Fundraising for Small Groups Newsletter

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December 14, 2018

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Cooking for a Cause: 5 Great Fundraiser Ideas

by Abigail Beal

There are many scrumptious ways for nonprofits to raise funds with cooking fundraisers. It is easy to see why Cooking fundraisers are popular: people love to cook, love to eat and are interested in trying different types of food. Here are five great cooking fundraisers for your organization to keep in mind!

Cooking Class: Holding a cooking class can be a great way to raise funds for your organization. You could work with a cooking school, or you can create your own cooking class. There may be a volunteer or Board Member that is an accomplished cook that can teach people how to make something special (turducken anyone?). Shop around for food and other needed supplies before you set your class fee to make sure you are raising funds with this delicious event. This can be a fun event to hold in someone’s home if they have a large kitchen and generous hospitality. Or you can work with a local cooking school. Check online or in your local Yellow pages for cooking schools or classes.

Celebrity Chef Cooking Class: Another variation of the cooking class is to partner with a celebrity to teach your cooking class. What’s wrong, you don’t have access to Emeril? A local celebrity could be very popular with your organization. Consider the Mayor of your town, the Fire Chief, a chef at a popular restaurant or even a local television host. A local celebrity is often eager to assist a local organization in any way that they can. You can raise funds through selling tickets to the event and perhaps by doing a cooking-related silent auction or raffle.

Cookbook: A cookbook can be a tasty way to fundraise for many types of organizations. One of the nice things about doing a cookbook is it is a great way to introduce people in the community to your organization. Many people will be tempted to buy a community cookbook, especially to try regional specialties. A great idea is to have a theme for your cookbook, such as the easy-to-cook recipes, or all deserts, regional favorites, chili recipes - just about anything you think will appeal to your audience. Most importantly, make people aware that your cookbook is a fundraiser and give information about your charity or organization on your cookbook.

Chili Cook-off: Chili Cook-offs can be quite popular, with both entries and guest! To hold a successful chili cook-off you need to appeal first to chili cooks. Fortunately many people cook chili, and those that do often customize their own recipe. Getting information out about your event is critical, to invite both cooks to sign up and to let people know to “save the date” for this special day. Adding on additional items, such as a raffle or even a silent auction will help your charity or organization raise more funds. Doing another type of tasting that compliments the chili, such as the salsa tasting could be an excellent idea depending on the length of your event.

Tasting Event: A great cooking event to hold is a tasting event featuring local restaurants. This type of event raises funds through ticket sales. Getting local restaurants involved is critical. Also obtaining a large enough space so that you can raise your targeted goal is key. This is a very social event for the community; people look forward to trying food from different restaurants and visiting with their neighbors while supporting their favorite charity.

A cooking fundraiser is perfect for any season, and can be focused on literally any theme that you choose. Cooking fundraisers serve up great results!

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About the Author:

Abigail Beal writes about issues of interest to community groups and non profit organizations.  She is a frequent contributor to a site which provides information about a variety of fundraising options including charity auctions and other fundraising events

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