Serving Up Change was created by founders Johnathan Mayo and Lester Johnson. While the initial idea was focused more on volunteerism, the vision was always to create an initiative that leveraged the power and position of restaurants to make our communities better. The two founder’s friendship goes back to middle school and they have been business partners since 1997. With Mayo’s work in cause marketing and foundation management, and Johnson’s work as a successful restaurant owner, Serving Up Change is the perfect marriage of their backgrounds, skillsets, and community interest.
After deciding to rethink the initial concept around volunteerism, the duo identified barriers and challenges that kept restaurants from maximizing their outreach efforts. One challenge was the ability to manage the numerous requests for donations. Since restaurants are visible in their communities, they get an enormous amount of requests for gift cards, in-kind food, sponsorships, and monetary contributions. Serving Up Change gives restaurant owners and managers a simple tool to use to receive and manage all donation requests. It also provides the tracking and reporting that helps with accounting. In addition to improving the process for restaurants, it also makes it easier for organizations and causes to identify restaurants that support their cause.
With Mayo’s experience with fundraising, he was well aware of the challenges of traditional fundraisers, like restaurant give-back or spirit nights. As a common method for schools, youth groups, churches, etc. to raise funds, they were difficult to manage and often did not yield the desired financial outcome. This observation led to the development of the virtual fundraiser, a new way to fundraise with restaurants. The virtual fundraising tool allows organizations and causes to quickly connect to restaurants and create an online fundraiser campaign. Now supporters can support from wherever they are and enjoy a good meal at their convenience.
Mayo and Johnson also realized that in addition to restaurants, other local and national businesses had the ability to give back and support their location organizations. While restaurants remain a large percentage of its business partners, they decided to extend the platform to support ALL types of businesses.
Ultimately, the founders of Serving Up Change have a desire to make fundraising easy so organizations can raise money to do more and individuals can raise funds to support various personal or community needs. Businesses across the world can use Serving Up Change to help them do more and decide on the types of donation request and fundraisers they will support.
Johnathan and Lester truly believe in doing well by doing good and hope to help others do the same. Join them in Serving Up Change!