and time. If you can’t have the party at your home, consider local businesses or community centers that might be willing to host.

If you include a fundraiser, set a fundraising goal. People will be more motivated to donate during your party if the finish line is in sight and they can help you cross it. CCL/CCE staff can help you set a goal.

Create your invite list – not everyone will be able to make it so don’t be afraid to invite over your preferred number of guests. Send your invites out. Email, Facebook, Evite, or old fashioned mailed invites all work great. Go with what’s easiest for you and your guests. 

3 weeks out 
Plan your menu and create your shopping list. You are welcome to hire caterers if you prefer but a super basic set up with fruit, cheese and crackers works just as well. Or make it a potluck. Follow up with anyone who hasn’t responded yet. A quick phone call or text to check in is a nice touch. 

1 week out 
Do the shopping for any food, drinks, serving wear, and décor you may need. Send an update to your confirmed guests on where to park, and how to find you if you are meeting up at a park or restaurant. 

If you include a fundraiser, set yourself up for success

Ask one of your close friends to help you during the fundraising pitch at the house party. When you invite people to donate, the one friend/family member will respond enthusiastically to you. “May I write you a check right now?” or “Can read that link to the donation page out loud again. I am going to donate right now!” In essence, their job is to make sure others know that you are actually asking people to donate at the party, not later when they get home (and might forget or feel less inspired.) This technique helps others feel comfortable with donating at the party and will help you achieve or exceed your fundraising goal!

The big day 
Prepare your space, food, and drinks, don’t forget to make space for people to mingle and sit. Greet your guests with a smile, and have fun! Help us collect your guests’ information. Ask them to put their name, address, and email on the sign in sheet. This will allow them to receive email updates to stay connected with CCL’s work. Guests can write checks, give cash, or make a donation online. For online donations (credit card, Bank Transfers, Venmo, PayPal or Google Pay), you can direct them to our website

Post Party 

Send a personalized thank you to your guests.

Sample Party Agenda

6:00-6:30 pm

Greet your guests and ask them to sign. Give your guests time to socialize over drinks. 

6:30-6:40 pm 

Briefly welcome your guests and remind them that the evening’s event is a fundraiser. Let them know you’ll be sharing more in a bit, and encourage them to get to know one another and have fun! 

6:40-7:15 pm 

More mingling, plus food or passed appetizers. Now’s the time for a quick icebreaker, introductions, or game if that’s your style. 

7:15-7:45 pm 

Grab your guests’ attention and share with them your reason for hosting an event to raise money/awareness. A personal story about your connection to the cause, focusing on one or two of the issues most important to you, is a really effective way to get started. 

Finally, ask your guests to donate. Pass out donation forms and pens. Make sure they know it’s not required but that it’s very much appreciated. 

This is the point at which your friend (whom you contacted during the week prior to the party) makes a big deal about donating at the party, thus helping your other guests understand that now is the time to write a check or pop onto the donation page on our website. This technique helps others feel comfortable with donating at the party and will help you achieve or exceed your fundraising goal!

7:40 pm and on

Have a great time bonding over your shared passion for ending climate change and discussing next steps.

Sign in sheets

Sign in sheets so you can reach out afterward to guests who want to know more

Communication Templates and graphics

Email Invitation Template

Tweak this template to include a few specific details about your party, such as whether guests should expect a meal or just a snack, and include a note about attire if you’d like.

New Message
Subject: You’re invited! House Party in Support of Citizens’ Climate Lobby

Dear (Name),

Please join me for a special gathering at my home to raise money for one of the most effective climate organizations on the planet, Citizens’ Climate Lobby. CCL has been building support in Congress for climate solutions since 2007. Since then, their movement of volunteer lobbyists has grown from one small chapter, to 420 chapters across the United States with over 200,000 members! They are widely recognized in Congress for their efforts, and I believe they are one of our best hopes for solving climate change. 

(feel free to add in a personal note or change this copy in any fashion.)

Location: (Your address and directions if you think guests need them)

Refreshments will be served. Dress is casual!

You can donate now at, or at the party via check, cash, or online donation. 

Kindly RSVP by (Month, day). If you’re unable to make it but would like to show your support, online donations are gratefully accepted. 

Hope to see you there!

(Your name)

Email Thank You Template

Send this email after your event to everyone who donated. If you are sending checks to CCL/CCE, we will also thank them. If they donated via our website, we will thank them. If you are sending cash that you collected at the party and you wish us to thank them individually, please share their contact information and the amount they donated.

New Message
(feel free to add in a personal note or change this copy in any fashion.)

Subject: Thanks for supporting Citizens’ Climate Lobby

Dear (Name),

Thank you for attending my house party in support of Citizens’ Climate Lobby/Citizens’ Climate Education. Your presence meant a great deal to me, and to CCL. Thanks to your generous support, we were able to raise a total of $__________!

A few have asked me how to stay involved, so here are a few suggestions:

  • Follow Citizens’ Climate Lobby on social media so that you can see what’s coming next and share with your friends. 
  • Sign up for text alerts to receive suggested actions to support our policy agenda. For example, call, write or tweet your members of Congress. 
  • Join our chapter in (name of city) and help our members of Congress lead on climate solutions. Let me know so I can invite you to our next meeting.

Thanks again for helping to build the political will for a livable world.

With gratitude,
(Your name)

Social media post (FB, Instagram) 
(feel free to add in a personal note or change this copy in any fashion.)

Hey friends! I’m hosting a small get together at my home in support of Citizens’ Climate Lobby, and I’d love to see you there. 

Location: (Your address and directions if you think guests need them)
(You can insert an eventbrite link if you have it. This will allow you to track how many people plan on coming)

As you may know, I believe addressing climate change to be one of the most pressing issues facing us today. Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) is one of the most effective climate organizations on the planet at advocating for nationwide laws that move the world to clean energy. Their approach is unique. They turn everyday citizens into professionally trained volunteer lobbyists who lobby Congress for climate action across the nation. 

They are grassroots funded, meaning that most of their donations come from everyday folks like you and me. If you want to address climate change, these folks are among the best nonprofits that you could support. 

If you’d like to help, you can donate at the link below, or come to the house party! I’d love to have you. :)

(Insert link)

Short version of social media post

Hey friends! I’m hosting a small get together at my home in support of Citizens’ Climate Lobby.

Location: (Your address and directions if you think guests need them)
(You can insert an eventbrite link if you have it. This will allow you to track how many people plan on coming)

If you believe as I do that climate change is urgent, Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) is one of the best nonprofits you can donate to. 

You can make a tax deductible donation at the link below, or come to the house party! I’d love to catch up and have some refreshments together. :)

(Insert link)

House Party Fundraiser Graphics

Below are fundraiser graphics you can use when you are promoting a summer house party on various social media platforms and email.  There are example email templates on this CCL Community House Party Toolkit training page.  

    Canva Templates

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Go Deeper
Read about earlier house parties like the Climate Salon approach in New York in this CCL Blog article.
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