This year we had a NYE Tasting Dinner at our house to raise money for a school that I volunteer with. I read about this idea last year in a magazine and have always wanted to have a fundraising dinner during the holidays. It's a great way to bring people together, and if you love cooking like I do, it's a great excuse to make some amazing courses.

1. You'll need to decide on your menu and make sure you can easily locate all the ingredients. It's nice to have it posted somewhere before so people can see what they will be served and that their donation is worth it. We chose to do a wine pairing and this website was helpful

2. Decide which charity or non-profit you'll be donating the money to.  It helps to do a good amount of research if you don't already have a cause in mind. A good website is

3. Think of a creative way to sell tickets to your friends, or set up a donation jar in your home.  We chose the latter and I would say that if you are interested in covering your costs as well as having money for a donation to a charity, then sell tickets at double the cost of the party.

4. Evite is a great way to manage the event and who is coming. Also, you can share information about the organization the party benefits.

5. On the day of or the day before, make sure you have a few helpers. Perhaps, hiring a few trained staff or having a couple of dedicated friends will make the food prep, serving, and execution go more smoothly. Making a few things the day before was very helpful.

6. Make sure to enjoy yourself and thank everyone for their donation to the cause.

A few photos of pre-party set up at our house:

Happy New Year Everyone! May your 2013 be filled with adventure and joy!