Campaign to watch: game night with Geek Club.

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campaign: Geek Club South Bay’s Board Game Gala
raised: $1,618
total raised, with a match from Google: $2,921
mission statement: “We host events of all kinds, including movie marathons, Sci-Fi book nights and video game parties. We’re pretty sure we’ve got something for every geek out there! 100% of proceeds from our second annual Board Games for Charity Winter Gala will be donated to charity: water.”

We can get pretty geeky here at charity: water. So we love following what San Francisco’s Geek Club South Bay is doing to change the water crisis. They recently hosted a board game event and raised nearly $3,000 for water projects.

We chatted with Alanna, who helps lead the group, to get some insight on how these geeks work together to make a difference:

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What’s the Geek Club? Explain what makes you “geeks” and tell us what do you all do together?
The Geek Club South Bay was created by club founder Lexi Rubow, so that geeks in the Silicon Valley area of California could meet to make friends and participate in fun activities. We host many types of events, including board game nights, movie marathons, Sci-Fi book clubs and video game parties. Although our members all identify as geeks, there are a wide variety of different interests within our member base, such as comic books, computer programming, anime and mad science experiments.

How did the Geek Club first hear about charity: water?
I first came across charity: water while reading Cake Wrecks, my favorite blog. When deciding on a cause for our Board Games for Charity events, Lexi and I felt that helping to provide clean water was so important, as water is such a fundamental necessity for life. We are endlessly facinated by all the latest scientific discoveries about our expansive universe, but it also reminds us that so far, we still only have one earth. The Geek Club believes it is vital to take care of this amazing planet and its inhabitants.

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Tell us all about the event — did you get a good turnout?
Our event ended up attracting many more attendees than we expected! The crowd was mostly individuals and couples, with the average age ranging from 20s to 30s. Our main source of getting the word out was Meetup.com, the website our club operates through. We posted the event to our calendar on Meetup and reached out to other local board gaming and geek interest groups. We also printed fliers and created a webpage with the event info, meant for linking around the web outside of Meetup. Our event was held at a tech-oriented community center called Hacker Dojo.

Last year, we had about 50 attendees, and this year we counted about 80 people. We even had to expand our event into an adjacent room to accomodate everyone. We collected entry donations of $15 per person at the door and people brought their own board games to share and play. We also invited people to bring food potluck-style, and ended up with a large buffet of tasty snacks to munch on throughout the evening.

We held a raffle, which this year featured a few popular board games and other items donated by members of the group. The raffle was definitely a highlight of the night — especially the mad rush that ensued after we announced the last call for purchasing tickets before drawing prizes!

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Do you plan supporting more charity: water projects in the future?
We are definitely planning on hosting our third annual Board Games for Charity event next December! We’ve already got some ideas in store to make next year’s gala even more exciting. We believe that a large part of our event’s advertising came from word-of-mouth, so we hope that as we establish this club tradition, our attendee count will continue to grow.

Do you have any advice for other “geeks” about fundraising?
Our advice is to plan a fundraising event focused on something that you love! Focusing on board games was a natural choice for us, since our club’s regular board game nights continue to be our most popular events and board gaming is a popular activity in general in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Other lessons we learned is to start planning early, especially for large events. Stay organized, set a timeline for your to-do list, but also try not to overstress!

See more photos of Geek Club’s event here >

Play games, sell muffins, hold an event. You can do anything to fundraise for clean drinking water. Learn more here >

On our fifth birthday, our staff made said thanks to Geek Club South Bay with a video. Take a look at it here >

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