The impact of eating can travel very far, as far as Kenya, when a story like the Makindu Children’s Program is shared. Makindu is a charitable non-profit organization, who recently held a successful GroupRaise fundraiser. Their work helps positively impact hundreds of orphaned and vulnerable children and their families in eastern Kenya by providing education, nutrition, medical and psychosocial help, shelter, care, family support and community development. They are constantly fundraising to support their programs and constantly looking for new, innovative, and effective ways to do so, like the restaurant fundraiser they held at Hot Mama’s Wings in Eugene, Oregon. The fundraiser not only helped them financially, but also simultaneously raised awareness about their cause. Read here about their experience and all the simple tips they shared that made their promotional efforts go a long way.
A strategic day for the cause
The first step in planning a restaurant fundraiser is picking a date and a venue, and if done strategically, it can greatly impact your outcome.This was at the forefront of the mind of Samira Lobby, the Communications Manager at Makindu.
”We chose June 1st because it’s International Children’s Day and we were able to use that to draw more people in,” Lobby said.
Organizing a fundraiser to support vulnerable children ON International Children’s Day is nothing short of pure brilliance. Not only will it make the date stand out in the minds of the supporters, it will also help garner further support–people will want to do something to help children on International Children’s Day, a great opportunity to expand their support base.
Getting the word out
Obviously it is important for you yourself to be vocal about the upcoming event, but GroupRaise is here to help by also sending reminders to those that have RSVP’d, doubling the promotional efforts.
“After we were accepted for the day and time of our event, we created a Facebook Event for it, and invited our friends. They were then able to RSVP easily through the event page because we put the link up [to the GroupRaise RSVP],” shared Lobby. Supporters got reminders both through email and social media, to make sure all bases were covered.
As the day was approaching, more Facebook promotion went out from both Makindu’s page and Lobby’s. Even on the day of the event and after checking in at the restaurant, they shared one last reminder: this beautiful personalized flyer explaining the cause with an inspiring and hopeful photo of the kids they are helping.
The flyer also includes critical information for patrons–the restaurant, the date and time, and how to make a percentage of their bill go to the kids. It is important that supporters understand how their efforts are benefiting the cause.
Lobby remembered that one more soft and sweet push can ensure success. “For the day of the event, I went to Hot Mama’s Wings and put a card about Makindu Children’s Program on every table, and in bold letters it said, ‘Please let your server know that you would like a portion of your purchase to go towards MCP.’”
This served a double purpose: she made sure no one would forget to tell the server to count their purchases for the fundraiser, and also, raised awareness about Makindu’s cause. It was a fantastic opportunity to let everyone know more about the organization’s programs and all the amazing things they can be a part of by participating again in the future.
Chances are, some attendees that night went there as part of a group but didn’t know much about the nonprofit. By letting them know about all the details, they could get motivated to become a part of the supporter network that helps Makindu exist. A perfect example of how fundraising can help build and grow community. Not to mention the fact that a restaurant fundraiser is not just a fundraiser, it is a social event where like minded people can come together for a cause.
The results of fundraising
Nothing makes us happier than reaching out to organizations and learning that their experience fundraising was easy and fun: “We ended up getting a check of $77 from Hot Mama’s Wings and it took no effort whatsoever . . . The process was very easy which I loved! Picking a date and a business to partner with is so easy on the GroupRaise site. Receiving confirmation of if we were accepted was speedy . . . We love GroupRaise and hope to do more fundraising with you again!”