Charity fundraisers revisited

A month or so ago someone posted on the Think Tank about doing a fundraiser to raise money for Haiti earthquake victims and most here blasted him for being greedy ect. Please give me your opinion of the following so I know if it is worth approaching the charity about this fundraiser opportunity.

A local chapter of a well known national charity has lost some government funding and is struggling to raise the money needed to meet their budget. They appear to be $40,000 short and are considering selling their building and and renting smaller office space to cover this years budget shortfall. If our companies two other local stores are willing to do this I am considering approaching the charity and offering them the following. For every order over $10 where the customer asks us to donate to this charity we will give $1.50. We would be putting the effort into the charity’s hands. They have the ears of the local TV and newspaper and could certainly get the word out if they wanted to. They only get money from us if they put the effort forth to promote this which would get our name out there. If they got one quarter of our current orders to ask us to donate they would be getting over $1500 per week. If they get new customers ordering from us and asking us to donate this number can increase quickly.

Your opinions on this? Do I come off looking opportunistic? Should I just forget about it? Are there modifications that I should consider?

I think with anything like this it needs some VERY careful PR. Firstly I think its great to get involved with this kind of thing.

The problem I see with your current stance is that it is in the hands of the customer to mention it and there will always be a concern as to whether the charity gets that money in those. Yes you’re being generous but only some of the time why not all the time.

IMO I think you would be better (and come out of it better) for you to have say a week or month where you donate x cents per order (every order) or x% - obviously less than the $1.50. EVERY ORDER counts in this way rather just the ones who remember to mention it and therefore the whole community is involved by default. A MUCH better feel good factor and story in my mind.

Obviously there is plenty of PR/Marketing opportunity to do and maybe the opportunity for customers to donate more (maybe a special meal deal with a $1 donation?).

Just my opinion.

Just a thought…what about a matching donation. With every order you will match whatever the customer donates, or will they match you? So make it somewhat reasonable… “hey could I get you to match our 50-cent donation to XYZ charity and make it a dollar tonight?” Asking for a dollar a pizza people start to think…paper money…ask for the loose change…and it’s just that…change. What ya think? :?:

We are currently only do catering, with no restaurant as part of the business. and here is what we do for fundraisers and charity orgs; we provide the food to the charitable org for a special event at our actual cost, and they sell that food at retail pricing, or a few dollars over what is typical in this area for the same product.

For instance, each summer I go out and cook 20-30 cases of ribs for our local volunteer fire department during their summer picnic fundraising event, I charge them only $6.50 for each rack of ribs that we provide, they in turn sell those same ribs for $22.00 per rack to the attendees of this event so they make a profit of $15.50 for each rack sold.
I can benefit from this charitable donation to ease my tax burden, I write an invoice with what my total cost usually is, and show their discounted price on their too so I have a paper trail should an audit occur.
I then get a receipt for the amount of the donation from their treasurer that I have made so I can use that at tax time.

20 cases of ribs, each case holds 12 racks so we have 240 racks of ribs with a profit of $15.50 for each rack so I am able to generate $3,720.00 for our local fire department annually with virtually no loss of profits on my end.
The cost that I charge the fire department for the ribs varies slightly each year, I only charge them what my actual “Out of Pocket” costs are to provide them with these ribs.
So I am not spending any money to do this, and I am not making any money dy doing this. But it sure is great advertising and a way to introduce more and more people to our product and gain future business.
I could call it a loss, because we are blocking out a weekend from our catering schedule, and I need to decline catered events where we may profit $2K-$3K from that weekend.

Maybe you can figure out a mutually beneficial way to do this for all parties involved by doing something similar.

Can you advertise this, and host a private party at your place and do the same pricing structure as we have done?

I have also seen some place host charitable events, and do a 50/50 split on the profits, the charity makes money, and the provider makes money too.
There has got to be some way for you to help without it being seen as greed, or taking advantage of a disaster.

The telemarketing companies that call to solicit donations for org’s such as Special-Olympics do a 50/50 split of all donations, so remember that the next time you make a donation over the phone, and think about donating the full amount locally instead.

How about giving them 100 free pizza certificates to sell to raise money? They should be able to raise over $1,000 with that. It will cost you about $300 to do. If they do a good job letting people know how you supported them, thye advertising value is much more than $300. Additionally, you should pick up a handful of new loyal customers which is worth a lot more than $300.