How to hack the GroupRaise algorithms for more fundraiser requests

Posted by Laura Bilsborrow

There’s a lot of technology going on behind the scenes at GroupRaise and you can leverage it for your restaurant to get a step ahead of the competition and attract more fundraiser event requests.

 

In this blog post, we’re going under the hood to show you a few simple, actionable steps you can take to optimize your restaurant’s GroupRaise listing. 

 

By taking just a couple minutes to follow the advice below, you’ll be more likely to:

 

More exposure and an optimized profile = more event requests. Read on to learn more!

 

Black computer screen with code

Image by Pixabay from Pexels

 

How to rank higher in GroupRaise search results

When a customer searches for nearby restaurants offering fundraising opportunities, GroupRaise returns a list of restaurants ranked by a combination of restaurant characteristics and behavior on the website.

 

Restaurant characteristics include the distance from the customer and having off-premises order options. Behavior on the website refers to accepting / rejecting requests and response time.

 

Screenshot from GroupRaise showing restaurant listings for Houston, Texas

Screenshot from GroupRaise.com

 

Ranking order matters–a lot. About 50% of event requests go to the first 3 search results and about 90% of requests go to restaurants on the first page of search results.

 

While much of the ranking depends on distance from the customer, here’s what you can do to rank higher in other ways:

  • Don’t ignore any fundraiser requests–accept or reject. Requests expire after 7 days, so make sure to respond before that. Not only is your listing placement negatively impacted with each expired request, but also is the trust in your brand.
  • Respond quickly to fundraiser requests–within 3 days. In addition to responding to every request, timing matters. The quicker the better.
  • Accept more fundraiser requests. Restaurants that are actively accepting requests get bumped up when possible.
  • Enable off-premises order options such as takeout and delivery. To enable, log in and click Edit Campaign on your GroupRaise dashboard. Scroll down to the Take-Out and Delivery Settings section. Check Allow, choose your order preferences and click Update!

 

 

How to be included more often in GroupRaise marketing emails

Almost every week, GroupRaise sends emails out to local PTAs, college clubs, nonprofits, and schools, letting them know about fundraising restaurants near them. In each email, we suggest between 1 and 3 restaurants, based again on a combination of restaurant characteristics and behavior on the site.

 

Screenshot of example marketing email

Screenshot from GroupRaise.com

 

Just like the search results ranking, distance from the customer is the most important. To be eligible to appear in an email to a local group, a restaurant needs to be located within about 2-5 miles of the group (sometimes the radius is bigger, depending on where you are).

 

Accepting more fundraiser requests and enabling off-premises order options also get factored in. 

 

After that, the next element you can tweak is your calendar. Opening up more days for fundraisers on your calendar boosts your chances to be included more often in emails.

 

How to have a high-converting fundraising page

Whether the customer is on the GroupRaise search results page or your location page, you’ve got one last opportunity to make a great impression out of the many options available.

 

Beyond algorithms and rankings, there’s the human element of your listing, which will ultimately convince a customer to request an event with your restaurant. For example, how much do you give back? What are the event logistics like at your restaurant?

 

Here are a few tips to turn your fundraising page into a request powerhouse:

  • Increase your donation percentage. It goes without saying that giving back more makes your restaurant look more attractive for fundraising groups.
  • Open your calendar for Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Not only are these popular days for groups to request, we’ve also found that these days tend to be the most successful in terms of fundraiser attendance. It makes sense–people are usually busier on weekends with other plans, but have availability during the week for a quick dinner.
  • Reconsider your fundraiser policies. You may want to loosen up the restrictions you put on fundraising events in order to appeal to more community groups. For example, if you exclude alcohol sales from fundraisers, you could consider removing that policy. Or another example: if you only accept registered 501(c)(3) fundraising groups, you could be missing out on the many more community groups fundraising in your area.
  • Include your logo on your profile. Nothing catches the eye like a good visual. If you don’t have a logo uploaded on GroupRaise, the default image below will display next to your restaurant’s name, which isn’t very exciting. If your profile doesn’t already include your logo, reach out to our Support Team with the image file, and we’ll get it updated.
Graphic of fork and knife on dark blue plate with light blue background

Image by GroupRaise

 

  • Add beautiful food photo(s) to your brand page (not applicable to all). If you have 3 or more locations, you may be eligible for a brand page, which allows customers to view only your restaurants and suggests your locations near them. Here’s an example of a brand page vs a location page. As you can see, the brand page has space for several photos, highlighting your awesome menu. Get in touch with our Support Team if you’d like to add some photos to your brand page or ask us to create a brand page for you.

 

Screenshot showing the Papa Murphy’s brand page from GroupRaise.com

Screenshot from GroupRaise.com

 

Let’s get those requests rolling in!

The next time your local elementary school’s PTA or your nearby university’s sororities are searching for a restaurant for their upcoming fundraiser, you’ll be much more likely to become their final choice–if you follow the advice from this blog post, that is.

 

And in addition to optimizing your GroupRaise listing, you can also bring in more requests by promoting your fundraising program.

 

More questions about how GroupRaise works or how to propel your restaurant’s fundraising program to success? Reach out to our Support Team–we’re happy to help!