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How to Plan a Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser

Learn how your nonprofit can host a fun and delicious fundraiser that will bring the community together.

Nothing brings people together like good food, which is why a pancake breakfast fundraiser could be an engaging and highly-profitable event for your nonprofit. In this blog post, we’ll explain everything you need to organize a pancake breakfast fundraiser, whether you’re enlisting the help of a restaurant or putting it together yourself.

What is a pancake breakfast fundraiser?

A pancake breakfast fundraiser invites members of the community to enjoy pancakes and other breakfast items while supporting your organization. Attendees of the fundraiser purchase a ticket or pay an admission fee to enjoy a classic meal to start their day. In addition to the pancakes, drinks like coffee or juice and sides like fruit might be served.

There are 2 ways to host a pancake breakfast fundraiser; they can be organized and run by members of your nonprofit, or you can request the help of a restaurant. Partnering with a restaurant can take a lot of the planning work off of your plate, though it’s important to note that you’ll receive a certain percentage of all the funds raised. Hosting the pancake breakfast fundraiser yourself requires more effort, but your organization will be able to take home more of the funds.

Can’t decide? We’ll be showing you how to plan a pancake breakfast fundraiser both ways, so that you can choose which approach works best for your nonprofit.

What are the steps to planning a pancake breakfast fundraiser?

If your organization wants to host a pancake breakfast fundraiser, here are some key steps to streamline your planning:

  • Set your goals and budget: Decide on how much money you’ll put aside for pancake ingredients and other food, and determine the amount of funds you want to raise. Then, decide on ticket prices for the event to cover your costs while still raising money.

  • Identify a venue: School cafeterias and community centers are ideal, as they’ll usually have a kitchen in addition to tables and chairs. For a fun picnic twist, you can host your breakfast fundraiser in a park - just be sure to either prepare the pancakes in advance or ensure you can set up a pancake cooking station outdoors.

  • Publicize your event: Spread the word about the delicious pancakes you’ll be serving up! Entice attendees with the promise of a yummy breakfast, with the added bonus of supporting your nonprofit’s mission.

  • Sell tickets: Selling tickets in advance is a helpful way to gauge how many pancakes you’ll need to make on the day of the fundraiser. It doesn’t hurt to also sell some tickets at the door, for any last-minute guests.

  • Recruit your organization’s team or volunteers: You’ll need individuals to collect tickets or an entrance fee, servers to hand out drinks and offer breakfast sides, and of course, some stellar pancake chefs!

  • Plate up some pancakes: Serve the community with pancakes on the day of your fundraiser! You can’t go wrong with a classic short stack plus syrup and butter, or you might offer tickets for specialty pancakes with fruit or chocolate toppings.

Tip: Combine your pancake breakfast fundraiser with a raffle! For every meal ticket purchased, attendees can be entered into a raffle for prizes like gift baskets, gift cards, and more. Give your attendees the option to donate a few dollars more in exchange for extra raffle ticket entries. For tips on curating a themed raffle basket, check our blog post with 10 raffle basket ideas and 87 convenient donation request links. Or, start browsing over 1,500 companies that donate in-kind raffle items to nonprofits by signing up for TheShareWay for free.

What restaurants and companies can help to host my pancake breakfast fundraiser?

If you think you don’t have the time, resources, or people to dish up some delicious pancakes on your own, don’t give up on a pancake breakfast fundraiser just yet; you may be able to partner with a local restaurant to raise the funds you need.

When partnering with a restaurant for a fundraiser, the money raised will typically be split between your organization and the restaurant. They’ll usually provide their restaurant as the venue for the fundraiser, as well as prepare the food.

Local diners and breakfast joints could be a great pick for assisting with your event. Or, check out these restaurants and companies that have an established pancake breakfast fundraiser program:


This quintessential American restaurant helps local organizations host Flapjack Fundraisers. It’s likely that your local Applebee’s is owned by a franchise operator; see our list of franchise operators that host Flapjack Fundraisers below, with links to apply for a fundraiser event.

Want to know more about Applebee’s community giving, such as how to request donations from an Applebee’s near you? Check out our blog post on how to submit an Applebee’s donation request.


IHOP is a classic breakfast chain with locations throughout the United States. IHOP hosts their own pancake fundraiser each year to donate meals to those in need. However, you can request assistance directly from your local IHOP restaurant to host your own pancake breakfast fundraiser. As the International House of Pancakes, they’re sure to make an ideal partner.


Though not a restaurant, Krusteaz is undeniably a household name for boxed pancake batter. If you choose their product to make pancakes for your fundraiser, the Krusteaz Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser Program will refund you up to $100 in pancake mix costs.

Final Thoughts

Now that you have the knowledge and resources you need to plan a pancake breakfast fundraiser, all that’s left is to dive into planning and outreach. The best part about this type of fundraiser? The promise of a comforting, classic American breakfast sells itself! Promote your pancake fundraiser widely, and you’ll be well on your way to a successful event for your nonprofit.

Cover Photo by Jaqueline Pelzer on Unsplash

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