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In my mind this started out as a story about celebrating a birthday over the Internet. I wanted to let people know how much I enjoyed over 100 birthday wishes, the pictures of the cakes, flowers and videos. While I was thinking about the story, it reminded me of a “stay at home tea.” I remember that years ago,  my mother received an invitation to a “stay at home tea.”  In the envelope that came by mail there was a tea bag and a letter with a request for her to donate to an organization. I have always thought that it was a clever and funny idea,  and I think more groups should try it.

That was a light bulb moment or in the words of Oprah, an “ah-ha moment.”   I think the “stay at home tea” was the early version of crowdfunding.  Here is what is recommended for a “stay at home tea.”   Write a letter describing your organization–its goals and what the money raised will be used for. Include a statement acknowledging how busy everyone is and that this “nonevent” can be held at the recipient’s convenience. Invite them to sit down, put their feet up, enjoy the tea and relax. Suggest they donate what they would have spent on a typical fundraiser, but also include a suggested donation amount.

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