Launched in 2011, Local Matters is Grill’d’s community donation program. To date, the program has raised $1.93million for 11,557 local community projects. We spoke to Amy Smith, marketing and brand director at Grill’d, to learn more.
Giving back to the local community
The Local Matters initiative is a simple one. Each month every Grill’d burger restaurant donates $500 back into their local community. When a customer buys a burger they are given a token, which they can choose to put into one of three jars (each of which represents a local community group). At the end of the month, the cause with the most tokens is given $300, while the other two receive $100 each.
"The Local Matters community donation program was created as a way to give back to the local community in response to the multiple requests for support from various groups and organisations in the local communities that Grill’d called home,” says Smith.
Community groups of any size can take part in Local Matters, with projects spanning emergency services; sports and recreation; health and disability; support services; education; special interest; youth services; animals and environment; and community services.
The only conditions are that solely groups (not individuals or their personal projects) can apply; that they are located in the same area of the Grill’d restaurant hosting the Local Matters campaign; and that they can only participate once every 12 months. Groups can apply in writing by sharing (in less than 45 words) a little on who they are, what they do and how some extra support would help them.
Smith says: “Local Matters is designed to raise awareness and generate funding for not-for-profit initiatives, organisations, and groups, so they can continue to operate and have a positive impact on the local community.”
A little bit more
Smith says that many Grill’d stores support their local communities in more ways than just the monthly Local Matters campaigns.
Among the many examples she cites Grill’d Malvern, who recently organised a stall at the Very Special Kids (VSK) Family Fair Day where $5 from every main item they sold was donated to the charity. Subsequently, they raised an additional $725, in addition to the Local Matters donation VSK received.
Smith also notes the efforts of Grill’d Bulimba, who over six weeks worked with Bulimba State School students – teaching them how to make burgers using fresh ingredients from the garden, such as tomatoes and onions – to educate them about the importance of healthy eating.
Smith adds: “Grill’d Miranda recently supported Kogarah Community Services, which raises funds and awareness for local youth homeless service, Project Youth. Kogarah Community Services held a Sleep Out event at WIN Jubilee Oval. To show their support and raise awareness about youth homelessness our staff from Grill’d Miranda participated.”
Most recently, for the month of December, Local Matters was renamed Christmas Matters. In addition to the monthly grant funding, Grill’d hosted events in partnership with local charities. In Sydney, Grill’d teamed up with Creative Youth Initiatives, Youth off the Streets and YWCA NSW, for a Christmas lunch event, where they offered free laundry services, haircuts and shaves and lunch for some of the city’s homeless youth.
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