Has your PTA ever approached a chain restaurant in your community to do a fundraising night where they give your PTA a small portion of the profit? If so was it successful? Why or why not?

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    Ashley Smith

    We have Spirit Nights at several local restaurants in our community. Tropical Smoothie, Arby's, Panda Express, and Three Amigos have all been incredibly supportive.  But the success of these nights is dependent on the advertising. Advertise, advertise, advertise.  Our most successful Spirit Night was a Three Amigos-- we created a hash tag and asked everyone to use it when they visited and show us their yummy dinner on our Facebook Event page.  It was a great feeling to so many friends and teachers at the restaurant that night and it helped boost our sales.

    When we haven't advertised well enough, our portion was dismal.  We have also had the most success when we approach individual franchise owners.  Most of them are eager to be a part of the local community. 

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    Bonneville Elementary PTA

    We have hosted 'Dine Out to Donate' nights at several local restaurants. They have all been pretty successful. Pizza Studio, The Old Spaghetti Factory, Cafe Rio, Cafe Zupas, etc. Generally it is 15-20% back to our PTA. We advertise in the school, on our website, on MemberHub, in messages sent out from MemberHub, and emails from the school. We try to go to places that are close by, quick for families, and that can handle the crowd.

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    Melanie Paul

    Thanks Bonneville Elementary PTA and Ashley Smith for the comment. 

    If you could offer one piece of advice about hosting these types of events to a PTA that has never had one before, what would it be? 

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    Ashley Smith

    My advice would be to advertise, advertise, advertise!  We post the Spirit Night information in every local Facebook group that we feel is relevant. 411 sites, PTA pages for the Council area, PTA pages for the local middle school & high school.  We make sure to coordinate our Spirit Nights with the local middle school & high school so that we can advertise for them as well.

    Usually, customers have to state that they are with your organization/school  in order for their purchase to count towards your fundraising effort, so make sure you let your audience know they need to say that. 

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    Bonneville Elementary PTA

    My advice:

    Find a volunteer who is a clear communicator and follows through to be in charge of setting up the events. Often times it takes a couple phone calls or even a visit to get the details all squared away so you want someone who can keep at it until the end. Also keep in mind that the amount given to the school can vary widely.

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