One of those philanthropical experiences

A lady approached us to do a fundraiser for an Autism research center. We were game and agreed to contribute 15% of sales attributable to people they brought in with the flyer. It was set for Sunday. She came in that day while I was in the kitchen and asked if the customers needed the flyer. I said no, we’d be happy to give them a copy or make a note of their sale. We were extremely busy and I was pleased. I went home prior to the dinner rush and my wife took over. My wife then discovered that this woman was going to every table (many our regulars) and explaining her purpose while distributing a flyer to them. My wife kindly explained that she couldn’t interfere with our regular business and she stopped.

We did about double our normal Sunday and the center had a nice chunk of change. Then, today, I received an e-mail from her explaining how disappointed she was that we didn’t promote her event more on Facebook.

I’m slackjawed. I guess I have to start writing up rules for these types of fundraisers rather than trusting a gentlemen’s agreement. Give an inch, I guess…

During Christmas week I picked 4 local non-profits that I support and advertised that we would give 10% of sales to these groups over the four nights. I figured that they would promote it with their supporters and I advertised as well. Winter is slow, so it was a nice way to connect with our community. It worked out well. It would be tough to track each sale that the non-profit brought in. Better to just pick a percentage you are comfortable with off of total sales. (in my opinion, of course)

I get frustrated with fundraisers too. We’ve tried to do several of them and rarely do the groups/organizations try that hard to promote it and seem to expect me to do the work.

As far as tracking sales, I always put a discount on the POS for them that takes .01 off the order, then I can print out a quick report for that discount that gives me my totals and also doesn’t allow them to use other discounts with the order.

We once did a promo we called Two for Two which gave the customer a $2 discount and was matched by a $2 donation to the organization from us.

It worked OK a couple of times and was a dog a couple of times. In the end, if the organization is not going to push the offer to its members, what is the point. It is easier to write a check to an organization you support and not fool around with the offer and potential bad feelings that it did not amount to much.