School - Fundraiser contribution?

Those of you who do a “school night” - what % do you give a back to the school??


i did 25%…i think the most it raised was approx 500


15% and they were THRILLED to get it. Most of the big chain sit down restaurants that have a school night near me offer 15% so that is what I went with.

Do you give the % on all orders or only ones that say they are buying for school nights? Also, do you give the % based on regular prices or can they use coupons?

My chain has done 20%. The set it up for one night and staff accordingly. They just record every transaction from people who say they are with the school. Its really no different than Staples or Office Depot doing the back to school program. It creates some excitement, gets people influencing others to participate (doing your job), and brings in new people who did not know about you before. It doesn’t cost you much more than a standard coupon but you get all the positive feelings about you in the community. We are a high end pizza so its a chance for us to discount for some volume without giving the impression of a discount pizza joint. People realize its just an event and don’t expect it otherwise.

The stores that have done it in our chain have had lines out the doors.

Thanks for the input.
Our first one went really well, and I’ve set the contribution for now at 15%. Here are some things we’re going to be doing:

I’ll provide the school with a nice color flyer to send home with kids or hand out, etc. They just fill in the school name and the date…

We’ll accept the flyer - or even just the mention of the school - on any orders. Deliveries, slices, whatever.

I just set up a “coupon” in my POS with a $0 value so we can track the orders and get a report on it.

The first one bumped a slow night dramatically, and with no real effort other than sending the flyers home with kids. Next time, they’ll also do posters in the school, maybe one in my window, and perhaps a press release. School’s happy and I’m thrilled.


Good to hear about the success with the school night. A couple things I’d like to add:

  1. You don’t need to spend the money on color copies. A simple colored paper with black print is all you need.

  2. I set up my donations at 20%. My competitors have done it at 10%, so I want to make sure I’m the one that keeps the business by doubling their donations.

  3. Send out TWO flyers. One the week before and one the day of. By doing this you let the parents know it’s coming so they can prepare for it. Most households are on a budget so it would be beneficial to the parents by giving them some time to adjust expenditures.

  4. The schools pay for the printing.

  5. It’s a donation. Make sure you’re accounting for these payouts so you can write them off at the end of the year.

  6. My POS system is set up for “Delivery, Dine In, Carryout, S. Delivery, S. Dine In, S. Carryout”. The “S” of course, is to mark the "S"chool night.



  1. It’s a donation. Make sure you’re accounting for these payouts so you can write them off at the end of the year.

I thought that you were not allowed to writeoff this type of event since you are expensing the food cost…I may be wrong though…I hope I am wrong though

Put it into the P&L’s as a “Business Promotion Expense”. By doing so you get the full deduction at the end of the year. By listing it as a charitable contribution you’re only entitled to half.

I just got off the phone with my accountant to make sure I’m giving correct advice. The way he explained it to me is that the “Business Promotion Expense” is like a rebate, which is fully deductible.