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Volunteers work in a community garden

The summer slowdown

School’s out for the summer, and if you host fundraisers in your restaurant, you may have noticed applications and interest dipping from your usual volume. If this sounds familiar, don’t fret! This is a natural trend and falls in line with the data we’ve captured at Force4Good. With schools and universities out for the summer, most of the regular organizations that host fundraisers go on hiatus, too.

Graph depicting percentage of annual fundraiser sales by month

Interestingly enough, restaurants that partner with Force4Good are still receiving fundraiser requests for these slower months, they’re just different from the regular core groups that make up the fall and spring fundraiser pushes like school and university groups.

If you’re looking to drive restaurant sales and do good this summer, the opportunity is there – though it may take outreach to different kinds of organizations than you normally partner with during the school year. In this post, we’ll highlight some of the types of organizations that are in full swing during the summer months.

Summer sports organizations

Examples:

  • Club baseball, softball, soccer
  • Community summer sports leagues

While the wrapping of the school year signals the end of play for most school sports teams, for many competitive players, summer equals a shift to club or community team sports – which means a summer full of practice, tournaments, and time on the road. And with that comes a need to raise funds. As club teams are highly active and motivated, they typically make great fundraising partners. Each team usually fields at least 15 to 20 players, which usually results in a solid base of supporters to attend the event, too.

Our data shows the average sports team fundraiser brings in roughly $600 – so be sure to put sports clubs on your short list of groups to market to and work with this summer!

Community-focused groups

Examples:

  • Libraries and their summer programs
  • Community gardens
  • Summer camps and day camps

Another great set of organizations to bring into focus are summer programs through your local community. For example, public libraries often have summer reading programs and are great organizations to partner with. As the growing season kicks off, many communities have garden projects that operate as a place to educate the community and grow food for those facing food scarcity. Lastly, community camps or programs for kids are looking for opportunities like fundraisers to fund their programs.

Because there’s a wide variation between the kinds of groups in this category, it’s difficult to pinpoint an average for community group fundraisers, however, it’s worth noting that the average Force4Good fundraiser brings in roughly $650 in restaurant sales.

Local nonprofits / pet rescues

Examples:

  • The Humane Society
  • ASPCA
  • Nonprofits that support local causes

The last category of organizations we’ll discuss is another that has a never-ending need for community support: local nonprofits and, specifically, animal welfare groups. Out of the thousands of nonprofits we’ve partnered with, animal welfare groups typically have smashing turnouts and are fun to work with to boot. Who doesn’t like helping puppies and kittens?

There are likely dozens if not hundreds of national, regional, and local nonprofits in your area that would love to partner with your restaurant. Check out GuideStar’s search function to find these awesome groups in your area. 

GuideStar's organization search engine

Similar to community organizations, nonprofits come in all shapes and sizes, and so do their fundraisers. Some nonprofits have massive outreach and turnout, while others struggle to bring in crowds of supporters. 

But however it plays out, nonprofits make great fundraising partners. Give these hard-working and well-deserving organizations your focus for events this summer. 

Making connections

Now that you’ve seen our top list of organizations to work with, what’s the best way to find and connect with them? It may be easier than you think. 

Quick ways to win attention:

  • In-store signage
  • Fundraiser info cards placed at the POP
  • Flyers added to to-go bags or catering orders

Your restaurant has opportunities that walk in and out of your doors each and every day. Don’t miss out – empower your team members and managers to mention your fundraising program to guests who might be interested in participating. This could look like:

  • A family drops in after a soccer game wearing jerseys – hand out fundraiser info cards and ask if they’re aware of your fundraising program. 
  • A team member prepares a catering order for a group of volunteers at your local library and mentions the fundraising program to the person who picks up the order (and includes fundraiser info cards in the bags!). 

Having educated and informed staff will help your restaurant grow fundraisers organically from guests who are already fans of your business.

Final thoughts

When it comes to summer fundraisers, the moral of the story is to follow the old adage: “fish where there are fish.” With a little time and research into your local community, you’ll find plenty of fundraiser partners excited to work with you and your restaurant! 

Already looking ahead to fall and growing your fundraiser strategy? We’ve got you covered – check out this list of 5 things you can do today to prepare your restaurant for the fall fundraising push. 

Looking to start a fundraising program in your restaurant? Connect with us or schedule a demo of Force4Good to learn more!

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