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55 Restaurant Fundraisers for Non-Profits

Updated on October 25, 2017
Maggie Moo's and Coldstone both do fundraisers
Maggie Moo's and Coldstone both do fundraisers | Source

One of the best fundraiser today for non-profits, including schools, school PTAs or PTOs, Scout troops, high school booster organizations, and traveling sports teams, is a restaurant fundraiser.

My experience is that the organization will generally make less than $1000 at a restaurant fundraiser. Nevertheless, the power of face-to-face interaction at these events provides additional opportunities in the future to recruit volunteers and ask for additional help. As a member of a PTA, I have used this method to raise money consistently, year after year.

This type of fundraiser comes in two types: those that collect fundraising coupons and those that do not. For the first type, the restaurant gives the organization coupons to distribute to as many people as possible, and then those coupons are turned in to the restaurant on the designated night to determine how much money the organization gets. The second type still requires the organization to hand out flyers for the event, but the difference is that every order on the designated night is counted as part of the fundraiser.

I suggest finding restaurants that are close to your organization as they produce the best results. I have also found that fast-food restaurants tend to draw more traffic than sit-down restaurants. Finally, consider local traffic patterns when selecting a restaurant; a hard-to-get-to restaurant will not draw as well as one that is easy to get to.

Don't just think of lunch or dinner places either; switch it up and include an ice cream, yogurt, or juice shop. In fact, we have a lot of success in May with a local Oberweis Ice Cream parlor.

Listed below are restaurants that help not-for-profits raise money by creating these great fundraisers.

The website, GroupRaise.com, has an interactive map that lets you search for restaurants in your area. This website also helps you book the restaurant on its website. It's a great resource when trying to find that perfect match.

Great Tip: Advertise your Fundraiser Early and Often

One way to make your restaurant fundraiser a success is to advertise early and often. Make sure your organization knows the date and talks about it for a couple of weeks.

Restaurants and Ice Cream Shops Helping Local Organizations

My school continues to use a variety of restaurants each year. As always, check with your local restaurant, as some restaurants participate in their national program and some don't.

The links below link to a specific fundraising program, if one is available on the company website; otherwise they link to the general website so you can find a location near you.

How much money did your last Restaurant fundraiser raise?

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Is There a Restaurant Missing?

If you've fundraised at a restaurant not on the list above, let me know, and I'll add it to the list. As this list grows, I've decided to add only restaurants that have a clear fundraising policy.

A lot of restaurants will help with a community fundraiser if you ask, but unless the chain has a clear policy for fundraisers, it will be up to each restaurant manager whether they will help or not.

How to Set Up a Restaurant Fundraiser

So you've decided your not-for-profit's next fundraiser is going to be at a restaurant. Here's how to set up the event and get the best results possible.

1. Start planning your fundraiser at least 30 days in advance.

2. Work with your group to pick a couple of dates for the fundraisers. Restaurants will want to do them during the week, so make sure you have dates on Monday through Thursday.

3. Find a local restaurant to help you. The restaurant should be local and convenient to get to within a few minutes in evening traffic.

4. You have a day and you have a restaurant. Now it is time to promote. Some restaurants will give you flyers and stickers to hand out; some have you do your own. If you need to have the flyers brought back into the restaurant for your organization to get credit, make sure you get the flyers out to the public. For elementary schools, see if the fundraising restaurant will throw in a class party for the class with the biggest turnout. Use email. Use Facebook. You get the picture: get the notice out to everyone in the neighborhood to stop by.

5. Get volunteers to help you the day of the fundraiser. Have people greeting your group as they come in the door. Some restaurants will let fundraisers work behind the counter. Wendy's has allowed us to use their Wendy's outfit: it's always a hoot to see a principal dressed up and serving at one of these events. Bring your mascot costume as well.

6. Have fun! When everyone hears about the great time people had at the fundraiser, more will show up at the next one.

Create a Theme for Each Fundraiser

This year, our PTA is trying themes for each restaurant night. For example, instead of doing all family nights, we are going to try a Moms' Night Out. Don't underestimate the power of a theme.

Learning About Fundraising

I find the best ideas come from experience. Once you've tried something and it works or doesn't work, you learn from that experience and move on to the next one.

Finding ideas is pretty easy: go out and talk to the community, or the businesses in your community, to see what they have done and what were the results. Above all else, keep trying and experimenting.

What Type of Non Profit Organization do you Volunteer at?

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These restaurants no longer list fundraisers on their website.

To keep this site up to date, I remove the links to restaurants when they no longer show a fundraising page. If you see a page for any of these drop a line in the comments section, and I'll update it. Thanks.

  • Chevys - Removed August 2017
  • Oberweis - Removed August 2017

What restaurants help you fundraise?

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    • profile image

      Laura Wilcox 3 weeks ago

      California Pizza Kitchen

      Pei Wei

      Red Koi Thai and Sushi in Coral Gables

      Dominoes Pizza (Slice the Price)

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      Quest 2 months ago

      Texas Roadhouse help a lot

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      anymous 2 months ago

      cool beans

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      Joi 2 months ago

      Applebee's and IHOP

    • profile image

      amanda 3 months ago

      buffalo wild wings holds fundraisers!

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      Lessie 10 months ago

      Do you have to be an functional non profit?

    • profile image

      Christine 10 months ago

      Raising Cane's.

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      Colleen Vetter 11 months ago

      10th Street Live Bar & Grill holds fundraisers. Located in Kenilworth, NJ

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      Shari 12 months ago

      Pieology and Mod Pizza both have charity events. At Pieology, people can come in all day and show your flier on their phone or in print.

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      anonymous 13 months ago

      5 Guys Burgers & Fries. Flier oriented but they will help set up paper and digital for you. Franchise style company.

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      Sheyda S 14 months ago

      I'm the GM for Pitfire Pizza in Downtown Los Angeles; we host fundraisers for all non-profits, and I'm currently looking to find more organizations to help! I can provide items for auctions or host events for up to 15% back! Contact my location at (213) 808-1200

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      buffyinfaith 15 months ago

      Blaze Pizza!!!

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      Jennie 16 months ago

      Panda Express also does fundraisers...

    • profile image

      Alex 16 months ago

      HuHot

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      Michael Sanders 16 months ago

      Burgerville restaurants in Oregon and Washington have fundraising opportunities for non-profits.

    • profile image

      Liz 17 months ago

      You forget to say what it actually is.

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      anonymous 18 months ago

      Boudins: needed 50 people, not 50 sales and we got 30%. ran it for 4 hours on a Sunday and raised over $160

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      anonymous 18 months ago

      Fundraising events at El Torito are as fresh and unique as our menu – and they’re easy too! Bring your fellow supporters to your favorite El Torito and enjoy tasty eats and drinks from our menu. 20% of net food sales (drinks excluded) generated from your organization will be donated back to you! You’ll receive a check (8) weeks after your event

      http://www.eltorito.com/fundraise-el-torito/

    • profile image

      Lety 23 months ago

      Luna Grill also does fundraising they give you 20% of each order with Flyer

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      Marshall 23 months ago

      Chilis does a give back night called "Chilis Night"

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      Laura 2 years ago

      another great way to make $$ for your nonprofit is to utilize your local Kohl's department store. They will send you volunteers to help at an event AND give you $500 for each event they attend!

    • profile image

      jojo 2 years ago

      I saw that ritas (italian ice and custard) offer different fundraising options as s corporation but i believe each is individually owned and decide what they will offer as an option. Just waiting for a call back & for spring as they arr closed for the winters.

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 3 years ago

      This lens is very informative! I will check those webpages and thanks for sharing :)

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 3 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Seems like I am always helping to raise money for our park and we have done many Restaurant Fundraisers. The most profitable one was with Fuddruckers and we had volunteers and local celebrities waiting tables. Their tips were more than the percentage from the restaurant so that was fun. Great information here. Thanks.

    • profile image

      adoptionfirst 4 years ago

      Great List of restaurants who are willing to work with fundraisers!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Greene Turtle

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Ruby Tuesday

    • seodress profile image

      seodress 4 years ago

      What a great idea.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I'm a substitute teacher and will keep this in mind for the schools where I teach. Great lens!

    • ILoveLegosToo profile image
      Author

      Tom Fattes 4 years ago from Naperville, IL

      @anonymous: Typically, restaurants only deal with non-profit organizations that can drive traffic on a particular day. Local restaurants that you currently frequent may be more willing than chain restaurants.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I am an individual trying to fundraise study abroad tuition and travel are there any restaurants/ organizations that are willing to help with that?

    • profile image

      CristianStan 4 years ago

      I've actually tried the restaurant way before, and I must say, it takes lots of fundraising to accomplish such a difficult task

    • joseph-saint profile image

      joseph-saint 4 years ago

      Groupraise.com is a cool site for sure.

    • ILoveLegosToo profile image
      Author

      Tom Fattes 4 years ago from Naperville, IL

      @anonymous: That is very frustrating. First, I would continue the relationship with the one restaurant that did pay you. For the others, you see the results by the people coming into the restaurant and interacting with each other. If you needed to bring a slip in, are those members bringing those in. I would also build a relationship with the restaurant manager and make sure you touchbase a couple times before the event, during the event, and immediately after the event.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I am curious to know how often you actually see results from a restaurant night. Our school had 4 different restaurant nights last year and were only paid by one organization. It has been very frustrating and we have decided we should not try these any more.

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      AlexanderMontanez 4 years ago

      Great lens and still i have not found any other restaurant which are not in your list. I love Restaurants In Mississauga because i live in canada.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Zinga Frozen Yogurt

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: How much money have you made? Were you able to hand out the flyers at the door of the restaurants?

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      APPLEBEES

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I found www.groupraise.com is a great place to find restaurants who are excited to help you fundraise. We are using the site to fundraise in boston for a mission trip, and have used it in the past for a ALZ walk team we were apart of.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Snow Monster in Orange County, California helps local organizations fundraise. We did an event through them and it was great. Super simple to set up, no need for flyers. They genuinely want to help give back to the community.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @ILoveLegosToo: Dennys and McDonalds..15% for specific periods of time..no coupons or fliers needed.

    • ILoveLegosToo profile image
      Author

      Tom Fattes 5 years ago from Naperville, IL

      @anonymous: Hi Tami, if you click the name on the post, sometimes they will have a contact button on their profile page.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @tfsherman lm: I'm on the board for our library, We are a new organization, I would like to talk to you regarding your success.

    • tfsherman lm profile image

      tfsherman lm 5 years ago

      My library has a fundraiser once a year. We live in a touristy community, and over 25 restaurants donate 50 to 100 of their specialty hors d'oeuvres. The food is great, it's a fun event, and we make about $10,000. It's so nice that restaurants really want to be pulled into community work, isn't it?

    • profile image

      MintySea 5 years ago

      What a neat idea

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: McAlister's Deli did a fundraiser for our organization without a flyer. It was ALL sales during the time period.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: McAlister's Deli

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Papa Ginos Pizzeria

    • ILoveLegosToo profile image
      Author

      Tom Fattes 5 years ago from Naperville, IL

      @anonymous: The only one I know about is Wendys. But I'm sure there are a couple of more out there.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      i need a list of restaurants that fundraise WITHOUT a flyer being presented, just will total all sales in that time period.

    • poorwendy lm profile image

      poorwendy lm 5 years ago

      In our neck of the woods, there are a few chain restaurants that participate in these type of fundraisers, namely Shakey's Pizza and Rubio's.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Applebees does a great job with dining to donate. Present the flyer to your server and 10% of your bill goes to the non-profit.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      GroupRaise.com is an awesome site. You can check out the restaurants in your area that are holding fundraisers and set one up online really easily and quickly. Donât have to do much but advertise the fundraiser.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @Frischy: Our tennis team does an Applebee's fundraiser every fall and it is very successful. We are located in McKinney, Texas and our Applebees has since added bacon, eggs, and hash browns to the pancakes, sausage, orange juice, soda, and coffee. We made around $800. Very easy.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      BJs Restaurant and Brewhouse

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      mycharityboxes 5 years ago

      Great lens!

      Another idea for fundraising in restaurants is placing donation boxes at the counter for people to donate their spare change.

    • profile image

      restaurantdesigns 5 years ago

      Nice lens!

    • ILoveLegosToo profile image
      Author

      Tom Fattes 5 years ago from Naperville, IL

      @anonymous: Thanks for the great addition to this fundraising list of restaurants.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Yogurtini Self-Serve (Frozen Yogurt) has a good fundraising program.

      http://www.yogurtini.com/fundraising/

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Tony Roma's

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks!

    • Frischy profile image

      Frischy 5 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      My daughter's softball team did pancake breakfasts at Applebee's. I am not sure how much they made. I hope it was a good profit.

    • shellys-space profile image

      Shelly Sellers 5 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      We have a coupon book from my Son's school with loads of restaurants in it. Your lens offers another great fundraiser idea!

    • SquidooRocks55 profile image

      SquidooRocks55 5 years ago

      Great Tips! Looks like you need to know what you're doing. Thanks for the info.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Texas Roadhouse does fundraisers!

    • mihgasper profile image

      Miha Gasper 5 years ago from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU

      I've never fundraised at restaurant but it looks like a doable idea. I even know couple of restaurant owners who could give me a hand... thanks for the idea!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Kona Ice raised more than $1,500 for our school last semester. The kids love it and we don't have to do anything other than work with the admin. to set up Kona Ice days (we did 2 last Sem) . The best part about their program is they come to you. We do Papa Johns, Culvers and Chic Filet programs as well. They do ok but between the three of them last semester we earned just under $800. There good programs but you need to advertise the heck out of them to get a good turnout. Every penny counts and we couldn't be happier to add Kona Ice to our line up of programs. FYI - you may have to book them in the morning before lunch - they're obviously very busy. We received our check the day of the event!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Souplantation offers fundraisers. I like that it is a healthy choice for athletic team fundraisers.

      www.souplantation.com/funraisers

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Started up a fundraiser with a local family owned restaurant and bakery. http://www.2finecaterers.com and http://www.backporchrestaurant.com There has been great reviews and excitement to work with small local and a family run restaurants. The fundraiser will be for the local schools and local dance studios. We can all work together to help our own communities!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thanks for the tip below, We checked out http://www.groupraise.com for our Alzheimer's walk team fundraiser and raised $287.09 in a snap. The site was fast and easy to set up our event. you just sign up find a restaurant and request a fundraiser1

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      We have had two fundraisers at TGI Friday's in Glendale Arizona. They were very helpful and prompt and are not corporate owned. We used a corporate store twice before and did not ever receive the funds that were promised. We will do it again but only with locally owned or franchised restaurants. They do have a plan.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great post on fundraising! There are a couple other great resources to fundraise. Some online resources are a site named chipin.com. This site lets you fundraise for any cause you would like to have a profile for, it charges 7% percent on all donations i think. For more specific cause like mission trips, adoptions, or medical stuff, you can use a new site named YouCaring.com which is completely free.

    • JenOfChicago LM profile image

      JenOfChicago LM 6 years ago

      Great list of resources! We have used Bakers Square twice for Relay For Life fundraisers, but had a frustrating experience both times - took forever to hunt down the check and get it paid to the charity, rude folks in the corporate offices, etc. We have had great experiences with locally owned restaurants though - I'd suggest starting there!

    • ILoveLegosToo profile image
      Author

      Tom Fattes 6 years ago from Naperville, IL

      @anonymous: Thanks for the great suggestion of bd's Mongolian Grill!

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      bd's Mongolian Grill also host fundraisers!!! Check out the bd's in Lexington, KY on facebook. I held one there for a mission trip and raised $700.00

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      you might want to check out www.groupraise.com . We found it helpful, it a site see different restaurants fundraising offers, and setup your fundraiser on online. we raised $179 just while talking and eating. It was pretty simple.

    • smithlights profile image

      smithlights 6 years ago

      We did pretty well at Panda Express. Hoping to do that one again, but I'm excited to look into some of these others. $500 in one day was both quite a bit for us and much more than expected, therefore very good!

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Chevy's also does fundraising

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      Pete Schultz 6 years ago

      Thunderbird Lodge on Rainy Lake gets fine wine donated to serve with a unique several course meal featuring entree's, soups, salads and breads that you may not otherwise encounter. A limited number of tickets are sold, and the charity gets all the proceeds over the cost of the food.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Quaker Steak and Lube in Mentor, OH is fabulous!

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Chilli's does dinner fundraiisers and so does Applebee's

    • Philippians468 profile image

      Philippians468 6 years ago

      a nice big smile gets a good donation! cheers

    • ThruMyEyes LM profile image

      ThruMyEyes LM 6 years ago

      Pizza hut

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      Pizza Hut

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 7 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      Some of the groups my children are in have done these sort of fundraisers. They seem to do pretty well.

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      Chili's, Krispy Kreme donuts, and Chee Burger Chee Burger

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      Pastapomodora, and Chevy's in Roseville, CA.

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 7 years ago from Concord VA

      These are great ideas! Lensrolled back...thanks! :-)