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Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan

How To Host a Pot Luck Dinner

Why Pot Luck?

Pot Luck Dinners are easy on the budget, so most people are happy and able to participate in the event. Often we are invited to fundraisers for worthwhile causes, but decline because it can become quite costly. While we want to help the cause, in order to do so we are also expected to contribute money for a dinner that we may not particularly want. The charity we'd like to support only gets a fraction of the money that we pay to attend the event for their projects. With a fundraising pot luck dinner, more funds are available to go towards our ongoing education programs in Afghanistan as described on our web site PROGRAMS an DONATE.

The pot-luck dinner fundraising has become an ongoing process and people hold pot lucks all through the year, winter, spring, summer, and fall ---- year after year. They are a lot of fun, easy to pull together, and the funds generated by them are making a huge difference in the lives of thousands of Afghan women and girls --- providing them with hope and opportunity.

Pot Lucks are Fun!

Pot Luck Dinners are an old tradition that lets people get together without putting a burden on the host. With a pot luck, no one person has to do all the work. Everyone is expected to bring either an appetizer, a main course, a salad, a vegetable dish, a dessert, fruit, or cheese and crackers. This makes for an interesting eclectic meal. Sometimes you might taste a really wonderful dish that another guest made and ask for the recipe. You might meet some new people with similar interests at a pot luck and make new friends. Guests can also share in very interesting dialogue about these important, complex issues. They will increase their understanding and share in the inspiration often resulting from these gatherings.

Organizing a Pot Luck Dinner

Invite your friends and/or family to join together in your home for a fundraising pot luck supper. You might also ask some friends to bring one or more of their friends to the evening. Or perhaps you might prefer to co-host a dinner with one or two friends, with each one inviting several friends. This can work really well and makes for a very interesting enjoyable evening, filled with good conversation.

When you invite everyone, please explain that guests are to each bring a dish of food and, in addition, guests are asked to make a donation by cheque towards education for Afghan women and their families. Donations of all amounts are warmly welcomed and greatly appreciated. The funds will help fund our education programs as described on our website, including running literacy classes for women and girls in rural areas, teacher training and purchasing school resource kits (science and libraries). 

Please click on the links below to download all the forms and information sheets. If you need further details, please feel free to contact us well in advance, so that we can answer any questions you may have or provide further support to your fundraiser: email:

We suggest that the dinner be informal. The host should provide cutlery, glasses, plates, one dish and simple refreshments. To organize the pot luck dinner, hosts may ask each guest what food they are planning to bring and suggest which part of the meal they should cover, whether it is appetisers, main (non-pork or vegetarian meals are appreciated by many), salads or desserts. This will help ensure a balanced menu. For larger gatherings sometimes a host might ask people with a last name starting A to G to bring main courses, H to M for salads, N to S for desserts and T to Z for appetisers, for example. Some hosts may choose not to balance the food and just enjoy the outcome. Often the host offers to provide juice, water, coffee and tea, and they may also include one bottle of wine to start the evening. You can either set up a table with place settings for as many guests as you expect or have a buffet. Feel free to make an announcement that this is Pot Luck Dinner, so everyone is expected to pitch in and help, and especially to take responsibility for their course.

Well before guests start leaving, as host you gently remind everyone that the reason for the dinner was to raise money for advancing education for Afghan women and girls through supporting teachers salaries, training and related education projects with CW4WAfghan. Some organizers may arrange for a short film, handouts or a speaker to attend. A cheque is requested for the donation payable to CW4WAfghan and a basket, envelope or dish can be placed near the handouts for collecting the donations. Please ensure the addresses of the donor are correct as tax receipts will be sent based on the information on the cheques. Should you wish to accept cash donations, please have your guests fill in the Cash Donation Form so a tax receipt may be issued. As you cannot mail cash, please purchase a money order for the total of cash donations, and submit this with all the cheques received during the event. Electronic donations via credit card may be made at Please have guests enter Breaking Bread _Host Last Name_, City in the Notes section on Canada Helps and we will track this amount for your total contributions.

As host, please send us a brief note or letter with a short write up about your event and include the total amount you are submitting. We would like to use this information in our News Bulletins; photos are also appreciated as long as permission is given to you in advance by your guests to have these photos included in newsletters or on the web site. Thank you!

What to Do with the Funds and the Forms

Please see the full Instructions in the kit provided above. Mail to:

Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan
P.O. Box 86016 MardaLoop
Calgary, Alberta
T2T 6X7

For further information, please call 403 244-5625 or email

Background Information on Afghan Women for Hosts

A host should use the content available here on the website. You will find information about the situation of women in Afghanistan, the general situation there, what Canadian women and the Canadian government have been doing. It also talks about the a number of Afghan organizations and projects funded by the Breaking Bread Pot Luck Dinner Project. There are also very informative NEWSLETTERS that highlight the challenges and successes of our work. You can either just read what's on the site or download the parts of interest to you. This information can be passed around at the dinner if people want more information and will help the host stimulate a discussion about Afghan women's situation. Canadian journalist Sally Armstrong's books and CBC documentary DAUGHTERS OF AFGHANISTAN (available at most movie rental outlets), also provide excellent background information.



Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan
PO Box 86016, Marda Loop, Calgary, Alberta
Canada T2T 6B7

t: 1 (403) 244-5625

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