On the 27th and 28th of July, Silvia Hodel and a friend ran a comedy weekend in Marlborough that raised nearly $13,0000 for MND New Zealand and the Graeme Dingle Foundation. Silvia explains how they did it.

My sister had been running comedy fundraisers for years, and they were always such a fun night with so many laughs – everyone always left happy. To me, a comedy night seemed fitting for a MND fundraiser. My sister was diagnosed with MND in 2016, aged just 40. MND is so horrible, debilitating and so very sad, I felt a comedy night was a good idea for lifting spirits and bringing some joy.

I used the comedian contacts that my sister had, and I am happy to pass these on to anyone who would like to organise a comedy night (email admin@mnda.org.nz). I sorted a venue – or in this case, two venues – and set to work sourcing auction items and raffle items. I used the contacts I already had, and then I called and emailed other businesses asking for a donation and telling them what the money raised would be used for.

A few months out, it was time to release ticket sales. We did this through Eventbrite (www.eventbrite.co.nz). Then it was all about advertising the event through a Facebook page, posters, an interview with the local newspaper, and emailing everyone and every local business we could. We also did a ticket giveaway on The Hits radio station to the person who told the best joke.

After the event, we made sure we let everyone know how much was raised. Then we sent thank you cards to everyone who helped and the people who donated prizes, with a small message to let them know how thankful we were.


Silvia’s top tips:


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