Restaurant fundraising, also known as spirit night or fundraising night, is a technique used by educational groups, religious organizations and charities to raise money for their causes. These groups eat at a restaurant on a designated night and a portion of their receipts are donated to either their own organization or to a third party institution. Groups are usually given a time window of 3-5 hours to invite people to eat, and depending on the percentage offered by restaurants and the bill amounts, the donation changes. In order for a group to qualify to hold a restaurant fundraiser, they must either be or support an organization with a 501(c)(3) tax ID. The tax ID must be presented to the restaurant in order to win eligibility to host a fundraiser. Any donations to 501(c)(3) groups are tax deductible.
Hosting a restaurant fundraiser
- Conventional Method
Some restaurants explicitly post their fundraising program on their webpage, while others require verification through direct contact. Groups contact the restaurant directly usually via phone or email to orchestrate the event details. Once the schedule is finalized, the organizers advertise the event to people who may be interested in supporting their cause, which is to ensure a successful turnout. Restaurants usually require a flyer or coupons to be presented for groups to receive credit.
- Online Technology
Recently, many restaurants have replaced the traditional pencil and notebook with an online booking system. This has significantly decreased the amount of time it takes to organize an event by eliminating the need of direct contact. Platforms such as GroupRaise.com offer an online network of restaurants in different areas, where organizations simply search for nearby restaurants offering the program and make requests online at no cost.
- For Fundraisers
- Minimal Costs: Fundraisers and participants only pay for the food they eat since the venue is already set with its established arrangements.
- Ease of organizing: Advent of online intermediary tools simplifies the scheduling process. Increasing use of social media makes the event promotion a lot easier.
- Daily activity: Fundraiser participants need only to show up at the restaurant and eat as they would if they were normally out. The added benefit of giving back to the community while one eats is a bonus.
- For Restaurateurs
- Giving back to the community enhances their brand image in an increasingly conscious society.
- Event participants fill the restaurant on a slow day/night at minimal operation cost.
- It allows owners to target and attract customers who would not conventionally walk into their restaurant without the usage of other promotional activities such as discounts.
- It creates an advantage over their direct and indirect competition through greater community involvement.
To be eligible to receive funds from a restaurant, the types of organizations/individuals that hold a restaurant fundraiser should have a 501(c)(3) tax ID or should be supporting an organization with the tax ID. Fundraisers include (but are not limited to):
- Local/National Charitable organizations i.e. American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association
- School organizations/events i.e. Debate team, Booster Club, PTA(PTO), Music Band, School soccer team
- Non-profit Religious Groups
- Runners/walkers that participate in charity events i.e. Relay for Life
- Non-profit Sports Teams/leagues i.e. summer league hockey teams
- Any for-profit organizations or individuals who raise for a non-profit charity/cause
| This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Restaurant fundraising, that was deleted or is being discussed for deletion, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.