How to Plan a Food and Wine Tasting Fundraiser

By LeafTV Editor

When you plan a food and wine tasting fundraising event, it entails careful, strategic event planning and a savvy fundraising plan to execute a successful food and wine tasting fundraiser event. Attention to detail, a strong working committee and devoted volunteers will insure that your event is a huge success.The following steps are a helpful guide to a non-profit organization or foundation that wants to plan a food and wine tasting event. Food and wine tasting fundraising events are growing in popularity and can be found in most major cities.

Romantic dinner with wine, cheese and traditional sausages
credit: AlexRaths/iStock/GettyImages
How To Plan A Food And Wine Tasting Fundraiser


Establish a committee for the food and wine tasting event at least one year in advance. Delegate tasks to chair people to take on certain roles (help with contacting wine vendors, restaurants, promotions, printing, volunteers, etc). Research local wineries and restaurants you want to ask to participate in your event. Make sure you have a diverse range of food samples and wines. Contact venues and vendors to locate a donated venue space (to save cost). Ask for discounted non-profit rates if vendors aren't willing to donate a space for your event. Review venue location, proposed event dates, time and cost of event with committee and make decision as a group.Ask committee members for personal contacts with venues, restaurants and wineries that might be interested in participating in the event.Write a donation letter asking wineries and restaurants to donate food or wine samples for event. Ask for a representative to pour or serve wine or food samples. (Letter should be written six months to one year in advance). Secure event sponsors and collect sponsor checks at least one year to six months in advance.Mail donation letters to vendors and include contact information. Follow up with vendors to confirm their participation. Thank vendors for supporting your cause and provide detailed information about the event.

Hold regular committee meetings to delegate event planning tasks. Follow up with participating venue, restaurants and wineries at least three weeks before event to update them about parking, table/booth location and event location details. Design and print promotional materials, invitations and tickets.Mail invitations at least two months in advance to guests.Sell tickets at least three to six months in advance (or earlier).

Confirm all volunteers are secured at least one month to three weeks in advance. Lay out/design event floor plan with committee and venue contacts. Secure all necessary rentals (including chairs, tables, and linens) at least three to six months in advance. Ask for discounted rates or in-kind donation of rentals. Buy miscellaneous items and organize day of materials and equipment.

Assign volunteers and confirm volunteer duties.Assign tasks and assignments to committee.Organize miscellaneous items, petty cash, etc. a few days before the event.

Pay all invoices and confirm time, date and location with rental contacts/deliveries.Create list of phone numbers and contacts for easy access.Charge cell phone and walkie talkies (if applicable).Train event volunteers and make sure they understand their volunteer assignments.Start event on time.


  • When you plan a food and wine tasting fundraising event, it's advised to start planning the event at least one year in advance. Also, remember to stay calm and relaxed during the day of the event. It will help make your event run more smoothly. There are many resources and tips online to help you plan a successful fundraising event. Food and wine tasting events are very detail oriented; make sure your volunteers are well suited to their roles and are committed to the event and the cause.