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9 Fundraising Lessons | No. 6: Partner Up With Local Businesses

9 Fundraising Lessons | No. 6: Partner Up With Local Businesses featured image

Local businesses can be a fundraiser’s best friend. You will find that both chains and locally-owned businesses will be happy to partner with fundraisers in a variety of ways — from restaurant fundraising nights to offering pro-bono services.

Host a Restaurant Fundraising Night

Schools can team up with local restaurants to host fundraising nights. When you set up a fundraising night, a certain percentage of the proceeds earned by a restaurant during a specific time period will be donated to your fundraiser. This percentage usually ranges between 10-20%. Plan your fundraising night in advance; you want to have time to promote it in order to ensure a big turnout.

Fundraising nights are a relatively easy way to earn funds. They require few volunteers, and the restaurant takes care of a good amount of the work. Additionally, with 99 chain restaurants and plenty of local establishments participating in fundraising nights, you have the pick of the litter when it comes to hosts. Keep in mind that restaurants are often open to negotiating the amount donated, and some have fun twists, such as programs that allow teachers to replace servers for the night.

Get Creative in Your Community

Restaurants are some of the most popular local businesses helping out with fundraisers, but think about other potential partners. Some of our favorite community member partnerships include sales events at retail stores (similar to fundraising nights) and battle of the band competitions at popular local venues. Some local advertising agencies will do pro-bono work to help promote your cause. In all these cases, however, it is important to ask partnerships far ahead of time.


Check out more fundraising resources