An easy and fun way to raise money for your cause without managing the vast details of producing a large-scale event is by hosting a boxed lunch fundraiser. To organize a boxed lunch fundraiser, you simply raise money through selling pre-packaged lunches. This can be an extremely successful campaign, if planned right. After all, everyone needs to eat lunch, and often business professionals would prefer to have something dropped off at their desk, rather than taking the time to run out and buy something.
If you plan to sell pre-packaged lunches, be sure to target places where you can reach a large audience such as an office building that houses numerous companies. Distribute flyers in advance of your event or contact local businesses by phone to find out if their employees would like to participate by pre-ordering lunch in support of a worthy cause. Then take orders (just like at a restaurant). You collect money at the time orders are placed, and sign businesses up for a day and time-slot for delivery.
Corporate Boxed Lunch Fundraisers
A lunch fundraiser is also a great idea for an internal corporate fundraiser. If you work for a large organization with numerous employees, this is an easy way to raise funds for cause marketing programs or to support a local non-profit. You can send an internal email to employees and ask them to participate simply by purchasing a lunch. They can even order their lunches online and pick them up during a set time in the cafeteria or at the receptionist desk. You can also consider partnering with a catering company to offer hot lunches for your fundraiser. Create a page of your website that explains the cause of the event and lists the lunch menu. People can sign-up and purchase lunches online using fundraising software. Then all they have to do the day of the fundraiser is bring their receipt to pick up a wonderful lunch.
Planning a Fundraising Luncheon
Before you start making lunches, be sure to carefully plan, take orders and schedule deliveries. The last thing you want to do is have an excess of lunches that become waste. You also need to carefully schedule and manage deliveries so lunches don’t arrive late. Make the lunch menu choice simple and allow people to make a few basic choices. For a standard boxed lunch that will be delivered, choose a menu that consists of Sandwich, Chips, Apple, Cookie and Drink. They can choose between turkey, ham or vegetarian sandwich. Price the lunch reasonably, between $5 – $10. Then partner with a local grocer or restaurant to help make the lunches at-cost. If they are making 50 lunches, their cost may only be $2 per lunch. If you sell them for $7, you’ve made $250. You may even find a business to sponsor your fundraiser by donating lunches as a way for them to provide “free-sampling” to the local community. Allow them to include a coupon as part of the lunch package, which may bring future business to their establishment.
If you are a group planning a fundraiser for family and friends, it is also possible to make the lunches yourself. This would work well for a fundraiser through a church congregation or sports fundraising initiative (as you’ll want to be selling to people you know: parents, families, neighbors, etc.). And, don’t limit yourself by the word “lunch”. Church fundraisers may want to do a breakfast box following Sunday services. Offer breakfast burritos, fruit, mini-donuts and coffee or juice. Or perhaps a sports team has a day-long tournament where they want to offer concessions all day. Rent a hot-dog cart and offer hot dogs, chips, soda and other packaged goods. Ask some parents to prepare homemade desserts, too.
Gourmet and Green Lunch Boxes
Have members of your community volunteer to make the best boxed lunch. They can choose to prepare organic chicken salad, fresh fruit salad, gourmet potato salad, or a secret recipe for the best sandwich. Maybe even a home-made smoothie or dessert. Then get the kids involved to help decorate the boxed lunches themselves. Maybe re-cycle old aluminum lunch boxes or re-usable shopping bags or create a fancy lunch box with cardboard and wrapping paper (or maybe an old toolbox or cooler you found in the shed). This type of event is a very eco-friendly fundraiser as there is virtually no waste. The lunches are consumed, and the boxed lunches can be recycled or re-used. Since this idea is so different, it might be a great way to get media coverage as well.
Luncheon Auctions and Raffles
If you are hosting your lunch fundraiser during an event with a lot of attendees, consider hosting a fundraising raffle. Request donations from local businesses and when people grab their wallets to purchase their lunch, see if they are willing to chip in a few extra bucks for a chance to win great prizes.
If you’ve already organized a group fundraising event such as a community picnic or BBQ, a boxed lunch auction can also be integrated as a fun and lucrative add-on to your event. Read about more fun charity auction ideas.