Saturday, July 22, 2017

Tips for Organizing a Successful Restaurant Fundraiser

The responsibility of your children’s next school fundraiser is now on your shoulders. Maybe you actively campaigned for the role, or maybe you feel more like you got stuck with it, but either way, you might be wondering what’s next. You want a successful fundraiser not only to raise money for your kid’s school or activities but also because no one wants to have an unsuccessful event.

One of the easiest ideas is a restaurant fundraiser, and below are some tips to make it happen.

Find the Right Venue
Nearly any restaurant in your area will probably agree to be the venue for your fundraiser, but there are some things to keep in mind on your end. 

You need to think about restaurants that parents and families at your school are located closest to and which ones they’ll enjoy most. You may want to go with a local eatery instead of a chain because it makes it feel more homegrown. If you want a better chance of negotiating, choose a locally-owned restaurant. Often national chains offer different fundraising options and programs, but they tend to be standard, and there’s not a lot of flexibility available.

When you’re considering restaurants, you’ll want to look at the rate of return you can expect as well. For example, you may find a restaurant that offers a lower percentage back, but the menu items could be higher, so you might make more anyway. 

Set a Goal
You always want to set a goal with any fundraising, including when you’re doing it at a restaurant. Outline not only why you’re raising money but also how much you hope to raise. This will help you strategize and plan the specifics of the event. 

When you’re creating a goal, you should also set a budget and list the expenses you’ll have to pay for. Your goal should cover these expenses. 

Advertising is essential. From custom hospitality signage to social media, you need to have a plan and a strategy. Some ideas include not just signage but also sending out information to email lists you have available, printing it in newspapers, and if it’s worth the cost, you might want to pay for advertising on Facebook.

You can also have people RSVP when they get a link to the event, because when people commit to something they’re more likely to actually attend.

Another good way to get more people there is to incentivize for inviting groups by offering something like a prize or gift card for whoever gets the most people to the restaurant.

When you’re advertising be very clear about what it is specifically that you’re raising money for.
Finally, try to make it a fun event once people actually come to the restaurant. You might consider having a theme night where everyone can dress up, or decorating it as if it’s a party. You want something in addition to the food and the fundraiser that will make people more compelled to come.


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