My first year, I held my Girls’ Night In at home in my garage. I supplied all the food and drinks and all I asked from the people I invited was “can you please give me a small donation to pass on to the Cancer Council” and that’s how we started the first year in 2007. And I think I raised about $500 in that first year - which I was so excited about!
We have now grown bigger and bigger each year. I now have a small group of girlfriends who help to organise our annual Girls’ Night In event. Last year we held it at The Luxor Function Centre in Taylors Lakes. Our Girls’ Night In was a ticketed event where 500 guests attended on the night. We had a DJ, a packed dance floor, a 3 course meal, sold-out raffle tickets and entertainment provided by a local dance troupe. Raffle prizes were given away on the night and we raised over $28,000. Everybody enjoyed themselves and it was a very successful event.
My inspiration is my mum. In 2007, we held our first Girls’ Night In and at the end mum said to me “next year, we’ll do it again”. As mum got sick towards the end of her journey, she said to me “don’t forget to do the Girls’ Night In!” I said “Yeah mum, I’m gonna do it, don’t worry” I’ve stuck to my word and I’ve been doing it since then.
Girls’ Night In is a fun and easy way to raise money and catch up with your girlfriends. It’s so easy to do and everyone knows someone who is touched by cancer.
Joan’s top tips
1. Get as many donated prizes as you can to go towards the raffle competitions and be creative.
2. To plan a successful fundraiser, make sure everyone puts in and take on a role each. Meet and plan together for ideas for the event and delegate tasks for each person to take on. Plan prizes and donation requests from businesses. Put your heart into it. Once you start, it’s easy. For donations, just ask. If you get knocked back, just ask somewhere else. You don’t need to go as big as our Girls' Night In. You can start off small and it can grow from there. Anything you can do will help Cancer Council.