55 Restaurant Fundraisers for Non-Profits

Maggie Moo's and Coldstone both do fundraisers
Maggie Moo's and Coldstone both do fundraisers | Source

One of the best fundraisers 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 fundraiser like this. 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.

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.

55 Restaurants and Ice Cream Shops Helping Local Organizations

These are restaurants I've used or that have been recommended by other readers. 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?

  • Less than $100
  • $101 to $250
  • $251 to $500
  • $501 to $1,000
  • $1,001 to $2,500
  • More than $2,500
See results without voting

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?

  • Local School, PTA, PTO
  • School Sports Team
  • Club Sports Team
  • Band, Orchestra, or Other Music
  • Church, Religious Organization
  • Shelter or Food Pantry
  • Other
See results without voting

What restaurants help you fundraise? 79 comments

Sheyda S 5 weeks 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

buffyinfaith 2 months ago

Blaze Pizza!!!

Jennie 3 months ago

Panda Express also does fundraisers...

Alex 3 months ago


Michael Sanders 3 months ago

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

Liz 4 months ago

You forget to say what it actually is.

anonymous 5 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

anonymous 5 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

Lety 10 months ago

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

Marshall 10 months ago

Chilis does a give back night called "Chilis Night"

Laura 18 months 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!

jojo 21 months 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

takkhisa 2 years ago

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

OhMe profile image

OhMe 2 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.

adoptionfirst 3 years ago

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

anonymous 3 years ago

Greene Turtle

anonymous 3 years ago

Ruby Tuesday

seodress profile image

seodress 3 years ago

What a great idea.

anonymous 3 years ago

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

ILoveLegosToo profile image

ILoveLegosToo 3 years ago from Naperville, IL Author

@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.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article