Pro Tips | Safe Alcohol Service

publication date: Jan 20, 2020
author/source: Mimosa Kabir and Our Forte

Recently, I was volunteering for a local charity. As a favour to the volunteer coordinator there, I got my "Smart Serve" which means I can work as a bartender. Did you know you are legally liable if someone gets drunk at your event? How should you handle this sticky problem? Hilborn asked some sector experts for their advice on this tough topic.

Mimosa Kabir noted that food, not just snacks, should be present when serving alcohol. She also mentions that it is important to ensure there are plenty of non-alcoholic options. Mimosa shares that, as part of looking out for your patrons, be sure to promote safe transportation options. Finally she suggests that you use the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario website as a resource to understand the rules and regulations.

The experts at Our Forte notes that it is important to be sure to not over-serve. In this vein, they state you should never have an open bar. They rightly point out that it is better to risk annoying donors by limiting their intake of intoxicants than for your charity to be sued if they hurt or kill themselves. They also point out that someone who is drunk can hurt others on your property or after they leave. 

It's hard to say "no," particularly to a big donor. And no one wants to be the one who puts a damper on a party. But it is kinder to keep your donors safe and practice safe alcohol management than to risk someone getting hurt.

Need to learn more about safe alcohol service?

Expert advice by (all errors and typos are the fault of editor Ann Rosenfield)

Mimosa Kabir is an aspiring changemaker, interested in fostering collaboration and community for collective impact to address the complex challenges we are currently facing. I firmly believe that we are stronger together and can drive social change. She has eight years of experience working as a fundraiser, with a focus on relationship-building, tactical planning and managing events with ROI in mind. She moonlights as a facilitator. She is also a bookworm, pop culture enthusiast, wannabe globetrotter and sometimes blogger.

Our Forte are passionate event fundraising and sponsorship experts, with a combined 18 years’ experience, who have seen first hand the stress events can cause an organization. Everyone on the team gets pulled in, other jobs get put on hold and tensions rise as everyone "tries to get through this.” But it doesn’t have to be this way! And in fact, this is how Our Forté Events was born. As a boutique event management firm, they partner with charities, non-profits and philanthropic corporations to create and execute fundraising events and programs. Working with Our Forté Events allows our clients to maximize funds raised for their cause, save time and be more strategic in their fundraising solutions and approaches; stepping outside of the box and enjoying the work they do and the value they bring to the communities they support. 

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