A spaghetti dinner is a popular fund-raiser for many organizations. When planning your menu, you want to offer a delicious meal while keeping your costs down for your organization. You also want to offer people a generous meal that is delicious, in thanks for their donation.
There are real benefits to holding a dinner for your charity, school or organization: the actual dinner is a great chance to meet n’ greet: to build relationships and meet with fellow volunteers and Board members. It is a wonderful opportunity to meet other people in your community who are interested in your organization, who may be interested in getting involved in some way.
Get Sponsors Involved
One thing to consider when planning your menu is involving “menu sponsors”. A grocery store or a restaurant may be happy to donate to your organization. Or you can ask people that support your organization to “sponsor” your dinner to donate items that you will need for the dinner. Obtaining sponsorship may help you offer a fancier or more generous meal to your attendees.
Spaghetti and Other Menu Ideas
When planning your spaghetti fund-raiser, keep in mind that one pound of spaghetti feeds about 4 to 6 people. It will feed more or less people depending on their appetites and also depending on what other items you are serving at the meal (salad, bread, dessert, etc.). A wonderful idea for your leftovers is to make plans ahead of time to donate them to a food bank or homeless shelter in need.
Making spaghetti with meat sauce: Plan a half pound of hamburger for every pound of spaghetti for a hearty meat sauce. You should also have a standard size jar of spaghetti sauce for every pound of spaghetti that you have. If you are making meatballs you will probably want a bit more hamburger than this. Sometimes someone that loves to cook has their own spaghetti sauce recipe and you may want to use this instead, depending on if time permits.
To make a great salad: plan 8-9 heads of lettuce to feed 100 people. Adding additional vegetables to your salad is a great way to make your spaghetti dinner seem fancier. You can add one to two red, yellow and green peppers. Color in a salad makes it look very appealing. Tomatoes are popular in salad, consider adding cherry tomatoes or several (5 -6) larger tomatoes. Add four to five cucumbers. Onions are another great way to add color to a salad, select several red onions and chop finely. Add croutons. Offer a variety of salad dressings – Ranch, Thousand Island, Italian, Russian and Balsamic Vinegar are some of the most popular types of salad dressings. You could also look for some light or sugar free versions of salad dressings.
Making a fruit salad: Again, this is another way that you can make your spaghetti dinner fancier, by offering some exotic fruits. By slicing some kiwi fruits on the top of your fruit salad, suddenly your fruit salad looks more fancy and stylish. Go for color and a variety of colors when selecting fruits for your salad. Fruits in season will be the freshest, tastiest and probably the least expensive. One idea for a fruit salad is to start with 1 ½ dozen bananas, 6 apples (try to find different types of apples, get different tastes), 5 pounds of grapes, 3 quarts of pineapple and 1 gallon of peaches. Add 2 lbs of mini marshmallows, ½ gallon mayonnaise dressing and ½ gallon whipped cream. Wash fresh fruit and slice and drain canned fruit. Put all fruit into mayonnaise. Whip the cream and fold it into the mayonnaise and fruit mixture. Serves 100.
Dessert table: a great way to offer your attendees dessert is to ask your volunteers to bake or make a dessert to bring to the event. They will bake cakes, cookies, brownies and other delicious treats. One of the benefits of having many people make dessert is that you will have a variety of lovely desserts to offer people.