Raise Money With a Spring Brunch

A lot of fundraiser events take place on weekend afternoons, or evenings, especially if they're dinners or dances. An evening out is always fun, and usually encourages a lot of participation.

Sometimes you need to stand out from the crowd and do something a little differently, something unexpected to get even more participation. Pancake breakfasts are common fundraisers, but you can take it a step further with a spring brunch.

Brunch offers several appealing alternatives to any other type of fundraising event you could hold that includes a meal. A brunch includes a little bit of everything. Breakfast foods from simple scrambled eggs to fruit-filled crepes.

You'll also find more substantial fare such as meats and pastas, as well as fruits, salads, and desserts. There's something for everyone at a brunch, which makes it the perfect opportunity for a food fundraiser.

When to Hold It

Brunches usually take place on Sunday, so take into account that many of the people who want to support your event may attend church first. The good thing is, brunch usually starts later in the day than breakfast, and can last until just after lunchtime, so there shouldn't be too much conflict in schedules.

Just don't be discouraged if people don't show up right when your event starts. In fact, you may want to take reservations and require payment prior to the date of the event.

Where to Hold It

The easiest way to put on a fundraiser brunch is to find a restaurant that already offers it, and reserve a party room for your group. This will alleviate any concerns about cooking and cleanup. You may be able to work out a discounted group rate with the restaurant, and then charge guests a bit more to raise money for your cause.

It will be easier on everyone if the event organizer arranges to pay the restaurant one amount rather than every person in attendance getting a separate bill. Be sure to take the wait staff into account and show some appreciation for their taking care of your group.

If a party room isn't available, or you can't find a restaurant willing to make arrangements for your group, your group can provide a brunch on its own. You'll still need to find a facility with enough room for several dining tables, and a kitchen to prepare the food.

What to Serve

If it comes down to doing it yourselves, you may want to provide simpler fare, and leave the eggs Benedict and prime rib roast off the menu. Prepare things that can be kept warm in chafing dishes such as scrambled eggs, sausage links, and even pancakes.

It's easy to set up a waffle station and allow guests to make their own. All you have to do is provide syrups and fruit toppings, which are sold in bottles and jars.

For the more lunch-type foods, try including things such as a hearty soup, breads, lunchmeats, and cheeses so guests can create their own soup and sandwich combination. It's not too much trouble to set out a large bowl of lettuce and a few other salad items like chopped tomatoes and cucumbers.

Pre-cut lettuce is sold in bags at grocery stores and discount clubs, but the toppings may require a bit of work from your group. Remember, simplicity is the key.

Those Extra Touches

If your organization doesn't already have a venue with tables and chairs, you can rent them from a party supply company. Many such companies will also provide table linens, silverware, and glassware, if you want to make it a little fancy, and if your group can afford it.

If the budget is a little tight, head to the nearest discount store for paper tablecloths, plates and napkins, and plastic cups and flatware. As long as the food is good, no one will mind what they're using to eat it.

Make it Entertaining

One way you can make your spring brunch even more enjoyable is to provide entertainment. Whether that means getting a soft rock band to donate some time, or just hooking up a stereo and playing some light classical music, it will add to the ambience and make it seem more like a fancy brunch than just a regular breakfast.

Be Aware of the Rules

Before you start preparing and serving any food, be sure to check your city's regulations about food service, and make sure you get any licenses you may need. The last thing you want is to raise a bunch of money for your group, only to be forced to use it to pay penalties and fees for not following the rules.

Once you find the method that works for your group and your community, your spring brunch fundraiser may be so successful you'll have to make it a regular event!

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