It all depends on the dinner you’re interested in…and the host preference. Hosts have a lot of freedom to make the Civic Dinner work best for their style and situation.
So whether you're interested in hosting or attending, you have plenty of options.
Dinner at a Restaurant → Usually everyone pays for their own meal, or the group splits the dinner evenly. You could also split a pizza, or maybe once in a blue moon someone might offer to get the whole tab ;)
Dinner in a Home → Many hosts choose to host a potluck-style dinner, or they'll provide the main course and ask guests to bring a side. Some hosts prepare the whole meal and may ask you to bring a certain $$ or none at all. Others decide to all chip in for a pizza.
Dinner that is Part of a Catered Event → Some of these events include purchasing a ticket, others are free.