Host An Event

HCAO House Parties Kit

What is an HCAO House Party?
An HCAO house party is an event hosted by people who have different levels or interest or involvement in HCAO’s mission.  The host may already be part of an HCAO member organization, caucus, chapter or local action group, or someone who wants to be more involved and informed and encouragewho wants to do the same.

HCAO house parties provide an opportunity for others to learn more about the benefits of a universal publicly funded health care system for Oregon (aka Single Payer system) and what is being done to bring the Health Care for All - Oregon Plan to everyone in the state.

A house party doesn’t have to be at a house, it can be held anywhere—a church, school, restaurant, park, anywhere with the facilities needed and a quiet space for discussion. The ultimate goal is to increase our grassroots movement and build a base of over 1,100,000 supporters so we can pass single payer into law in Oregon.

The host provides the location and refreshments. HCAO provides the speaker or video and written materials and/or merchandise for the tables. The speaker provides his or her own transportation and parking costs. Funds received from sales of merchandise are kept separate from donations to HCAO.

Statewide Goal for House Parties
Educate friends and neighbors about “Health Care for All” and how to build a strong grassroots movement for an equitable, publicly funded, high quality and comprehensive universal healthcare system serving everyone in Oregon, and ultimately the United States.
Mobilize house party guests into action.  It is important to have a menu of activities in which your guests can participate.
Raise funds for HCAO and your local group.  Success for HCAO’s movement depends on adequate funding for staff, materials and events.

Preparing for your House Party
• Talk to your local House Party Coordinator or the HCAO Statewide Coordinator about getting materials for your house party and to answer any questions you may have.
• Select one or two tentative dates for your house party.
• Contact the HCAO Speaker Bureau to secure a speaker for your event: is good to have a speaker even if you are showing The Health Care Movie or other video.
• Set the date based on speaker availability. Do not set the date before confirming a speaker for your house party.
• Set the location for the event.
• Consider asking a friend, family member or person in a local group to help you with your house party.
• Decide on the number of participants you would like to attend; 10-12 is a good number, but if your venue is larger you can host more.
• Make your invitation list. This can include friends, neighbors, coworkers, and acquaintances--just about anyone. It’s good to invite at least 3 times as many people as you want to come because not everyone will be able to attend.
• Prepare the invitation. This can be a personal note, an email or an electronic invitation. Encourage invitees to bring a friend. A few days after the invitations are sent, follow up with a phone call to confirm attendance. We have found that house parties are far more successful if you call or speak to your invited guests in person.  Two or three days before the party, send a reminder email to all confirmed guests with directions to the house party location and parking information.
• Plan the agenda for your house party (see outline below). Keep it short and sweet, less than two hours.
• Prepare a simple agenda for the evening, name(s) of speaker (s) and contact information for the host and other group leaders.
• Plan refreshments: coffee, tea and cookies or another light snack are fine.

Suggested House Party Set-up
• Set up a table and place the various handouts on the table. Materials can be downloaded and printed from the HCAO site ( or sent to you.  
Merchandise such as T-shirts, bumper stickers and buttons may also be available.

• Have a friend sit at a small table by the door to greet people and ask them to sign the Sign in Sheet or Statement of Support and to distribute the agenda. Have a clipboard with Statement of Support nearest the door. Ask if the person already supports comprehensive publicly funded health care for ALL. If they say yes, ask them to sign the Statement of Support. If more information is needed before the guest feels comfortable signing the Statement of Support, ask them to sign the Sign-in Form.

Recommended HCAO House Party Agenda (2 hours)
1. Mingling and refreshments before party starts (10 minutes)
2. Host introduces him/herself, welcomes the guests and shares why they are involved with HCAO. Host also asks people to sign in if they didn’t do so at door. (5 minutes)
3. Introductions: host asks everyone to say what brought them to this event and if anyone has a brief story they would like to share about how our current healthcare system has failed them or someone they
know. (15 minutes)
4. Host or speaker talks about HCAO: (10 minutes for host; if speaker is doing this as part of #5, the 10 minutes is added to speaker’s time)
• Who we are
• What we want
• Legislative timeline
• Tell about website: and (great sources of information)
5. Introduce speaker and speaker talks about the movement and/or shows the short version of The Healthcare Movie. (30 to 40 minutes)
6. Discussion of talk or movie and Q & A (25 minutes)
7. Requests for donations—see House Party Fundraising Tip Sheet (5 minutes)
8. Hand out Involvement Opportunity Form for guests to fill out. Ask who will volunteer to have the next house party (10 minutes)
9. Thank everyone for coming; offer handouts and more refreshments (3 minutes)

After program options as time allows:

•     Invite guests to stay and talk to speaker and each other
Take Photo Petitions – these can be done fairly quickly
Conduct health care Questionnaire interviews

After your house party
• Give the speaker and other party helpers the House Party Volunteer
Hours Collection Form to fill out; fill out one yourself.
Count the cash donated and the checks donated including pledges. Fill
out the HCAO House Party Feedback Form. Write a check to HCAO for
the cash donations received so that you won’t have to mail cash. If
merchandise was sold, ask Karen Baker how and where to send funds.

Follow up with your guests within 3 days to thank them for coming and
for their donations. You can find the necessary materials for
follow-up in the Follow-up Kit at in the Take Action section.
Within one week, send the HCAO House Party Feedback Form, HCAO
House Party Volunteer Hours Collection Forms, HCAO Involvement
Opportunity Forms which your guests filled out, Combined Check-in
Call & Volunteer Interview Forms from your follow-up calls and all
donation checks to:

HCAO State House Party Coordinator
Karen Baker, Mobilization Committee
17075 S. Bradley Rd, Oregon City, OR 97045
Email Karen  503-789-9925

Printed Material and Resources
HCAO Sign-in Sheet
HCAO Statement of Support
HCAO Member Organization List
HCAO Involvement Opportunity Form
HCAO House Party Feedback Form
HCAO Insert:  A Health Care Reform Primer
HCAO Insert: HCAO Position on the Affordable Care Act
HCAO Request for Donation How-to Guide