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Hosting a fundraiser is a great PR opportunity that is often overlooked. It’s a great strategy for multiple reasons, a few of which are outlined below:

  1. It allows you to help an organization other than yourself, while at the same time helping yourself. Fundraisers offer a chance to work with another organization, usually a non-profit with a worthy cause, which builds relationships and results in networking with other people in your city that you may not otherwise spend much time with.
  2. A fundraiser allows you to use something you have already—for a restaurant this could be the venue, or food, or both, and donate it to the other organization that will organize the whole event and get their supporters to come.
  3. It puts you in front of their whole audience, and these organizations often have some very loyal supporters. Last but not least, you will get to tag along with all the promotion that they do.
  4. You get to be mentioned in all the publicity that they receive and you can also go after publicity of your own and make sure to mention them. Doubling up like this gets you both that much more publicity.
  5. It also puts you in a good light, especially if the organization has something to do with your industry (a restaurant supporting a charity that helps feed children for example), which shows that you really care about what you do and about the industry in a larger sense. People like to see that businesses care enough to take the time to give back.

The holidays are the best time to take part in something like this, as people are in the giving spirit and more likely to attend fundraiser events where they can make tax deductible donations and feel that they are helping those in need.  It’s always a good idea to search out less traditional publicity opportunities, so that your business will be in front of people who may not otherwise see something about it. For example, a restaurant getting a mention in the food section of a newspaper is awesome, but it’s just getting food in front of people who already look at the food section and probably already read about you in other food sections. But getting a restaurant in a story about a non-profit giving back to the community gets you mentioned in a completely different section of the paper, where people who may never look at the food section will now see your restaurant in a positive light.  The other great part about hosting a fundraiser is that it’s usually easy because organizations are always looking for businesses to help support them and you already probably have them come to you so all you have to do is say yes. So next time you have a request from an organization, take them up on it! Offer to host a fundraiser with them and see how you can make it work best for both of you.