GroupRaise offers students fundraising opportunities

by Kayla Jimenez, Staff Writer

GroupRaise, an online restaurant fundraising company, is offering a new opportunity for student leaders at San Diego State. 

Students have the chance to fundraise for their organization while supporting local San Diego restaurants.

“You walk into the restaurant and nothing’s different,” said Sean Park, GroupRaise co-founder and head of marketing. “It’s the same thing, but they will put out a box where you put in your receipts to be counted toward the donation. That’s the only difference.”

Restaurants offering fundraising opportunities include Wings n’ Things on Mira Mesa Boulevard, Gaglione Bros. Alforon on El Cajon Boulevard, and Slides Gourmet Burgers on University Avenue.

On GroupRaise’s website, interested fundraising coordinators are prompted to enter in a zip code and then are given a choice of different restaurants to fundraise with. Upon choosing a restaurant, users are given the option to choose a date and time they wish to bring in their organization.

“You can just schedule it online so that way you don’t have to go to a certain location or call them,” Park said.  “So we take care of that side by making it all available online.”

“I think it’s a great way to get more ideas flowing than just the usual fundraising ideas that we usually do,” said Mickenzie Grubb, former ways and means chair of the Delta Zeta sorority. “The only thing is I feel like it’s better to have that one-on-one contact and know what exactly is going on rather than going through a different party. But other than that I would use it.”

A certain percentage of the receipts, ranging from 15 to 50 percent, dropped into a donation box is then calculated by the restaurant and given as proceeds to the organization, Park said.

“A big issue is that a lot of places on campus only allow you to do fundraising during weekdays and very specific times,” Grubb said. “And being in a sorority, a lot of girls do have meal plans and already have food provided for them Monday through Friday. So it is difficult to convince them to go during the weekday, when they have to go spend extra money when they’re already getting food.”

KB Books and CREAM offer similar fundraising opportunities close to campus for student organizations.

KB Books has a Student Organization Rebate program that offers a 5-percent rebate on textbook purchases from each organization member to participating organizations, according to the store’s website.

The SDSU organization that receives the highest total amount also wins a $100 donation from KB Books to the charity of its choice.

“In front of East Commons, we hand out little flyers where you go to Rubio’s with the flyer and support a certain club,” said Daniel Kvassov, psychology major and member of Psi Chi Honors Society and Psychology Club.

Kvassov added: “(GroupRaise) sounds like a very interesting app that I would definitely use. For one, it would give to my club, and it also allows the students of SDSU the opportunity to support other clubs. Technology’s definitely come a long way to improve fundraising.”

Park said the company aims to streamline the communication process between student leaders and business owners.

“We wanted to get this win-win result where college students would come out to eat and restaurants gained sales and everyone’s happy,” Park said.

However, Grubb questions the entire notion of fundraising  for student organizations through stores or restaurants.

“The bummer about having fundraisers on campus or at any kind of restaurant is that we don’t really make that much money,” Grubb said. “I mean its good to make like 50 dollars here and there, but you don’t really make that much money.”