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Profitable Promotions

Charitable Promotions Celebrate Communities

April 16, 2013 By: Alissa Ponchione


Editor’s Note: Have a charitable promotion to share? Let us know! E-mail Managing Editor Kristen Santoro at ksantoro@questex.com.
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Planning successful promotions can be beneficial to the bottom line, but hosting charity promotions is beneficial to the community as well.

At Pinstripes, the entertainment establishment hosts fundraisers and donates gift certificates to charitable organizations around the Chicago and Minneapolis area, said Sandie Montgomery, events director for Pinstripes’ four locations. “It’s important to us,” she says, because Pinstripes is a community venue and has a large reach into many towns. “It gives us the opportunity to give back to the communities,” she says.

When planning promotions where charities are involved there are some extra things that you will want to make sure you take into consideration. For example, Pinetripes is hosting a dueling piano party for a school fundraiser. Montgomery says that planning, for the most part is similar to how they plan for an all-day corporate meeting.

The restaurant also hosts silent auctions or will donate a “brunch and bocce for four” for fundraisers. Additionally, Pinstripes has big ballroom for musical acts and outdoor patios so “people can take a break and sip a glass of wine,” Montgomery notes. As far as costs go, the restaurant is able to cover it. However, this is something to keep in mind when committing to host a fundraiser. You should ask yourself, ‘Can I take the initial hit to the bottom line if needed for the event?, How can I recoup the costs? and Can we meet the needs of the charity?’

“What’s unique to use that we’re able use to make more money while the guests are here,” which includes offering bowling and bocce. However, what makes Pinstripes a unique location for fundraisers is its ability to plan creative promotions.

Montgomery says Pinstripes does internal promotions to get the word out about the charity fundraiser. But the restaurant also utilizes their Facebook and Twitter social networking pages. “We will put it on our Facebook page. We’ll tweet about it. We want many people to come because the more people, the more money (the charity) makes.”

The benefit to helping the charities is that it introduces “the business to the community,” she says. Guests who come in and take notice of what Pinstripes is doing most likely will come back again, she says.  It’s also a crossover, she says. “A lot of the same guests are familiar with us, but it does bring us new people and introduce them to our venues.”

When it comes to the organizations, Montgomery says, “We get a lot of repeat groups,” she says. “They want to do it again next year.” Montgomery says that charities seek out Pinstripes because “we offer sophisticated fun.” Most charities, she says, are hosted at huge ballrooms. “What’s fun for us is being able to attract those same folks to come for a different kind of event than what they’re traditionally used to and that makes it exciting for us.”

It’s both a personal and professional advantage when hosting charitable promotions, Montgomery says. “There’s a feel-good feeling associated with that,” she says. “That’s why people do charity both personally and professionally.” You’re helping (the charity) raise money and that’s good at the end of the day, she says. “It’s win-win-win for the guest, (Pinstripes) and the community.”


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