Murder mystery fundraising: “Come Die With Me” mystery marathon.

What is a “Come Die with Me” Mystery Marathon?

This is the simplest way of fundraising using murder mystery dinner parties for small groups.

The benefits of these styles of event is there is no need for actors, organising venues, catering etc. Instead the “event” is devolved to individual hosts and run within their own homes.

As it’s a private party, and no money is exchanging hands for tickets, there are no concerns with environmental health, insurance etc either.

Organisers ask for volunteer hosts who will run a murder mystery dinner party at their own home, inviting around their own friends.

Each host receives a murder mystery kit (party size of their choice), some information about the chosen charity to pass onto their guests (often this involves a slip containing details of suggested donations and what the party is raising money for). Hosts can also be given any raffle tickets or other fundraising activity running simultaneously which they can pass onto guests attending their party.

Hosts are then given set dates to run the party within – we suggest a month, as it makes arranging parties easier to have 4 possible weeks to negotiate who is free when! (Friends are hard to coordinate if you want to entertain a large number!)

Once the party is over, all donations received are given back to the organisers, and the funds are totalled up.

How they work

Over a specified length of time, several hosts in a given area run a murder mystery party. They can either all run the same party, or all run different parties – the choice is up to the organisers.

Each host invites different friends to the murder mystery evening at their own home.

Catering can either all be done by the host, OR the host can ask the guests to bring a dish and chip in towards the catering.

On the night the host requests a donation towards the charity from each guest in attendance at the party. (Organisers may want to present a suggested donation with the invitations for each guest. E.g. £10-20 – given that an evening’s entertainment at a restaurant will cost anything between £30-£40 you aren’t asking much!)

The host runs the murder mystery party for their guests. This is a standard dinner party format, so they’re very easy to run!

At the end of the night the host tells the guests how much money they’ve raised, and then this amount is fed back into the organisers who total up the funds raised by the individual hosts.

To give you an example of the funds which could be raised.

The organisers recruit 10 hosts.

Each host invites 10 guests.

Each guest provides £15 donation.

Total funds raised: £1500

Overhead costs: Nil (apart from buying the 10 murder mystery games)

When charities approach us to run mystery marathons like this with our dinner party games we always discount bulk purchases, so that the maximum funds can be raised.

In addition to running the actual evenings, the organisers may want to raise sponsorship money by asking for donations to sponsor the event from people who can’t or don’t wish to take part. They may want to run a raffle and sell tickets at the individual parties.

There are several benefits to running events this way.

1)      The events are devolved. The organisation is taken on by individual hosts. There are no advertising and marketing costs. There are no venue hire costs. There are no catering costs.

2)      The events can be spread out over a wide area – hosts can take part and be living miles away. Parties can take place in the UK, Canada and Australia, but all the money could be returned to the same charity. This will engage more people over a wider area.

3)      Guests aren’t parting with lots of money. You’ve not had to cover overhead costs, so the individuals donating to the charity aren’t being asked for £40 for a night out, and then stung by a raffle, auction or other activity.

4)      It’s entertainment without hiring in entertainers. Each guest becomes a suspect and everyone takes part to have a great evening.

5)      There’s no insurance concerns. Hosts are simply hosting dinner parties in their own homes, and inviting their own friends for tea.

If you’d like to talk to us about running a murder mystery marathon for your chosen charity, please just get in touch.

Call us now on: +44 (0) 1472 348909 or email us.


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Flexible and fun!

We contacted Red-Herring-Games for a party for a special occasion. Why going to restaurants to eat is the preferred activity to mark milestones is beyond me and my friends.   The choice of mystery was obvious, looking at the options from New Zealand on the web Red Herring stuck out from the international options.  A quick look at the site and games showed subtlety as well a range of choices.  The numbers you could have for each evening was important,  Red Herring had scaling options a good range of scenarios but most importantly were Jo and team being flexible, responsive and helpful.

Rachel McWilliam, Arts Development Officer, Lincs Inspire

Thank you Red Herring Games for the marvellous 'Murder!  Cargo Connections?' event that you organised for us as part of Museums at Night at the Fishing Heritage Centre in Grimsby. The whole evening went so well and was brilliant fun.  I know from all the feedback that our visitors had a fantastic time. It was really good working with you and I have no doubt that we will do again in the not too distant future.  

A. Nonymous (council employee)

I would like to thank you and your colleague for helping contribute towards our successful conference last month.  Everyone really seemed to enjoy the evening and it was rewarding that so many delegates were able to participate in addition to the main "Actors".  Our conference evaluation froms included the following comments:
  • "Enjoyed the evening entertainment!"
  • The evening entertainment was great and the confusion made it great fun!"
With thanks and best wishes.

Sarah Spencer (Cleethorpes Chronicle)

I had no idea what to expect before purchasing a ticket for Old, New, Borrowed, Blue, which was being staged at a nearby hotel, and feared it might involve taking part in some way. However thankfully for me no acting was necessary, just some amateur sleuthing. "Wedding guests" of which I was one, were called upon to move from room to room in the hotel in groups, questioning a number of possible murderers with the aim of solving the mystery of the dead bridegroom. The interviewees were really fun characters and gave us all some good laughs. Of course they all had motives and it was a case of identifying the shiftiest. The wedding theme was particularly good, as it fitted well with the venue, the buffet that was part of the evening (with a wedding cake in the middle) and the fact that everyone had been able to dress up to fit in without going to the trouble of fancy dress. I didn't think I had enough "evidence" to actually accuse anyone but later regretted not even writing down my first guess as it wouldn't have been too far off the mark. The evening was great fun and everyone seemed to enjoy it and take part. I would definitely recommend Old, New, Borrowed, Blue as good for getting even reluctant or first-time mystery party-goers involved.  

Alan Young (Personal Touch Mortgages)

What a cracking nights entertainment! We don't get out much nowadays with 2 kids and this was exactly what we were looking for in a good night out. Lots of fun with tongue firmly in cheek and everyone kept guessing whodunnit right to the very end. Would definitely attend another!!!!!  


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