Parties with a Purpose

Want to provide more meaning for your birthday party, anniversary party holiday party, or office party? Here are a few ideas to help you whether the guests are friends and family, including those from your church, club or civic group, or if you are planning a workplace celebration.

A Party for Your Friends and Family

Bowling Outing

Invite friends, family, and co-workers for a night of bowling, fun, and food. Guests make a pledge for every pin knocked down for any number of bowlers. For example, one family might pledge $1 per pin knocked down for the top 5 scorers for the night, or an individual can pledge $2 for every pin knocked down by a specific person. All pledges are collected at the end of the evening and donated to GHNI.

Charity Auction

Host a live auction for your friends and family, with money raised going to GHNI. Use the attendee's hobbies and skills to maximum advantage by each guest auctioning off unique experiences or skill sets.

50 Innings of Softball

Split guests into two teams. Guests obtain pledges for 50 innings of softball – e.g. 10 cents per inning will equal $ 5.00 per pledge. Award a special prize to the team with the most pledges. Donate the sum of both teams’ pledges to GHNI.

Then, have a fun-filled afternoon playing 50 innings of softball. Maximum three pitches per batter, two outs per inning, etc. Be creative by making up your own rules! Create prizes for things like most money raised, best and worst at bat, etc.


Have food donated from restaurants or go potluck. Charge $5 -$10 per person, all proceeds going to GHNI.

Fall Themed Events

Have a Halloween party and have guests pay a fee to enter a costume contest and/or a pumpkin carving contest. Sell pumpkins. Hold a Thanksgiving turkey raffle.

Chili cook-off contest

First, contestants pay a small fee to enter a cook-off contest with a chance to win a prize. Plan the judging right before the meal is served. Then, charge guests a set amount for a bowl of chili.

Baby Photo Contest

Collect baby photos of all the guests. Display the photos on a board with a number next to each. Participants purchase a list with the numbers in one column and the names of the guests pictured (out of order) in the other column (To make it harder, especially for smaller parties, don't list the names). Whoever gets the maximum correct guesses wins the prize.


A Party for Your Workplace

Office Mini-Golf Course

Each department or team designs their own mini-golf hole, using your place of work as their inspiration. Those employing designing the hole can build ramps, add water features and otherwise have fun designing a quirky hole that will appeal to golfers and non-golfers alike either through the building, in the parking lot outside the building, or otherwise designated area. During lunch or at a specified time, staff will be invited to pay a "green fee" and golf the entire course. The winner receives a trophy and everyone else will have enjoyed trying their skill, with all the "green fees" donated to GHNI.

Penny Wars

Each team or department is given a large container (i.e. a four-gallon water bottle) with a challenge to collect as many pennies as possible. The twist is that while every penny counts for one point, silver change is actually deducted from their score. Opposing team members use strategy to add nickels, dimes and quarters to reduce an opposing team's points. The team with the highest amount of points at the end wins a prize and GHNI receives the money collected.

Dress-down day

Get permission from Human resources to have a dress-down day at the office, then charge faculty and administrators who want to participate.

Jail the Boss

Place a member of management “under arrest." Charge employees $1 to $5 a minute to keep him or her in “jail.”

Office Barbeque

Employees purchase tickets for a barbeque lunch. Provide grill, hamburgers, hot dogs, buns and individual bags of chips and have employees bring side dishes or ask a grocery store or restaurant to donate food. To make things easy, pre-sell tickets to know exactly how many people to prepare for.

Closet Clean-Up

Give employees the opportunity to buy those excess company-branded coffee mugs, t-shirts, lap top computer bags, etc., and donate the proceeds to GHNI.

Best or Worst Tie

Charge your colleagues a fee to enter best or worst tie competition. Offer a decent prize and have the entire office vote at lunchtime. For an extra bit of fun, have a little fashion show.

Don't restrict this competition to the boys, ladies can participate as well!