One of the best ways to raise booster club funds is through fundraising. There are hundreds of unique and different ways that fundraising can be done, but one of the best booster club fundraising techniques is collaborating with local restaurants.
In this article we will cover:
- What is a restaurant fundraiser?
- Why are restaurant fundraisers popular?
- How you can plan your booster club restaurant partner fundraising in 5 simple steps
- Important questions to ask a restaurant before hosting a fundraiser
- Different types of fundraising you can do with restaurants
- How to promote your fundraising partnership
- What to do when the event is over
What is a restaurant fundraiser?
A restaurant fundraiser is a fairly simple way to raise money for your nonprofit organization. With the majority of the actual legwork and cost being taken care of by the restaurant, the event can be smoothly run with just the help of a few volunteers.
How a restaurant booster club fundraiser works
When a date and time have been selected by the restaurant and the organization, your group will promote the booster club fundraiser to people and get them to eat at the establishment. For every meal sold during this timeframe, your booster clubs will receive a percentage of the proceeds as a result. This gives the restaurants a boost of local commerce and the sense of building community.
Why restaurant fundraisers are popular
Restaurants are great for local fundraising because of how little fuss is required to make them work. A restaurant already holds the means to feed people and hold them at capacity. Plus, they’re in the business of making money and your fundraiser will bring them a boost of income and advertisement.
On your end, you do very little legwork because booster club fundraising at a restaurant won’t require a big amount of time or money. There are different types of fundraising that can be done at restaurants, so your involvement can vary, but there is still very little that is physically needed of you or your volunteers when compared to more traditional styles of fundraising.
How to plan your booster club fundraising with a restaurant in 5 simple steps
- Step 1 Find a few dates that work well with your group. You should aim to have 4-6 days listed out as possible options for your fundraiser. Have them be no sooner than 1 month, but no further than 3 months. You need time to promote, but not so much time that people forget.
- Step 2 Contact the restaurant where you want to have the fundraiser. Discuss the important details and choose a date that works for them, using the days you listed in step 1.
- Step 3 Promote. In order for your booster club fundraising to be successful, you have to tell people about it. So make sure to promote, promote promote.
- Step 4 Divide volunteers by tasks, shifts or groups to make things run in a more organized fashion. Let everyone who will be participating know what their duties are before they arrive. If a dress code is required, make sure everyone is aware. Send out reminders of these in the days leading up to the fundraiser.
- Step 5 Confirm, execute and follow-up. On the day of the event, call and confirm with the restaurant one last time to make sure everything is still set and ready to go. Then host the event and have fun. Most importantly, within a week of having successfully one the fundraiser, do a follow-up. Send a thank you note to the restaurant manager, send out a public thank you to guests who attended and if possible get constructive and helpful feedback to use towards the planning of your next restaurant fundraiser.
Important questions to ask a restaurant before hosting a fundraiser
- Is there any strict dress codes that apply to you and your group?
- What duties are you expected to perform?
- Are there any duties you are not allowed to perform (such as handling money or alcohol)?
- How much of a percentage will be given to your group?
- Can you hold the event over the weekend or just a short time window?
- Will patrons be limited to needing to bring in a flyer or ticket to have their meal work towards the booster clubs fundraising efforts?
- If patrons are limited to needing a flyer, are you allowed to hand them out at the door?
- Do alcoholic beverages count towards the fundraiser?
- Could a signature drink or appetizer be created for this event to drive additional sales?
- Can you have permission to use logos and photos of the restaurant in your advertising without risk of copyright infringement?
Different types of booster club fundraising you can do with restaurants
There are several different types of fundraisers that can be done with restaurants. Depending on the establishment, your booster club and the goals you have in mind, you can choose between a variety of differently styled fundraisers such as:
A full restaurant takeover
This is more likely to happen at a sit-down restaurant where your volunteers can play the role of host, servers, and bussers. These could be made even more successful if you’re allowed to pocket the tips for your organization. A percentage of all patrons eating within the establishment will count towards your booster club fundraising, not just the ones who mention it.
Some restaurants such as pizza chains or Krispy Kreme donuts offer this style of fundraising. Preselling gift cards, and coupons to patrons up front so that they can use them at their own leisure. These fundraisers usually drag out for about a few weeks before finally finishing and the best part is that you can do it on your own schedule.
Partial restaurant takeover
Only those with a flyer, ticket or that mention your booster club will get a percentage of their plate to count towards your fundraiser. More than likely your physical tasks during this time will be minimal and mostly involve handing out flyers and promoting your group as patrons enter.
How to promote your fundraising partnership
These days one of the biggest ways to promote anything is through social media. Promoting your booster clubs fundraiser online could help to reach hundreds of people in a short timespan and doesn’t cost anything (unless you physically purchase an ad space somewhere).
Besides utilizing the word of mouth technique, send out emails and text messages to volunteers, and contacts.
When using social media such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram don’t forget to tag the restaurant in your promoting efforts. You never know when they might share it to their (much larger) fan base and get even more eyes on your fundraiser.
Printed flyers are still great for hanging up in churches, schools, offices or other common areas where people can gather.
If you can get a small ad in a newspaper or on the radio, those can help to target the local people in your area as well and should be considered.
Also, check with the restaurant that you’ll be fundraising at and see if they’ll let you stick a flyer up to promote the night.
When the event is over
When the night is over, have the event planner personally shake hands and thank the restaurant manager for having allowed you this opportunity. This shows a lot of respect to the establishment and will help them remember you for next time.
Also politely work into the conversation how it is that you’ll be receiving the money if you aren’t getting it in a check right then and there. Do you pick up a check, if so are you waiting for a phone call first or can it be done as early as tomorrow morning? Will it be mailed, if so is the address on file correct. If this has already been discussed, no need to reask. Just confirm.
Have your group of volunteers clean as much as allowed. Some restaurants may not want you to touch things for legalities and insurance reasons, others may let you be more hands-on.
Send a follow up than follow-up a few days later, handwritten if at all possible. Personalize the card with a specific note about that night, this gives you more authenticity and makes the card more heartfelt.
After your booster club fundraiser has ended, take notes at the next booster club meeting of what your members thought.
What did they feel was great, what wasn’t so great. Do they feel that it ran smoothly? Or was there something that could be improved upon? Suggestions for next time and ways to better promote and market the event.
Also, cover any questions in regards to how much money was raised because everyone will be dying to know by that point. If you follow these tips your booster clubs fundraising will be a huge success.