A close-up woman's hands chopping fresh vegetables

Host a dinner party

Host a charity dinner party for Macmillan. Bring friends together for an evening of tasty food, fun and fundraising.

Make your dinner party as simple or elaborate as you like, and invite your friends over for a home-cooked meal. Ask guests to donate what they’d spend on eating out to Macmillan.

If you’re feeling ambitious and it's safe to do so, why not get a gang together and create your own version of Come Dine With Me? You can all take turns to rustle up your finest dishes, then rate each other’s meals and compete for the title of ‘host with the most.’

Arranging your dinner party

Decide who to invite

Think about how many people you can invite and host comfortably and safely in your home. It's up to you whether you make it a sit-down affair or a more casual evening. You could even make it a buffet and ask people to bring something along to share.

Ask your guests to donate to attend

The easiest way to raise money for your dinner party is to ask your guests to make a donation to attend. You may wish to set a minimum donation amount if you are planning a more elaborate dinner party. Or, if you're hosting something fairly low key, you could leave it up to your guests to decide how much they wish to contribute.

Choose a theme

Picking a theme for your dinner party can add another level of fun to the evening, and can even help you plan your menu. For example, why not pick your favourite cuisine, movie, book or play and theme the menu around that? Fancy dress is optional!

Plan your menu

Depending on how many guests you expect to have, you'll need to allow enough time to buy ingredients and prepare your meal.

Unleash your inner celebrity chef and go all-out with four individual courses. Or make your life easy by creating a few sharing dishes people can help themselves to at the table for a more relaxed evening. You may choose to show off your inner Masterchef champion and dazzle your guests with your culinary skills in exchange for a larger donation.

Set up an online giving page to collect donations

This is an easy way to collect donations ahead of or on the night, and also means that people who can't attend the event can donate anyway. Make sure you set a fundraising target as this will encourage your guests to give a little more as you edge closer to your goal. Find out more about setting up an online giving page.

On the night

Serve welcome drinks and nibbles

Welcome your guests in style by offering welcome drinks and nibbles when they arrive. This means no one will go hungry or thirsty as you finish up in the kitchen.

Recipes for success

Need some kitchen inspiration? We have lots of recipes on our Coffee Morning website which could work for starters and desserts. Here are a few of our favourites guaranteed to impress your guests:

Extra entertainment

You could go the extra mile and organise some surprise entertainment such as a fireworks display, karaoke battle, table games or after-dinner quiz.

Boost fundraising at your dinner party

Think of some fun food-related activities you can challenge your guests to take part in and ask for a small extra donation.

Set up a blind tasting challenge

Ask guests to identify a selection of mystery ingredients or dishes while wearing a blindfold. Ask for a donation to enter, and offer a mystery surprise for the guest with the best taste buds.

Set up a decoration station

Set up a table with plain cupcakes or cookies and make a big batch of frosting for a decoration station. For an extra donation, your guests can unleash their creativity and compete for who has the best icing techniques or the most interesting design. Plus, they get a treat to take home with them at the end of the night.

We have lots of other ideas on ways to boost your fundraising.