How to Estimate a Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser

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Pasta is cheaper than meat but fills people up just the same.

Throwing a fundraising event is a great way to help those in need and bring your community together. Spaghetti dinner fundraisers are and always have been popular because the supplies are relatively cheap and the menu is easy to plan. However, you still want to maximize your profits so you can meet your fundraising goal. To ensure that your spaghetti dinner is a success, take some time to estimate the costs involved before dashing out to purchase food.

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Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser Goal

Set a fundraising goal. Whether the event is for charity or to raise money for new team uniforms, you need to have an idea of your fundraising objective. Set a realistic, achievable goal. Make sure that the goal is flexible because you might have to amend the number once you figure out how much supplies cost for a spaghetti dinner fundraiser.

Where to Host Your Spaghetti Dinner

Select a venue. To maximize profits, try to pick a place that is free of charge. Check with your local church or school to see if you can use a spare room or cafeteria. If it's a small fundraiser, you can possibly use someone's house. For venues that charge, ask when payment is due. If you have to put down a nonrefundable deposit to secure the space, you must be comfortable taking a financial risk in the event you do not sell enough tickets.

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Determine the Number of Guests

Estimate attendance for your Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser. Once your venue is chosen, you will have a clearer picture of how many tickets you can sell. Figure out how many people can comfortably sit and eat in the space. Do not plan on overbooking to make extra money.

Guesstimate the Costs of Your Supplies

Price the supplies you think you will need. For the menu, plan on serving a simple salad, garlic bread and spaghetti with or without meat. For the pasta, plan on the typical serving of 4 oz. per person, or 1 lb. per four people. One jar of sauce is generally needed for every pound of pasta. Plan on 1 cup of salad and two slices of bread per person.

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For drinks, you can serve water, iced tea or soda. To be safe, plan on everyone drinking at least two servings, or roughly 16 ounces each.

Pricing the Meals

Calculate your expenses for the event. Once you have priced how much it will cost to feed your estimated number of guests, add any applicable venue fees and taxes, if applicable. Add this total cost to your fundraising goal and then divide by the number of guests you're expecting. This will be your ticket price. If the ticket price seems unreasonably high, then you can buy cheaper brands of food, drop the meat from the recipe, select a less expensive venue or amend your goal.

Warning

Check your local as well as State laws to make sure you can legally have a fundraiser in your area. For example, some ordinances require a permitted kitchen to serve food.

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