Opinions vary on benefit nights for student organizations
While many organizations on campus have used this fundraising strategy, some people question who benefits most from this sort of relationship.
For the most part, representatives from student organizations and business owners have had a positive experience participating in benefit nights.
Jacob Suggs, a senior media production major and co-director of Relay For Life at UNC, said managers are always careful to alert their staff about any upcoming events and that local bars like Country Fried Duck have also been very good at communicating their benefit nights to customers.
“At bars they’re really good about knowing what night is what benefit night — like we just had a benefit night at CFD and they actually, under their drink specials, had written out, like, ‘Relay For Life benefit,’” he said.
Business owners have also had good experiences working with student groups. Miki Bryant, bar manager at TRU Deli & Wine Bar, said she loves working with UNC organizations.
“People might spend a little bit more, which is ultimately going to be positive for the bar, but then it’s also going to help them out as well,” she said.
Although students have had good experiences, some have doubts about the profitability of benefit nights for student organizations.
Kate Schneider, senior business major and manager of fundraising and merchandising for the all-female a capella group the Loreleis, said some people question the amount of money raised at benefit nights.
“I’ve heard from some people that they think — they’re like ‘Oh, well maybe it’s not that much money’, or ‘You’re not making much money at a benefit night as you are maybe doing something else,’” she said.
Wilson Rogers, owner of Artisan Pizza Kitchen, said he takes issue with people standing at the door and notifying normal customers about a benefit night taking place at that moment.
“I don’t think it is the spirit of the deal for someone to stand in front of the door and say ‘How about doing this’ when you go in there,” he said.
Although representatives from student organizations and business owners have some concerns about benefit night partnerships, most believe that both parties benefit equally from these agreements.
“The way I see it is, the restaurant is offering to just give you some of their proceeds there,” Schneider said. “All we’re really doing is advertising for them and then showing up and eating the food which we would pay for anyways.”
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