A pancake breakfast is an easy fundraiser to run. It is a perfect event for almost any church, school or non-profit, as it does not require a lot of money or time. You can organize a pancake breakfast in just a few weeks and, on the day of the event, you may be surprised how simple it is to run. All you need are a few supplies, some willing volunteers and a little bit of knowledge and your pancake breakfast could well be a big success.
Recruit volunteers, ask people at your church, mosque or synagogue. Put up fliers at local businesses. Solicit high school students to help. Find out if your co-workers have a few hours to spare. Tell all your friends. Set up a main committee of volunteers to oversee the entire event, with four sub-committees -- donations, advertising, decorations and set-up.
Decide on a day, date and time. Sunday is often a good day to choose for a pancake breakfast. Most people do not have to go to work and it is an easy fundraiser to hold either before or after a church service. Check local community calendars before making a decision as you do not want it to conflict with another popular local event.
Choose a location. Can you have it at your synagogue or church hall? Will a local company donate a conference hall? Try to find a space that is free to use or at a nominal cost. The less money you spend running the event, the more money you raise for your cause.
Plan your menu. Decide if you will serve simple items, like pancakes, syrup, eggs, bacon and sausages, or if you want a more extravagant pancake breakfast that includes fancy syrups and whipped creams, pastries and cakes. Remember, if you decide to serve more complicated items, you will have to solicit more donations or spend more money purchasing them. A simple pancake breakfast is often the best choice.
Solicit donations of food and drink items from local businesses, supermarkets, butchers and bakers. Remember to offer potential donors free advertising on fliers or in brochures as a thank you for donations. Don't forget to ask for donations of tables and chairs, napkins, cutlery, paper or plastic plates and cups, tablecloths and centerpieces too.
Advertise the event. Put up posters at local businesses, places of worship and public places, like the library or town hall. Ask your town's newspapers if they offer free advertising space for non-profits or schools. Give information to your local radio station. Most radio station run a certain number of public service announcements (PSAs) every month as a community service and at no cost to area non-profits and schools.
Decide on ticket prices and sell most of your tickets before the day of the breakfast. Never sell all your tickets on the day of the event. If you do, you will not know how many people are attending, how much food to prepare or how many tables to set. Make enough food and drink for 5 percent above the number of tickets you have already sold, so you can accommodate a few extra people who show up at the door.
Set up tables, chairs and any non-food items the night before. The morning of the breakfast, arrive three hours before the scheduled start time. Put coffee on to brew as soon as you arrive. Large coffee urns take a long time to heat. Prepare meat products ahead of time and keep warm in an oven. Begin to make pancakes two hours before the start time of your breakfast and continue throughout the morning. You can keep them fresh and warm in crock pots or rice cookers. Set up tables with syrups, whipped creams and any toppings. Make sure volunteers check them throughout the morning and fill up where necessary.
Run a pancake breakfast buffet instead of a sit-down meal with waitress service. Buffets are an easy way to serve a large group of people and you will need less volunteers.
Do not forget to contact your local health department to find out food service regulations. You may have to meet a health inspector before they will give permission for your breakfast, so do this well in advance.