How to Design Your Own Tickets for a Dinner Fundraiser

You have planned the perfect fundraising dinner; you have purchased all the right foods and your home or meeting hall is decorated to the tee. Now all you have to do is design the perfect ticket for this fundraiser dinner. No need to pay a printing company to design and print them. All you need is Microsoft’s Publisher 2008 (or later) and some card stock paper.

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Designing the Tickets

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Sketch out on a piece of paper what you would like to include on the dinner ticket. Think of possible clip art and photos. The normal size of a ticket is 8.5 inches by 3.66 inches. You can print them on 8 1/2 by 11 card stock.

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Open Microsoft Publisher 2008. The first screen will list all available templates. Click on “With Compliments Cards.” The compliment card is a standard ticket.

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Double click on any of the card designs. Note: you can change the card/ticket after you make your selection, so any of the cards will work.

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Delete any design element you don’t like. Keep at least one text box.

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Type in your text first and then insert your clip art/photo. To insert a picture or clip art, click “Insert,” “Picture” then “Clip Art” to pick from Microsoft’s Clip Art Gallery or “From File” to insert a photograph you have stored on your computer. Pictures and clip art can then be positioned on your card/ticket. There is even an option for scanning a picture into Publisher from under this “Insert” menu.

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Click “File,” “Save As” to save your file after you are done designing the ticket.

Inserting the Sequential Tracking Number & Printing the Tickets

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Open Microsoft Excel. A blank workbook will appear. Determine how many tickets you will need to print. Type into each cell of Column A a number for each ticket you will print (you can start your numbers with 1, 2, 3, 4 or pick a random starting point like 11, 13 or 15). Each number will appear on a different ticket so you will have a way of tracking each ticket. Keep typing down “Column A” until you have a number for each ticket.

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Click “File,” “Save As.” Name the file “Numbers” or something similar. Save the file in your “My Documents” folder. Click “File,” and “Exit.”

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Return to Microsoft Publisher, click “Mailings and Catalogs.” Then click “Mail Merge.”

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Click “Use an existing list” under the “Create Recipient list” heading on the left side of the screen (this is within a box labeled “Mail Merge.” Then click “Next: Create or connect to a recipient list” at the bottom of that box.

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Double click on the filename of your numbers file. If you saved the file as “Numbers,” then double click on that filename.

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Double click on “C:\Document…\Numbers.xlsx” or whatever name you saved the Excel file to. This will be under the heading “Create recipient list.” A box will appear next—“Click “Mail Merge Recipients.” Click \"OK” on the box. This box shows each number you entered into the Microsoft Excel workbook.

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Click “Next: Prepare your publication” at the bottom of the “Mail Merge” box. Double click on the number located inside of the box under the heading “Prepare your publication.” An “x” will now appear within a box on your dinner ticket. You can position this box anywhere on the ticket. This is the placeholder for your tracking number.

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Click on “Next: Create merged publication.” The first number of your set of tracking numbers will now appear in the placeholder box.

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Double click on “Print preview…” under the “Create merged publications” heading. Each card will appear with a different number.

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Load your card stock and click “Print…” to print your final cards.