Fundraising for Small Groups Newsletter

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December 14, 2018

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Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser How-To's

by Kimberly Reynolds

Putting together a pancake breakfast fundraiser is a tried and true method for raising funds for a worthy cause. The important thing is to include several extra ways to raise as much money as you can.

For a pancake breakfast, all you need is a large space with kitchen facilities, plenty of batter, and lots of volunteers. So, what additional steps can you take to double or triple your fundraising results?

  • Publicity

    To attract as many customers as possible, you really have to work the publicity angle. It's not enough to put up some roadside signs and to mention the event in your group's newsletter.

    Put together a press release featuring the most newsworthy aspect of your pancake breakfast. Usually, that would be the human interest story describing why you are raising the funds and specifically how they will help the person or group the fundraiser is benefiting.

    Distribute your press release well ahead of your event to all the media outlets in your market. It helps to include newsworthy photographs of the intended recipient or a previous year's event. Always focus on telling a story that will be interesting to a newspaper's readers, a tv station's viewers, or a radio station's listeners.

  • Silent auction items

    An easy way to boost results from a pancake breakfast is to add silent auctions of donated goods and services. Approach local businesses for items that will attract lots of bidding. To increase donations, offer each business plenty of publicity at your event.

    Place silent auction items on tables where customers will line up to be served. Have wall signs highlighting the silent auction process and ask patrons to bid generously. Include a full description of each item in large type and be sure to have enough lines on your bid forms for at least twenty bids.

    Verbally encourage each customer to bid on something and make sure that each item has at least a starting bid on it before the crowd forms and things get hectic.

  • Conduct a raffle

    Pancake breakfasts are a great place to sell raffle tickets. If you offer it right next to your payment table, close to half of your customers will buy a raffle ticket that's reasonably priced and has a large prize.

    If you can't get a good enough prize donated, then run a 50/50 raffle. That's where the holder of the winning ticket gets half of the ticket revenue and the other half goes to the fundraiser.

  • Ask for donations

    Place a large open-mouthed jug or bucket next to the cash register and prominently label it as the place for donations. Even if people only donate change from paying for their pancakes, you'll raise a considerable amount.

    Attaching a note saying 'Every Little Bit Helps' and 'Make Checks Payable To' is another great way to stimulate donations. With some groups, donations exceed ticket revenue!

  • Sell advertising

    If you are using paper placemats for your pancake breakfast, you can sell advertising space on them to local businesses. This works especially well when your event is an annual affair and draws a substantial crowd.

    Some groups put a couple dozen ad blocks on their placemats and charge $100 a spot. They not only get it, they sell out their ad space weeks ahead of the event.

  • Summary

    There are many additional ways at this type of event to raise more funds than just selling pancakes. Look to add as many fundraising activities as you can such as silent auctions, raffles, and asking for donations.

    Work the publicity angle with a newsworthy press release focused on exactly why your group is raising funds and how it will benefit the recipient. A good human interest story is always newsworthy.

By putting a little extra effort into your pancake breakfast fundraiser, you will double or triple your results!

Related Articles:


About the Author:

Kimberly Reynolds writes for national publications about school fundraisers, having a pancake breakfast fundraiser and nonprofit fundraiser events. Find more fundraising tips on her website,

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