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How to fundraise and support local restaurants!

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How to fundraise and support local restaurants!

Your fundraising efforts can count for double the good!

As a fundraising coordinator, you're already working for a good cause, whether it's an animal shelter, elementary school, or church youth group.

But when you partner with local businesses such as restaurants in your fundraising efforts, you can double your positive impact by bringing extra business and attention to your community partners.

This blog post covers two fundraising strategies--restaurant gift cards and restaurant percentage nights - and how they support local restaurants too. Scroll down to learn more!

How to fundraise with restaurant gift cards

There are two main ways to fundraise using restaurant gift cards: 1. Sell the gift cards directly to your supporters at a discount off of the card's face value 2. Incorporate the gift cards as prizes into some other fundraising strategy

Sell the gift cards directly
You can buy restaurant gift cards online for a fraction of their face value, then sell the cards at a slightly higher price, still below face value.

For example, at Fundraising.com you can buy $25 face-value restaurant gift cards for $7.50 each, then sell them for $15 each, a 50% profit for your fundraiser. The cards are redeemable through Restaurant.com and also come in $50 and $100 options

Incorporate gift cards as prizes
Another simple way to fundraise with restaurant gift cards is including them as prizes as part of a different fundraising effort.

For example, you could put a gift card in a themed prize basket at a fundraising auction, give it away as part of a raffle prize, or use it as an incentive for a readathon competition.

Anywhere you need a prize for a fundraiser, you can use a restaurant gift card.

How to fundraise with restaurant percentage nights

During a restaurant percentage night, you and your supporters order from your partner restaurant and the restaurant donates a set percent of your group's sales back to your cause--usually 15-25%.

In addition to dine-in, many restaurants are now offering contactless fundraisers through takeout, delivery, and online orders, so everyone can participate in the way that makes them most comfortable.

There are thousands of restaurants nationwide that welcome fundraising groups, including both local restaurants and chains such as Applebee's or Blaze Pizza. You can find fundraising restaurants near you and book your fundraiser date online through GroupRaise.com.

Using a theme can add fun to your fundraiser and attract more supporters. How about fundraising with Chipotle and make it a Mexican themed fundraiser?

For those with a sweet tooth, here’s an idea you'll love. How about fundraising with Krispy Kreme? They offer non-profit groups a discounted price for their donuts.

How fundraising helps support local restaurants

With both gift cards and percentage nights, fundraisers support local restaurants in addition to fundraising groups by attracting extra orders and getting the restaurant's name out there in the community.

That's a major reason why restaurants participate in the first place, in addition to general goodwill. They know that an order from a gift card fundraiser or percentage night may not have happened without the fundraiser.

Fundraisers also introduce many new customers to local restaurants who are likely to return again.

Beyond these overarching benefits, there are specific aspects of the two fundraising strategies mentioned above--gift cards and percentage nights--that make sure they work out well for restaurants too:

Gift cards
With the Restaurant.com gift cards, there's a minimum spending requirement of 150% or more of the face-value of the card, so if you want to use their $25 card, you'd need to spend $37.50 at the restaurant. That way, the restaurant can cover their minimum costs and still benefit from the extra business and brand awareness already mentioned above.

By the way, even with the minimum order requirement, the gift card holder still saves money--here's the math:
Total price of visit - value of gift card = $37.50 - $25 = $12.50
Factor in the amount paid to get the gift card = $12.50 + $15 = $27.50
Total saved = $37.50 - $27.50 = $10.00 off regular price, or 27% off

Percentage nights
For most fundraising groups booking through GroupRaise.com, the group must gather 20 RSVPs for their fundraiser to be confirmed, so the restaurant knows there will be a good turnout.

Also, when people know that a portion of their order goes back to their cause, they tend to spend more, which is good news for the restaurant.

Build up your community

Whether it's through gift cards, percentage nights, or some other collaboration with local restaurants, you have the ability to earn funds for your cause and strengthen your community at the same time. So make the most of it and be sure to tip extra!


About the author: Laura Bilsborrow writes content for GroupRaise.com, a restaurant fundraising platform that connects local individuals and groups who want to host a fundraiser with restaurants in their area excited to host. GroupRaise works with over 10,000 restaurant locations across the U.S. and has helped over 75,000 local organizations raise funds for their causes. To find out more, visit www.GroupRaise.com.

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