New Marketing Trends

Marketing Ideas for Non-Profits and Libraries

The M Word helps librarians learn about marketing trends and ideas.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Another Idea for Partnering and Fundraising

Partnering with nearby companies, clubs, or associations is something that Nancy and I both talk about in our presentations. It's a great way to make friends, groom advocates, raise funds, and educate your community about the library's services and value. There are many organizations you can approach, and I was just reminded of one I'd like to share.

As I headed to a local pub for some grub recently, I saw this sign. This restaurant, part of an area chain, is actually looking for partners for a "Dine & Donate Night." This is a joint venture where you agree that a small amount of the proceeds (10% or 20%) from one night of dining goes to your library. Both the library and the restaurant publicize these in advance to get as many participants as possible.

Why would a restaurant agree to give you part of their profits for the night? Because, by your organization encouraging all of its members, friends, families, and supporters to eat out at a certain place on a certain night, the restaurant ends up having more customers than usual. The owners, of course, hope to impress the new (or infrequent) visitors and therefore to turn them into repeat customers. So the restaurant has a chance to get more diners, and you get some money by simply asking people to eat out rather than appealing for money directly. (People often like these deals because they feel like they're getting something for their money -- a meal -- rather than just handing it all to you.)

Most of us have seen such events advertised in our communities, but how many of us have ever explored doing something like this for our library? Does anyone have a story to share about joining with a pub or eatery??


Anonymous said...

Mine isn't a library example but my church did this recently. It was a small local restaurant that I had never tried. The restaurant opened on a Monday evening for two hours (a night they are normally closed) just for this event. The Sunday before someone was at church handing out menus as a reminder. When I went in the place was packed and there was a steady stream of cars pouring into the parking lot. You're exactly right about it being a great opportunity for them - I'll go back because they do great take-out.

Peter said...

Congratulations. Your blog has been nominated for our Library Blog Awards. In fact, your blog was suggested more than once. We're in the process of assembling information about all those nominated and will be sending a short questionaire, including the categories of awards and the judges involved. Would you please send me your email address so that I can send you the questionaire? If your email is on your blog, I couldn't locate it.

Thanks in advance,
Peter W Tobey

Phrugal Librarian said...

The Trolley Car Diner in Philadelphia hosts "helping hands" nights every week for local non-profits. It's a great example of success.

~Kathy Dempsey said...

It's great to hear about how others are doing these dining sorts of partnerships. Keep the examples and inspiration coming!
(and Peter: thanks!)

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