Fundraising: 5% Continuous vs 20% Single

I am looking to start a fundraising program with local organizations (school, churches, etc) and am trying to decide between one of two ways to do the fundraising. The fundraising program is done through Community Connection in Repeat Returns, so it requires that the person sign up for our rewards program so that it can automatically attach their purchases to their specified organization, so this will help build our database. The two options I am looking at is:

5% Continuous Return: Every month I will provide the organization with our current promotional flyer to distribute to its members, students, etc with instructions on how to sign up to have their purchases credited towards the organization. Then 5% of every order they place, no matter when it is, will be donated back to the school.

The plus side: It doesn’t restrict participants to a specific day, so I may pick up business on a steady basis as opposed to a huge slam on a specific night. It also requires less planning and pushing for a specific day, and more just a calm reminder.

The negative side: 5% of every order customers make that are attached to an organization (which could potentially be a lot) will go off my top line. However to play devils advocate, 5% to be a steady business attraction as we are giving back to the community, and basically getting a free mailing list, may not be THAT much.

20% Single Return: The organization gets one “night” a month in which supporters earn 20% back to the organization off their order. We will give a promotional flyer a day or two before the date as a reminder each month.

The plus side: 20% sounds like a big number. It may get parents really excited that such a large portion is going back to their organization. It is only on one night, so if they order other times during the month, there is nothing going back.

The negative side: It forces them to order on one day, making for a potentially high volume for me to the point it may be harder to handle as it could be busier than even a regular Friday night.

As a side note, I am leaning slightly more toward the 5% also for one primary reason: No one else does it. They all do the 20% so it could be a possibility that I could word it right that the 5% opens up more community involvement, as people are not forced to order just one time, and potentially earning them even more money.

Thoughts, and feedback are greatly appreciate!

With your fundraising spread out over a period of time, I’m pretty sure it will lose its luster quickly. One thing you’ve got to understand about people is that most are followers, meaning they love to be part of the “in” thing and being a part of the crowd. When you give people room to come up with excuses and cop out on things by setting very loose parameters on when your specials/coupons can be redeemed, you can rest assured most will do just that.

example A
It’s like saying: “If you come into my restaurant tonight only I will give you a large one topping pizza for $4! It’s got to be tonight though. I cannot let this special last any longer than tonight.”


example B
“If you come into my restaurant sometime in the next couple months we will give you a large one topping pizza for $4. So, whenever you feel like having pizza for dinner, come on by”

Which one of these two offers do you think will give you the most significant response? Example A will probably give you 100 extra orders (errr… new customers) in one night, while Example B will probably give you 180 orders over the next 2 months? As in three a day? It’s not worth it, is it?

Setting up a donation night for a single designated night of a specific week provides four very distinct advantages:

  1. It provides a sense of urgency with the customers.
  2. It creates an “event” they can all participate in together and gives them something to talk about.
  3. It creates competition. There is no way little Suzy in third grade is going to let mean little Johnny’s class beat her class so she is going to make certain mom and dad are bugged until they give in and order pizza.
  4. You are donating profits to the school. Wouldn’t it make sense to lower your labor costs and raise sales as much as possible so that you can maximize the profits generated for that night? With this method, the donation isn’t quite as much a hit to the bottom line.

If it’s continuous business you’re after with these donation nights, that fix is simple also:

Set these donation nights up with multiple organizations so that you’re doing 1-2 per week, every week of the month. You only need 8 of these to accomplish this goal. You’ll have to deal with getting smacked though. I don’t think there’s any real way around that one.

Good Luck,


Remember… The idea behind an ongoing fundraiser is to get people in your database… Which launches all of our Repeat Returns marketing… Which then helps turn a few visits into a habit… And earning points becomes a tie breaker when customers are making a pizza buying decision…

Thank you for the detailed posting j. I appreciate the information and outlook. And kamron I will definitely make sure to get the details in the database. I am thoroughly happy with repeat returns this far.

Call us with any questions… we also have print-ready flyers to help you attract groups or promote a current group…