From the Force4Good calendar, days can be easily blocked out or made available for partners to apply.
Pro tip: Many restaurants choose to host fundraisers on their lowest sales days. This is a solid strategy: it provides a sales boost (which managers love), and also avoids adding an event to your restaurant’s already peak “busy” hours (which team members appreciate). Be mindful that many nonprofits and schools like to host events during the week, so be sure to have a few weekdays included.
Tip 2: Create effective marketing materials and begin advertising now!
If you’re hoping to have a busy spring full of fundraisers, now is the time to start advertising. In-store signage is a simple and effective way to market your program. Consider creating a one-sheeter or 4×6 info card that highlights your fundraising program and how partners can sign up. Regarding in-store signage, dedicating a menu board or window space for a poster is a great place to start. We’ve also found that keeping fundraiser program info cards at the register or point of purchase (POP) for customers to grab can be an almost effortless way to spread the word. Lastly, consider placing these cards in customers’ to-go bags or catering orders to schools or local businesses – this can be a game changer!
If you already partner with Force4Good, we’ve created template fundraiser program info cards that are easy for your restaurant and brand to download and customize – just reach out to your Force4Good fundraising administrator for more info.
Tip 3: Future fundraiser partners are already in your restaurant
If you want to partner with people in your local community for fundraisers, remember that you don’t need to go far to advertise your program. Your future fundraising partners are likely people you already know and see on a regular basis in your restaurant. While “Four Walls Marketing” is a must-have for restaurants in general, it’s also a great practice to identify fundraising opportunities.
In practice, this means simply speaking with guests already in your restaurant that may be interested in a fundraiser – for example, a group of parents with kids in basketball jerseys coming in after practice. Another easy opportunity is a teacher or volunteer from a nonprofit coming in to pick up a catering order before a big meeting. (Pro tip: Those information cards we mentioned before? Have these on-hand to hand out during these conversations or place in a catering order.)
Four Walls Marketing is a fantastic way to build your fundraiser program and make meaningful relationships with guests who are already fans of your restaurant. They may even market to their respective groups on your behalf.
Tip 4: Spend time preparing your restaurant and training staff
As your restaurant team will be responsible for carrying out the fundraiser and interacting with supporters, this tip may be the most crucial of all: make sure your staff and management are well aware of your fundraiser program, how it works, and when events are happening. Have a section of your training manual dedicated to fundraisers for all new staff. Discuss the program weekly in shift meetings. And on the day of a fundraiser, be sure to call out the event in shift meetings and on back-of-house bulletin boards or signage.
If staff are unaware of a fundraiser as it’s happening, it can be detrimental to your program and relationship with the organizer. They may think that the event they spent time organizing and marketing isn’t important to you, or worse, that your team isn’t accurately counting sales on their behalf. A little awareness goes a long way here.
The Force4Good platform includes automated emails that go to restaurant management and fundraiser organizers to make sure all parties are on the same page and aware of their upcoming fundraisers.
Tip 5: Find the friction in your program and make adjustments
Because fundraisers tend to slow down over the holidays, ‘tis the season to observe your restaurant in action and improve pain points before the busy fundraiser season arrives. Some common issues to be aware of:
- Restaurant staff being unaware and unprepared for fundraisers.
- Being understaffed for a fundraiser, i.e. staff being unable to effectively run the restaurant during the event. While fundraiser organization and execution is made simple on the Force4Good platform, your own internal procedures may vary. Be sure there are enough staff members to prepare food, tend to guests, and clean the dining room.
- Sales being tallied correctly by restaurant staff and POS system.
- Is it easy for fundraising guests to attend the event? E.g. Place their order, navigate the restaurant, find places to congregate, etc.
Noticing these friction points and making adjustments will keep your fundraisers stress-free and enjoyable, which benefits both your restaurant team and fundraiser partners.
Ready to make your fundraisers rock this spring?
When it comes to the busy fundraiser season, any preparation you can tackle now will pay massive dividends this spring when your restaurant inevitably gets busier. We hope these tips help you prepare for and navigate a profitable, stress-free fundraiser season. Spring will be here before you know it!