Model for a MMAD ("Music Making a Difference") House Concert

 Host: Anyone passionate about a non-profit they wish to support in a fun, engaging, and sociable way.

What is a MMAD House Concert? - A small gathering (i.e. 5-25)  in one's home to benefit a favorite non-profit through a unique and intimate afternoon or evening of entertainment and socializing.    

What is involved? -Simply inviting friends, family, associates, and acquaintances to your home to 1) learn about a worthy cause (usually the host's favorite non-profit); 2) enjoy a brief and entertaining concert; and 3) meet and mix with other like-minded folks.

How much space do I need? - Only a modest sized room (i.e. 12' x 20' or larger) is needed for a typical house concert.  A relatively small room can be temporarily rearranged to accommodate a number of attendees using chairs arranged in theatre style.   

How many should I invite? - This is in part determined by your space.  However many you hope to have in attendance for the event, you will want to invite about four times that number.  For instance, if you would like 15 people to attend, invite 60 folks or more.  This is necessary because many people cannot attend at a given time even though they may wish to.  The non-profit you are supporting may invite their email contact list.  

How should I invite them ? - Email invitations are most common.   You may wish to also follow up with a phone call, especially to those you would most like to attend (i.e. those you believe may be able and willing to donate generously).  A direct, personal invitation can be especially effective in today’s digital world.  Always ask for an RSVP so you can plan on appropriate seating and refreshments (if you choose to provide them). The web based free service at www.evite.com is a very efficient and simple way to provide invitations.

Is there a cover charge? - Experience suggests it is best to not have a coverage charge because more folks seem willing to attend when there is no cost or obligation.  The invitation should state that, though there is no charge for the event, it is intended as a fund raiser for _______ non-profit and a donation at any level is welcome.  Upon learning of the non-profit and enjoying the gathering, many attendees will typically be inspired and motivated to donate at a level that is comfortable for them...often more than what a modest cover charge would have been.  There should never be any pressure to donate and privacy should be maintained around any giving.     

How long should the event be and what is the agenda? - Usually 2 - 3 hours at the most. Here is a sample flow:

 First 30 minutes: Allow folks to gather, mingle, and enjoy snacks (if provided)

  • Next 5-10 minutes: A brief description of the work of the non-profit
  • Next 45 - 60 minutes: a fun and engaging musical concert
  • Next 5-10 minutes - recap of the work of the non-profit and gentle encouragement to consider donating to the cause.   Usually there is a receptacle (box, basket, etc.) into which they can voluntarily and discreetly put cash or checks.  The non-profit can normally provide envelopes which include spaces from name and address for following up with a receipt for tax deduction purposes in the event cash is contributed                                                               
  • The remainder of the time guests may mingle and enjoy more snacks before departing.

What about food or refreshments? - This is entirely up to each individual host as to 1) whether you wish to serve food and/or drink; and 2) if so, what type.  Usually it is good to at least offer beverages.  Examples of light snacks that are simple and inexpensive are cookies, nuts, cheese, hummus, and crackers.  Wine can also be attractive and relatively inexpensive with the quality box wines now available.

 In summary a MMAD House Concert is a gathering of folks to learn about and support a worthy cause while enjoying  quality entertainment and pleasant socializing with like minded others in a comfortable and intimate setting.