Need a theme for a nonprofit fundraising dinner
May 9, 2019 3:06 PM   Subscribe

The 16th annual soup bowl fundraiser for my .org, an advocacy center for survivors of domestic & sexual violence, is coming up in mid June. We need a theme.

The theme should be short, catchy and reference, somehow, things like harbors, hope, survivors, shelters. Last year's theme was In Our Element and I have no idea why (staff turnover, don't ask.) The year before was Cultivating Hope, which is slightly better. Anyway, I need this yesterday (I was just going to gently skip the theme thing but that did not work out) so that I can put it in a nice font and splatter it all over the promotional materials.

We partner with a local potter and his students for this dinner. They make about 150 bowls and donate them to us; ticket holders to the event get to pick a souvenir bowl which they then fill with their choice of soup from one of many donated by local restaurants. We'll also have bread & salad & dessert & a silent auction & a raffle & a paddle raise money bid thing & sell beer & wine & a signature cocktail which I haven't invented yet. You know, a big fundraising dinner. This is my first year doing it.

This is our website which will give you an idea of what we do. We do great, wonderful and important work, by the way, work which we all wish was not necessary but, unfortunately, is. I am the volunteer and event coordinator and also, in the way of small nonprofits, the development person, graphic designer and general all around office person. I'm usually okay at this sort of thing but I somehow am blanking on any possible theme right now. Help, oh you clever with slogans Mefites, please, help!
posted by mygothlaundry to Grab Bag (14 answers total)
For shelters and soup: All In This Together
posted by Mchelly at 3:26 PM on May 9, 2019

First off, I'm with you re: "I was just going to gently skip the theme thing" - the ones they've picked in the past sound a bit like arbitrary fluff to me. At my nonprofit's annual benefit we don't ever have a "theme," we just highlight our biggest victory from the past year. So, start there: what were your biggest wins or coolest new programs over the past year? Think about those and riff off of them. For example, your blog post about these health cards has "home is where health begins" in the title - something like that could work.
posted by showbiz_liz at 3:26 PM on May 9, 2019 [3 favorites]

You could also pick a poem or other written work that vibes thematically with the work you do, and just shamelessly steal lines from it. For example, take Invictus - you could use Unconquerable Souls or Heads Unbowed or Masters (or Mistresses) Of Our Fate. I'm not saying these particular themes are especially great ones, but you get the idea.
posted by showbiz_liz at 3:30 PM on May 9, 2019

If you’re in a position to do it, why not come up with something to brand the *event*, so you don’t have to come up with a new theme every year. You can make the argument that this will help build awareness around your event, plus it’ll allow repurposing of some materials (or at the very least, reduce brainpower needed to come up with a new theme every year). Our local nonprofit has a similar fundraiser, and it’s tagline is “buy a bowl, feed a child”

For you, maybe
Bowls of Hope
Bowls for Hope
Feed the Soul with a Bowl
Bowl-ing for Hope
Soup for Hope
Soup and Shelter
Full Bowls, Safe Harbor
Fill My Bowl
posted by msbubbaclees at 3:52 PM on May 9, 2019 [7 favorites]

I agree that a repeated theme would help with both name recognition and attendance.

"Full Potential" would be a nice name referencing both the bowl and the women you are serving.
posted by donnagirl at 4:02 PM on May 9, 2019

Something involving spring or new growth—a fresh start, open windows, renewal, etc.
posted by sallybrown at 4:19 PM on May 9, 2019

Harboring Hope
Preparing to Launch
Brimming with Hope
Fill a Bowl, Feed a Soul
Sheltering Harbor
Shelter in a Storm

Your signature cocktail could be the Harbor Light(s) or the Safe Harbor.
posted by Iris Gambol at 4:20 PM on May 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

Soup and support
Soup and souvenir
Souped-up xxxx
Souped-er xxxx
Slurp and support

In terms of theming

Keep the light on
There is a light
Where there’s light
Give a little light
Light at the end of the tunnel
This little light of mine

Stormy seas
Calm waters
Plain sailing
Safe harbour
Anchors away
To the lighthouse
Row your own boat
Welcome aboard
posted by Middlemarch at 4:24 PM on May 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

One full bowl at a time.
posted by jamjam at 4:43 PM on May 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

Supporting Survivors: One Bowl At A Time
posted by Little Dawn at 5:23 PM on May 9, 2019

Souper Bowl XVI

Hope Chowder

Stone Soup
posted by KMoney at 6:11 PM on May 9, 2019 [2 favorites]

The Harbor Souper
The Harbor's Super Souper
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:44 PM on May 9, 2019

Blue Skies Ahead
posted by Thella at 9:01 PM on May 9, 2019

I have several bowls in my kitchen cupboard (and one filled with paper clips on my desk at work) from events such as yours. I want to nth the idea of branding the marketing around this event. I attend our local soup/bowl fundraising event nearly every year because I know what it is and where it's held. I aslo care about the mission,

One idea:
- Full bowls, full hearts
posted by WaspEnterprises at 10:47 PM on May 9, 2019

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