Giving back to the community is a value many Americans appreciate. According to the National Philanthropic Trust, individual charitable giving summed up to a hefty $319.04 billion, representing 64% of total giving in the country. The majority of charitable dollars were contributed to religion (27%), while human services (14%), education (13%), and grantmaking foundations (11%) were also big winners. 

Nonprofits and schools rely greatly on charitable giving. Data shows that 10% of the total revenue of nonprofits comes from individual donations. Also, 35% of schools generate annual earnings of $0 – $5,000 from fundraising. If you run either of the two, you will know the significance of restaurant fundraising.

A restaurant fundraiser creates a sense of community and support while helping organizations to raise funds for a cause. Making it a success takes more than ensuring a memorable dining experience. It is also about choosing the right venue, as it sets the tone for the entire event, influencing attendance and engagement.

In this guide, we will share a few actionable tips to pick the right venue for your restaurant fundraising event.

Check the Location

Attracting people to a charity event requires a lot of creativity, and it starts with choosing an accessible location. Your target audience should be able to reach the venue easily, so make sure it is well-connected. Proximity to major highways, access to public transportation, and adequate parking are a few factors to consider. 

The cause of the fundraiser is another deciding factor when it comes to picking a venue. Local dining hubs near school districts are ideal for restaurant fundraisers for schools. You may attract more parents and prospects by choosing such a venue. 

Remember to factor in wheelchair accessibility, too, because you may not want to miss out on this demographic. The CDC notes that 12.1% of adults in the US live with a mobility disability hampering their movement. They cannot walk or use stairs without assistive devices. Ensuring that the venue for your fundraising event accommodates them is a plus. 

Consider Capacity

According to statistics, 56% of donors in the US regularly attend fundraising events. While the number spells hope for schools and nonprofits, it also means they should be ready to accommodate high foot traffic at the event. Imagine organizing your restaurant fundraiser in a cramped, overcrowded space. It won’t be a great experience, right?

Ensure that the restaurant you pick has enough capacity to accommodate the expected number of guests. However, it should not be too big because a bigger space may often cost more. Also, you don’t want an empty venue because it will show a lack of interest. Discuss the expected attendance with the restaurant manager to check if the venue can host your event.

Pay Attention to the Layout

Besides being spacious enough, the restaurant should have an optimal layout to support the planned activities. For instance, restaurant fundraisers for nonprofits often include speeches, auctions, and live entertainment. Besides these activities, there will be a dining area in the restaurant for your fundraiser. 

With a well-designed layout of the restaurant, the transition between different segments is smooth. Also, remember to check restaurant policies to ensure they align with the type of meal you are organizing. DonationScout recommends choosing a restaurant that is well-equipped to handle the unique requirements and challenges of hosting successful fundraisers.

Prioritize Budget Considerations

If you run a school or nonprofit, you will probably not have a big budget to organize a fundraiser. You cannot expect to spend thousands on a free meal to collect only a few thousand in funding. Effective financial planning is the key when it comes to making informed choices regarding the event. Start by selecting a restaurant within your budget.

Consider details such as venue rental, catering costs, and expenses for additional services such as parking and sound systems. Most restaurants charge rentals on an hourly basis, so the length of the event is a deciding factor. At this point, you may also consider the cost of food and drink at the restaurant. You may opt for a smaller and simpler menu (minus the drinks) to book within your budget.

Negotiating with restaurants may help you get the best prices. You may also look for an all-inclusive package deal with catering, décor, and other amenities. 

In conclusion, choosing the right venue is perhaps the trickiest part of hosting a restaurant fundraiser. You may have a tough time finding a place that is accessible, appropriate, and within your budget. Moreover, you don’t want to settle for less because engaging attendees is the key to fundraising success. While there are no shortcuts, you can narrow down your options and choose the best one by following this simple checklist.