Host a Fundraising Iftar

The guidelines below are crafted for iftars, the fast-breaking meal. You can adapt them to other sorts of events.

Believers Bail Out Iftars have three goals:

  • Raise money to bail out Muslims who are being held in pretrial detention without having been convicted of a crime

  • Educate ourselves and our communities about money bail, mass incarceration, and their intersections with racism

  • Lay the groundwork for future anti-racist work in our communities grounded in our religion and our faith

Depending on the size and complexity of your event, you’ll need at least two or three weeks to plan it. Having a co-organizer (or two or three) is ideal but not absolutely necessary, especially for a smaller event.

The key components: a meal, a short educational program (about 20 minutes - can be a talk, video, or activity), and fundraising. You’ll need to make plans for the space, the people (organizers and participants), the food, the program, and the follow-up.

 
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BASIC STEPS

Choose your crew. Unless you’re going to do this all yourself, you’ll need to get your people on board early. Decide at the outset if they’re co-organizing with you (and if so how you’re dividing things up) or if you’re in charge and they’re volunteering for specific tasks such as arranging the space, a speaker, or the food.

Pick a date. As far in advance as possible pick a date between May 15 and June 8. We’re looking to have all funds raised at least a week before Eid, the holiday at the end of Ramadan, to get people home in time to celebrate.

Book a place. This is likely going to be someone’s home – maybe yours – where you you can have 10-25 people or more. If you live somewhere with a common space, like a community room, you might be able to use that. If you’ve got a backyard and lights, you can host there. Some mosques or community centers also have meeting space. Whatever space you’re using, be sure it’s available on the date you chose.

Consider who to invite. Who you invite and how you invite them depends on a) the capacity of your space; b) how much you’re looking to raise; and c) whether you want to focus on Muslims or make this a chance to educate non-Muslims too. You’ll probably want to invite two or three times as many people as you want to have attend.

Set a fundraising goal. Depending on how many people you’re hosting and their resources, you might aim for $500-2500.

Each One Teach One. Educating ourselves and others is an integral component of the Believers Bail Out. Use the information on this website for putting together a presentation yourself, watch a short video, or invite someone – perhaps a previously incarcerated person – to educate others about bail.

Notify believersbailout@gmail.com, and let us know if you need planning support.

DOWNLOAD THE BELIEVERS BAILOUT TOOLKIT HERE