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Mar 22, 2013 12:43 PM

Inexpensive but impressive apps for non-profit fundraiser?

I'm helping plan a non-profit fundraiser that's being held during cocktail/happy hour (5 pm to 7 pm) on a Saturday at a private home in late April. Luckily we've had the booze donated, and are now trying to figure out what apps to serve. We are trying to make it as inexpensive as possible so more funds go to the non-profit, but also "nice" enough to make it "worth" the $50 suggested donation. Ideally, it would be something (or a few things) that can be served at room temperature, do not require utensils (and if we could even avoid plates, that'd be great too), and require little to no prep or pre-assembly. We were trying to think whether there are any local restaurants that have a dish/dishes that would scale up for this purpose (and might be interested in an in-kind donation...?). We've contacted a few caterers, but being Saturday during wedding season, we didn't have much luck or the price or minimum was too high. And the bulk, frozen app type things from Costco/Sams aren't appealing either. Any other ideas/suggestions?

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  1. One of the most memorable apps I have ever been served was miniature Reubens. Another good one was a salad of grilled chicken, sun dried tomatoes, a little mayonnaise, and pesto served on sliced baguettes. Depending on the booze how about a potato chip tasting? jalapeƱo potato chips and martinis are a great pairing. I used to do a ton of fund raisers and the truth of the matter is that people get a kick out of something unusual. Stuffed mushrooms make lousy memories.

    1. You can put together some pretty great apps using Costco ingredients that nobody will ever know were from Costco. They have prosciutto, which can be wrapped around melon and skewered with a toothpick. Their artichoke dip in tubs is really great - you could scoop it out and serve it in nice bowls with crackers or tortilla chips. For another great dip, layer Costco hummus with their pesto. You can make skewers with mozzarella balls, cherry tomatoes, and basil. And they also have some pretty nice cheeses at Costco. That's just a just need to get creative!

      1. Try Whole Foods catering. My experiences using them have been very positive for food taste & quality and the service (set-up and break-down) was excellent.

        As for a donation or discount, it never hurts to ask.