How I reached my fundraising goal without breaking a sweat - GroupRaise

How I reached my fundraising goal without breaking a sweat

Posted by Elena McCormack

My name is Elena and since 2007, I have been involved with the Alzheimer’s Association in honor of my grandmother. First through the Boston Chapter, then Austin and now the Greater Dallas Chapter. I have participated in walks in all three cities but over the past few years I have challenged myself to become more involved with fundraising and motivated myself to hit higher goals for my walk teams. I set a fundraising goal for $2000 and set out on a search for easy ideas on how to reach that amount. After doing just a bit of internet searching, I came across GroupRaise.


For those who have not heard of this organization yet, GroupRaise is website where you can book a fundraising meal at a local restaurant. What was very attractive to me was that they do all the legwork for you. They have contacted vendors, they have negotiated rates and percentages, basically, they have done the hard part that no one has time for. In years past, I simply used social media to round up donations for our walk team so I knew using this platform would be a new and exciting way to generate donations and get people together.

Me and my husband on the day of the event


Booking the event

Kicking off a fundraising event seemed daunting but with GroupRaise, where to start was the easiest part. Within just a minute, I was able to select a restaurant and a preferred date online using their easy to follow steps on the GroupRaise website. No uncomfortable negotiation or back and forth with the venue was needed. By the following day, my event had been approved by the venue I chose.


Promoting my event and reaching out for support

I thought of many promotional strategies to get the word out, but I mostly focused on social media. What did we do before social media? I could see my fundraising goal in sight the more people I was able to contact. Online promotion was easy thanks to the meal page and the email reminder GroupRaise sends to supporters before the event. I was able to share the page on my social media accounts and they did the rest.


The best part of all, was that I wasn’t asking my friends and family for money, instead, I was asking them to just have a fun night out. I loved this mindset, you don’t have to organize a fundraiser to fundraise. That’s exactly how it felt, my only goal during this process was to get the word out about my event.  


The event day went very smoothly
I thought this day would be insanely hectic but l was literally able to just show up like a normal guest. Everyone really had a great time, it was a perfect night of mingling, socializing, and discussing the reasons why I was throwing the event in the first place. The restaurant set up a GroupRaise box for guests to drop their receipts in throughout the night. At the end of the event, the restaurant gathered the receipts and tallied them up. The following day I received an email with the amount we had raised. My event helped me reach my fundraising goal for the Alzheimer’s Association and I was so excited to pass this check over to an amazing organization closet to my heart.

This is the box the restaurant put out to collect all the receipts


A Few Things to Consider
Of course, I learnt a few things along the way after doing something like this for the first time. Here are a few takeaways and wisdom I can pass onto the next mom:

  • I would suggest contacting your venue ahead of the event to introduce yourself and explain your vision of the night of your event.
  • Ask if the restaurant can set up a table and let people know what you are raising money for.
  • GroupRaise Meals are a great opportunity to ask your supporters for further support with a check or cash donation!
  • Lastly, make sure all the receipts end up in the box. The restaurant will most likely make sure it is in a visible spot but it never hurts to remind your guests before they leave!

That’s it. It’s as simple as that. For its ease and simplicity, next time I will easily turn to GroupRaise to help reach my fundraising goals for the Alzheimer’s Association.