After David Dore received an approval to proceed by White Castle’s ownership, Mel went in to action. His first challenge was logistics, both volunteer power and a method to safely collect and transport the donations made by restaurant customers. “ White Castle stepped up and offered to have their register employees ask for the donation and include it on the customers bill. This way funds could be moved through the chain’s cash management system, with a secure transmission of the funds collected to our bank.” The chain’s management also offered a certificate for three free White Castle burgers to each customer that made a donation to Shriners Hospitals for Children. They also gave each worker a free combo meal as a thank you for their help with the event.
The next hurdle was securing enough “workers,” volunteers from Shrine Temples throughout the region to meet and greet White Castle patrons. Since about 80% of White Castle’s business is drive-up, Mel elected to station Shriners outside of each restaurant handing out Shriners Hospitals literature, greeting the customers — not asking for funds. Another volunteer was also inside to reach out to the sit-down customers.
After many e-mails, phone calls and personal conversations, Mel was able to arrange for 33 team captains to help him recruit 234 Shriners to take 4-hour shifts during thepromotion hours. As a display of brotherhood, the Medinah Shriners sent a Winnebago with nine Nobles to serve as customer greeters at a downtown Indianapolis store that did not have enough volunteers for the weekday event.
Grassroots PromotionMel explained that funds to promote the White Castle event were limited, so he got creative. Noble Anspach was able to convince 14 mayors of Indiana towns in the promotional area to issue official proclamations declaring August 14, 2013 White Castle Day for Shriners Hospitals for Children. “We got a lot of publicity from the proclamations including some local newspaper coverage a few days prior. County Shrine Clubs were well represented at the local proclamation ceremonies, and that’s great for local awareness.”
White Castle generously underwrote the cost of $800 worth of lawn placards that promoted the Shriners Hospital burger day, driving additional traffic to the stores- a clear win-win.Another form of promotion was social media. Many of the Shriners involved in the volunteer work reached out to their social network friends asking them to stop by enjoy lunch and help the kids. Noble Anspach cited one Shriner who raised about $170 from an e-mail to friends who wrote back to say they couldn’t make it, but wanted to donate a little money to help the cause.
ResultsDuring this 8-hour event, the White Castle promotion brought in $12,450 dollars to help provide care to the children we serve. Mel stated, “ the money we collected is truly important, but I believe the real success of this promotion, was the positive image for the Shrine and new public interest in the great work we do for children at the hospitals.”
David Dore, John Cinotto- Imperial Potentate, Jim Priest, Mel Anspach
He also advises anyone taking on a similar event to invest heavily in communications with your team members. A personal phone call before the event day confirming the details will make a tremendous difference.”
What’s Next?Assuming permission is granted by White Castle for another hospital day, Mel hopes to add the 86- store Chicago market to the 2014 fundraiser. “Our long-term vision is to include Kentucky, Ohio, Minnesota and ultimately reach all 407 locations.”
Sharing information and building on our successes will be crucial to achieving local fundraising goals. In the months ahead we’ll share more successful fundraising programs and advice from the professionals making some great things happen.
Fraternally and cordially,
H.I. Stroth, Director of Corporate Donor Development