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Food Truck Fundraiser Frequently Asked Questions

Before you dive right into planning your food truck fundraiser, you probably have some questions about how they work. Take a look at the answers we’ve compiled to frequently asked questions about food truck fundraisers:

How Do You Raise Money at a Food Truck Fundraiser?

There are a few different ways you could raise money by partnering with a food truck: 

  • Charge a flat fee. A simple way to raise money at a food truck fundraiser is to charge the food truck upfront. You could also let them choose their donation amount, but you’ll want to tell them a suggested minimum if that’s the case.
  • Request a percentage of their sales. Most food trucks will be willing to contribute a portion of either their total sales or each individual purchase that occurs during the event to your cause. This way, the more people that show up, the more you can raise.
  • Sell tickets in advance. Create vouchers (physical or online) that represent a meal from the food truck and sell them ahead of time. This option is best if the food truck wants to get an idea of how many people to prepare food for.

Talk to the food truck you’re partnering with to see which fundraising methods they have used in the past and which they think will be best for your event. You can even combine different methods to create your own unique fundraising strategy. 

How Do I Find a Food Truck That Is Willing to Partner with My Organization? 

Looking for a food truck to partner with is often a little more tricky than finding a restaurant to partner with. Whereas chain restaurants typically have fundraising programs in place, local food trucks may have less experience working with nonprofits. However, there are several ways you can go about searching for a food truck to partner with:

  • Search directly for food trucks in your area. To start, do a simple Google search for “food trucks” to see what comes up near you. 
  • Look on a food truck or restaurant review website. Believe it or not, there are websites out there dedicated to helping you find food trucks. An example of one is Roaming Hunger. You could also scout out food trucks on more traditional restaurant websites such as Yelp, Trip Advisor, or Zagat.
  • Scour social media. Food trucks are unique in that they often go from place to place. Considering that, they’re more likely than regular restaurants to announce their current location on social media to get people to visit. Try searching #foodtruck, #foodtrucks, or other similar hashtags and concepts on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok to find them.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt to use all of these methods, especially if you’re looking to work with multiple food trucks!

What Types of Organizations Can Host a Food Truck Fundraiser? 

Many different organizations can host a successful food truck fundraiser, including:

  • Schools
  • Nonprofits
  • Clubs/community organizations
  • Companies
  • Churches
  • Sports teams

Food truck fundraisers are a great way to bring your community together and raise money for a great cause.

How Do I Plan a Food Truck Fundraiser? 

You can follow these four steps for the ultimate food truck fundraiser: 

  1. Find a food truck to partner with and discuss the event. You’ll want to come to an agreement on the type of food you’ll serve, your fundraising plan, and a date for your event.
  2. Book a location. Make sure you find a place with plenty of parking spaces and enough room for the truck to set up. Usually, a school parking lot or park works best.
  3. Spread the word. Promote your event far enough in advance so people can plan to come. Also, ask your food truck partner if they’re willing to post on their own social media for double the advertising.
  4. Thank everyone for coming. Show your appreciation to your attendees and especially your food truck partner.

Now that you know the basics of a food truck fundraiser, it’s time for some tips!

5 Tips for Hosting Your Food Truck Fundraiser

We’ve given you the basics of food truck fundraisers, and now it’s time to step it up a little bit. Here’s how you can make your food truck fundraiser even better: 

  1. Hire multiple food trucks. If the location you’ve booked has enough space, having multiple food trucks at your event will make it even more fun. Plus, you’ll be able to offer more food options to your attendees and collect more donations. 
  2. Choose a location with heavy foot traffic. You might want to limit your event to just a specific group of people, but if not, a great way to gather more support is by choosing your location accordingly. If people can see your event and walk to it, they may be intrigued and come see what it’s all about.
  3. Ask your food truck partner if they have tables or chairs. It’s not necessary for attendees to have a place to sit, but it could be nice, especially if the food you’re serving is messy or requires utensils to eat. Some food trucks have their own tables and chairs, or you could ask attendees to bring their own if your organization doesn’t have any available to use.
  4. Secure a trash can. There will likely be a lot of trash at your event since food trucks typically serve their food with disposable wrapping and utensils. If the food truck doesn’t provide a trash can themselves, it’s important to get one for the event.
  5. See if the food truck will let members of your organization serve people. Some food trucks even allow people to come inside the truck and help serve their community. That way, the event is more personalized to your organization, and members of your community can get to know your nonprofit a little better.

Other Ways to Fundraise at Your Food Truck Event

Your main source of funds from the event will be from selling food, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use other fundraising methods, too. Maximize your fundraising potential with these ideas:

  • Host a raffleAuction off something related to the event such as a voucher for a future meal at the food truck, a cooking class, or a tour of the truck.
  • Sell t-shirtsIf the food truck you’re partnering with has its own merchandise, see if they’re willing to sell it at your event and donate some of the profits. You could also make custom t-shirts for the event that show off your partnership.
  • Collect extra donations. Since they might not feel like they are directly donating when they purchase food at your event, some attendees might be willing to give a little extra. Set up a donation jar for cash and a poster with a Venmo account linked to your organization to collect online.