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Pizza Fundraisers: Getting the Most From Your Meal

people eating at a pizza fundraiser

Fundraisers are the backbone of many different community groups, from schools to churches, sports teams, and beyond.

Because fundraisers are meant to draw large crowds, it makes sense to want to appeal to the widest audience possible. That's why pizza fundraising has remained a top-performing fundraiser activity, alongside candy, cookie, and sub sandwich fundraisers. 

Follow along as we get into the basics behind a pizza fundraiser, how effective they are today, and the pros and cons you can expect to see. 

How Does Pizza Fundraising Work?

One of the best things about a pizza fundraiser is its flexibility. For instance, if you’re looking for pizza fundraiser ideas, you can consider these diverse options: 

  • Organizing an event at a pizza joint
  • Selling pizza-making kits or frozen pizzas
  • Selling discount cards or gift cards to a local pizzeria
  • Serving pizza at a fundraising event or party

Pizza is beloved among many, and with the endless number of toppings you can add or subtract, it’s an incredibly versatile fundraiser food. You can dress it up for a black-tie event or dress it down for a busload of school kids. 

Pizza fundraising works similarly to other types of fundraisers. The organizer buys a product — either the pizza itself or gift cards and discount items related to it — and the organization sells the product at a higher rate.

This lets the pizzeria you’re working with make money while you also gain a profit. But you’re not exactly going to be rolling in the dough with a pizza fundraiser (at least, not metaphorically speaking).

The Effectiveness of Pizza Fundraising

On average, fundraisers should aim to spend around $0.25 for every $1.00 earned. If you’re holding a pizza fundraiser at a restaurant, you can expect to earn approximately 20 to 30% of the restaurant’s proceeds for the night. However, considering the low cost of pizza, you might need to sell quite a few pies before making any decent progress on your profit. 

When you’re looking at the effectiveness of any type of fundraiser, you’ll want to consider a few different things.

  • What are the losses versus the returns?
  • How popular is the type of fundraiser you’re looking into?
  • Is there a demand for this fundraiser in your area?
  • How feasible is it for you to run this type of fundraiser?

For example, some areas have a higher emphasis on healthy eating than others. If you live in a town like that, you might run into resistance from parents or potential supporters who don’t want to chow down on something so greasy. 

In essence, it’s hard to determine the exact effectiveness of a pizza fundraiser. You’ll have to assess your unique environment and situation to make that decision. 

people sharing pizza at a pizza fundraiser

Pizza Fundraisers: Pros and Cons

Pizza is well-loved, and that may be enough to go all-in when you hear about pizza fundraisers. However, there are a few other prominent benefits to consider, like:

  • Simple organization – As far as complex events go, pizza parties — even large-scale ones — aren’t the hardest thing to manage. Additionally, if you’re already hosting an event and want to throw pizza into the mix, it’s not too hard to do that, either.
  • Emphasis on community – While it’s possible to work with big-name chains and brands, there are also plenty of smaller, local pizzerias that are more than willing to throw in their chips and help out a good cause. 

If building community ties is important to you, and you’re looking for a low-hassle, low-cost option, then a pizza fundraiser might be right up your alley.

Of course, before you jump fully on board with your pizza fundraiser ideas, you should also know that there are some notable drawbacks.

  • Food allergens and health – Some people who might otherwise want to support your fundraiser may have to hold back because of health concerns or allergies that prevent them from indulging in pizza.

  • A need for volunteers – Depending on how big your event is, you’re going to need a lot of hands to carry and distribute the pizza. The more volunteers you have, the smoother things will flow, but the reverse is true, too.

  • Pricey delivery – If you don’t have anyone to pick up your pizzas, you’re going to need to rely on the shop’s delivery system which can cost a pretty penny for bulk deliveries.

  • Limited reach – If you’re looking to cast a wide net with your fundraiser, you might want to look elsewhere. Pizza fundraiser events typically have the strongest reach at the smallest local level.

This isn’t to say you should completely shelve your pizza fundraiser dreams, though. In fact, there are other, more effective ways for you to fundraise and enjoy pizza at the same time. 

pepperoni pizza at a fundraiser

Enhancing Your Fundraiser With RaiseRight

RaiseRight gift card fundraising is an effective, unique alternative or complement to food and restaurant-based fundraisers. 

Your fundraiser participants can purchase gift cards for stores and restaurants — including pizza chains and even food delivery apps — and your organization will earn up to 20% back from each gift card sale. 

Consider maximizing your in-restaurant fundraiser with gift cards from Pizza Hut, Papa John’s, Little Caesars, Blaze Pizza, California Pizza Kitchen, and more, or use universal prepaid gift cards at your local mom-and-pop pizzeria. 

Outside of pizza fundraising, your participants can also use RaiseRight gift cards to purchase items they’d be buying anyway, like coffee, groceries, or gas. With hundreds of brands to choose from, your participants are sure to find the retailers they shop from every day. 

Ready to start earning?

Here are some next steps to get the ball rolling:

  1. Learn more about how gift card fundraising works.
  2. Download the Gift Card Fundraising Playbook and share it with others in your organization.
  3. Start a free program by completing a short, online enrollment form.  

If your organization is already earning with RaiseRight, you just need your enrollment code to create an account and begin fundraising right away.

alternative to pizza fundraising with raiseright