How to promote your restaurant’s fundraising for more requests

Posted by Laura Bilsborrow

The secret is out–restaurants nationwide now know that partnering with local groups for fundraisers can be an incredibly beneficial business move by increasing sales on slow nights, bringing in new customers, and strengthening brand awareness.

 

How do you make sure that the next time your local animal shelter or high school band are planning a fundraiser, your restaurant is top of mind? By making sure everyone knows about your fundraising program!

 

This blog post covers the 4 most important promotion steps you can take to drive more eyeballs to your fundraising page and event requests to your inbox:

  1. Engage with the fundraising community on social media
  2. Highlight your fundraising on your website
  3. Show in-store customers
  4. Spread the word to your email list

 

We’ve got actionable advice for each step, including social media templates, examples, and an email template, so buckle up. Keep reading to learn more!

 

Computer opened to Facebook and hand holding a phone

Image by Austin Distel from Unsplash

 

1. Engage with the fundraising community on social media

Social media is a fantastic way to reach a wide audience, even beyond your own followers. 

 

Here are our social media tips to become known as a fundraising partner in your community:

  • Post strategically–You’ll definitely want to put out a quick announcement when you start your fundraising program. Beyond that, posting before and after any fundraising events you host can not only increase the event sales that day, but also shows your community you care and could be a great partner for a future event. In addition to specific events, make sure to post during fundraising high season: August-October and January-March.
  • Include a photo with each post (if you can!)–visuals work wonders for engagement. Post a photo of your delicious food, your friendly employees, or members of a fundraising group you hosted (with the permission of people pictured).
  • Use these social media caption templates. Make sure to replace the words in [brackets] with those appropriate for your restaurant, or create your own messaging altogether! The more you personalize for your own brand, the better.
  • Like, comment, and share event-related posts by fundraising groups you host. The groups you host will already be posting about their event, so give them a hand to help them boost attendance! Taking a minute to engage with them is super easy and ensures their post reaches more people.

 

Scroll down to see three fantastic examples of restaurants promoting their fundraising on social media.

 

Facebook

Screenshot of Facebook post by Mellow Mushroom, promoting a fundraiser that day

Screenshot from Facebook

 

Instagram

Screenshot from Instagram showing three women at a fundraiser at restaurant Ma Mommas House

Screenshot from Instagram

 

Twitter

Screenshot of restaurant Bantam & Biddy replying to a tweet about a fundraiser

Screenshot from Twitter

 

2. Highlight your fundraising on your website

In addition to social media, your website is your other main internet presence and an important avenue for people to learn about your fundraising program. Whether it’s a casual website visitor finding out for the first time that you host fundraisers or a community group specifically looking for info on how to partner with you, highlighting fundraising on your website is a great way to grow your program.

 

Here’s what we recommend for your website:

  • Insert a link to your Fundraising Calendar page on GroupRaise. Interested community groups will be able to easily pick an available date, see your fundraiser policies, and make a request–without any time-consuming back-and-forth about those basic details. 
      • How to find the link to your Fundraising Calendar page: Log in to your Dashboard, go to Campaigns, scroll to the bottom to see your location, then copy the “View Location” link. If you are part of a larger brand with many locations, you can link to your brand page instead–see existing brand page links here.
  • Make your fundraising link pop with a “Fundraise Here” button. To get the button pictured below, log into your GroupRaise account and click “Promote” at the top of the screen. From there, you can copy the script for the button and paste it into your website.
Green button reading “Fundraise Here”

Button by GroupRaise

 

  • Post a quick announcement about your fundraising program on your blog. Make sure to include any details you’d like website visitors to know about how to request an event with you, including your GroupRaise link. You can also include a few sentences about why you give back to the community and the causes you are most passionate about. Pin the post to the top of your blog page so that even months later people see it.

 

3. Show in-store customers

Customers already visiting your location in person are much more likely than the average person to request an event with you. They already love your food, so give them a great reason to invite all their friends and benefit their favorite cause at the same time!

 

To make the most of your in-person impressions:

  • Put up posters, table tents, and / or business cards. A simple flyer on your door or bulletin board saying “We host fundraisers!” along with your GroupRaise link can do the trick.
  • Make sure your employees know how fundraising works. A lot of the time your customers will ask your staff about how to host a fundraiser in person or over the phone. If you have a fundraising link on your website, you can just direct the customer there. Otherwise, you can give out a flyer or business card with a link to your GroupRaise page. Train your employees using company newsletters or staff meetings so you don’t miss a chance to host your local community.

 

4. Spread the word to your email list

We’ve found email is one of the most effective channels to attract fundraisers because it is personal and provides an actionable item directly.

 

For best results:

  • Keep it short. Aim for 4-8 sentences.
  • Make it personal. Use the dynamic fields available in most email software (also called mail merge) to include the person or group’s name, city, and other relevant information.
  • Include a call to action. What do you want the recipient to do? Tell them directly! A good CTA could be something like “Book a fundraiser with us this fall” or “View our available fundraiser dates”
  • Link to your GroupRaise fundraising page. Your location page includes all the details customers need to know to make an event request, so direct them there.

 

As a reference, check out this email template and customize it for your own brand.

 

 

 

 

Unlock more requests with these promotion steps

By getting started on even just a few of these promotion steps, you’ll be setting your restaurant up for fundraising success. 

 

You might be surprised at how your efforts snowball. Once your community knows how great of a partner you are, you can get even more requests by organic word-of-mouth referral. So get that ball rolling!

 

By the way, did you know you can also get more requests by optimizing your GroupRaise profile? Check out our other blog post to learn more: How to hack the GroupRaise algorithms for more fundraiser requests.