Coronavirus Fundraising – Raise Money Virtually with Takeout Food

Coronavirus Fundraising – Raise Money Virtually with Takeout Food

Posted by Laura Bilsborrow

Through Coronavirus, Fundraising Groups & Restaurants Supporting Each Other

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has shut down most people’s daily activities, from going to work to socializing with friends. Unfortunately, the pandemic has also forced hundreds of nonprofits and other fundraising groups to halt or alter their fundraising efforts, especially if they had in-person events scheduled. Amid coronavirus, fundraising remains an important source of financial support for community groups and nonprofits.


Which is why some organizations are finding safe and sensitive ways to continue fundraising during the COVID-19 pandemic and support local restaurants at the same time – with virtual restaurant fundraisers.


This article covers what a virtual restaurant fundraiser is, how it helps both restaurants and fundraising groups, and how you can set up your own fundraiser.


What is a Virtual Restaurant Fundraiser?

In a typical restaurant fundraiser, a group orders food on a specific day and the restaurant donates a fixed percentage of the group’s sales back to their cause. Also known as dine-to-donate, profit shares, give-back nights, or spirit nights, these events are usually very social and in-person.


However, with coronavirus, many restaurants have pivoted to offer virtual fundraisers instead – socially distant, contactless, COVID-friendly events where supporters order food for takeout or delivery. Despite coronavirus, fundraising with restaurants is still possible.


Many groups have been able to partner with restaurants to hold successful takeout or delivery food fundraisers during the COVID-19 pandemic – see their testimonials here.


Woman reaches from her car for her takeout order, a new way of coronavirus fundraising

Image by Jeremy Bishop from Unsplash

How Does a Virtual Restaurant Fundraiser Benefit Both Parties?

A virtual restaurant fundraiser is one of the best fundraising ideas during COVID-19. Not only does the group raise funds and awareness for its cause, but the restaurant also benefits from the additional business the event brings.


When a large group holds a virtual restaurant fundraiser, it encourages members of the community to order food from a local restaurant, instead of cooking dinner at home. Even though a portion of the sales is donated to the fundraising group, the restaurant still comes out with more revenue than if there had been no fundraiser.


Take the example of how a South Dakota school district foundation and three local restaurants supported each other with a takeout fundraiser in April 2020. The fundraising group brought $11,748 of total sales to the restaurants, which then donated back $2,349 to the nonprofit – full story here


Check out this other blog article for additional ways you can help local restaurants make it through coronavirus


How to Set Up Your Own Virtual Restaurant Fundraiser

Here’s how you can request a virtual restaurant fundraiser – it only takes one minute:

  1. Find a restaurant location near you
  2. Choose a date and time range for your fundraiser
  3. Fill out some info about your group and how many people you think could participate
  4. Click Submit.

Make sure to put your request in 2 weeks in advance. Then, the restaurant has one week to respond and approve your fundraiser. While your request is pending, you can send a message to the restaurant confirming that they accept takeout orders as part of fundraisers.


Once your event is approved, spread the word! Share your unique GroupRaise Meal Page, where supporters can RSVP and get an email reminder on the day of the event. By now, everyone’s tired of cooking at home. Your supporters will be eager to get some tasty takeout!


When the day arrives, just enjoy some delicious takeout food from one of your favorite restaurants! Your supporters only need to mention that they are ordering in support of your group and a percentage of their sales will go right back to your cause.


Finally, the restaurant will send you a check for the final donation amount 4-6 weeks after your takeout fundraiser.



Coronavirus Fundraising: Support Both Your Cause and Local Restaurants

A virtual restaurant fundraiser is a win-win-win: funds for your cause, more business for a local restaurant, and delicious food for your supporters. Get started by finding a restaurant near you!