People volunteering for charity giving

How Your Bar Can Help The Community: 7 Charitable Giving Ideas

People volunteering for charity giving

Charitability is an important but often overlooked aspect of the bar and restaurant industry. It increases brand loyalty and allows consumers to help a noble cause.

With such a hectic schedule and countless day-to-day responsibilities, it can be easy to forget about your community outreach efforts.

Here are seven ways your bar can participate in charitable giving.

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1. Host a Fundraiser

Every fundraising event needs a venue with food, beverages, seating, and entertainment. So, read up on local news and see if any businesses need a host for their fundraisers.

Your bar’s brand will largely determine which fundraisers you can host. For example, a family-friendly establishment would be excellent for hosting a youth baseball team’s fundraiser for new uniforms.

If your place is inappropriate for kids, stick to hosting fundraising events that appeal to adult attendees, like cocktail parties and happy hours.

2. Help with COVID-19 Relief Efforts

A bartender wearing a mask

Many communities still need extra hands and resources to combat COVID-19. Your bar can help with local relief efforts by donating unused food, drinks, masks, hand sanitizer, and other essentials to hospitals, homeless shelters, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities.

The latest CDC guidelines no longer require restaurant employees and customers to wear masks or be fully vaccinated, so your bar likely has a surplus of COVID supplies. Instead of throwing them away or letting them collect dust, pass them on to the people who still need them.

3. Give Back to Schools and Churches

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), about 12 million American children don’t have enough food to eat. Your bar can help reduce this statistic by giving back to local schools and churches.

You might donate food to a breakfast or lunch program, buy them new kitchen supplies, or partner with restaurant-funded initiatives like No Kid Hungry’s Dine Out. The National Restaurant Association has many similar projects and programs.

4. Donate to a Local Food Drive

People donating to a local food drive

Your bar can help hungry community members more directly by donating to local food drives. A handful of employees can put together hundreds of care packages in just a few hours and provide a month’s worth of food for struggling local families.

If your staff feels extra charitable, you might volunteer at food banks and help people face-to-face. Volunteering will give you a new perspective on your community's issues and encourage you to get more involved. Plus, it’s a great team-building experience.

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5. Create Your Own Charitable Bar Events

Bar patrons cheering

Instead of sponsoring or hosting charitable events, why not create your own? Organize trivia nights, bar games, open mics, and other fun activities.

A portion of the activity's profits can go toward charities in your area, the winning player, or the team's chosen recipient. These events will help you contribute to multiple causes at once and keep the place buzzing on slow weeknights.

The game should pose a healthy challenge but still be simple enough for intoxicated patrons to follow along. A popular adult yard game like cornhole is enough to keep them entertained. You should also include a prize for the winner besides the charitable donation. It can be a gift card, an extended discount, or a happy hour in their honor.

6. Sponsor Athletic Clubs and Events

Bars make great sponsors for sports-related groups and events. You can support a 5K, help pay for recreational soccer league’s uniforms or become a sponsor for local professional and amateur sports teams.

If you’re looking for a surefire way to reach an audience with an appetite, sponsor local cook-offs, eating contests, drinking festivals, and other similar events. It’s also important to show your face at these events, making your business seem more personable and welcoming rather than just another random sponsor.

7. Hold a Holiday Raffle

A glass jar filled with money for a fundraiser

The season of giving is the best time to support people in need. Your bar can start an annual tradition by holding a holiday raffle with big gifts and baskets. The raffle should also allow attendees to donate money and other items. Events around the holiday season bring communities closer together.

The holiday season also serves as a reminder that many people don’t have homes and loved ones. Your bar can help the local homeless population by delivering meals and volunteering at food kitchens. Group your efforts with other bars and restaurants, so nobody is unfed or unwanted around the holidays.

The World Needs More Givers

Communities face many challenges that can be solved with just a little generosity. The world needs more givers. Set an example and use these seven ideas to expand your bar’s charitable efforts and make a lasting impact.

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