Digital Fundraisers & How Your Restaurant Can Benefit

Posted by Laura Bilsborrow

Restaurant owners and operators, there’s a new angle to community engagement strategy you can leverage: digital fundraisers.

 

Whether you’re a pro at hosting fundraising events or considering starting your restaurant’s own program, if you’re not incorporating an online or off-premises aspect to your fundraising events, you could be falling behind.

 

Fortunately, setting up digital fundraising on GroupRaise is simple and can lead to benefits such as increased brand awareness, fundraiser requests, and new customers.

 

Check out this article to learn how digital fundraisers work and why you should consider them for your restaurant!

 

What are digital fundraisers?

How does it work?

Why go digital?

 

By the way, if you haven’t already listed your restaurant on GroupRaise, you could be getting your name in front of many more local community groups by joining our restaurant community. You can learn more about GroupRaise benefits on our blog and sign up here

 

What are digital restaurant fundraisers?

Digital restaurant fundraisers are just like regular restaurant fundraisers–the only difference is that customers can participate off-premises. For example, patrons could order online or by phone, then get their food via take-out or delivery.

 

Local fundraising groups first make an online request to hold an event at your restaurant and then promote to their community. Day-of, participants order food from your restaurant, and you donate a percentage of net sales back to their charitable cause.

 

Hand with pink fingernails holds phone in front of computer, considering digital fundraisers

Image by William Iven from Unsplash

 

How does it work?

 

Enabling digital fundraising takes just a minute

  1. Log in and click Edit Campaign on your GroupRaise dashboard
  2. Scroll down to the Take-Out and Delivery Settings section
  3. Check Allow, choose your order preferences and click Update!

 

 

Digital fundraisers can involve a variety of order methods and can even be combined with dine-in. Customize to your heart’s content! When you click Edit Campaign and scroll down to the Take-Out and Delivery Settings section, you’ll see the following options, all of which can be combined to match the current operations of your restaurant:

 

How will customers get their food?

  • Take-Out
  • Delivery
  • Drive-Thru
  • Pick-Up

How should customers order food?

  • Website Orders
  • Phone Orders
  • Third-Party App Orders
  • Storefront Orders

 

Promo codes make online tracking efficient and easy

If your restaurant accepts orders via a website or app, you can track online fundraiser orders by letting groups know to either:

  • Mention they are with a fundraising group in an online order comment OR
  • Use your selected promo code

 

You can choose your preferred online tracking method and customize further within the settings of your GroupRaise account. For example, you can use the unique promo code GroupRaise automatically generates for each meal or you can set one fundraising promo code for all your locations.

 

Tracking is especially efficient with promo codes because all of the fundraiser online orders will be tagged with the same code.

 

Groups can easily see your order preferences

Customers will be able to see your order preferences on your online listing and Meal Promotion Page. Here are some examples:

 

“Dine-In” and “Take-Out or Delivery” Badges on Search Results Page:

 

Screenshot of meal promo page showing order preferences

Screenshot from GroupRaise.com

 

Note on Calendar Page:

 

Screenshot of text about how a restaurant accepts takeout orders

Screenshot from GroupRaise.com

 

Online Meal Promotion Page (visible leading up to and on event day):

 

Screenshot of meal promo page showing order preferences

Screenshot from GroupRaise.com

 

Why go digital?

If you have a restaurant listing on GroupRaise, you already know the benefits of restaurant fundraisers in general: increasing sales on slow nights, bringing in new customers, forging closer relationships with your community, and much more.

 

Keep reading to learn more about the benefits particular to digital fundraising.

 

Flexibility to host events without dine-in

In the ever-changing landscape of COVID, adaptability is key. Even if your dining room isn’t open, by offering digital fundraisers you can keep hosting fundraising groups through off-premises orders.

 

Brand awareness from priority marketing

By enabling digital fundraisers, you’ll receive additional marketing from the GroupRaise team, increasing the exposure your local community has to your brand. This priority marketing includes:

  • Exclusive Email Campaigns
  • Take-Out or Delivery Badge in Listings
  • Higher Ranking in Search Listings

 

We’ve also designed special promo materials for organizers hosting fundraisers with you to help them spread the word about your off-premises order options. Here’s an example of a promo image posted to Instagram:

 

Screenshot of Instagram post with GroupRaise event flyer

Screenshot from Instagram

 

More fundraiser requests

August-October 2020, the most recent fundraising high season, 480% more requests went to restaurants offering off-premises options than dine-in only restaurants.

 

Beyond the influence of priority marketing driving more requests to those restaurants, it also makes sense in the context of COVID that groups prefer restaurants with off-premises ordering options.

 

By partnering with a restaurant with flexible order options, the group’s supporters are all able to participate with the level of social distancing that makes them most comfortable.

 

Adding digital fundraising to your offerings opens up new opportunities to connect with local groups and receive more event requests.

 

New and repeat off-premises customers

Digital fundraising is also a great way to introduce your off-premises menu to both returning and new customers, getting them comfortable with the process and increasing their likelihood of ordering from you again.

 

Post-event survey data from Fall 2020 backs this up: 1 of every 3 fundraising event customers was new to the restaurant and 99% said they would be willing to return.

 

 

Digital fundraisers for the win

Digital fundraisers have become a game-changer for both restaurants and local fundraising groups, allowing them to continue working together through the rollercoaster of COVID. 

 

In fact, over 5,000 restaurants are now offering digital fundraisers on GroupRaise.

 

Keep up with the times and even get ahead of the curve by offering digital fundraisers at your restaurant!