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How your business can support SIMS

The SIMS Foundation provides mental health and substance use recovery services and supports for musicians, music industry professionals, and their dependent family members. Through education, community partnerships, and accessible managed care, SIMS seeks to destigmatize and reduce mental health and substance use issues, while supporting and enhancing the wellbeing of the music community at large.

Music impacts and inspires nearly everyone, but the people who work in the music industry often face unique and difficult challenges. Musicians and music professionals are at higher risk for mental illness and substance abuse, working under the stress of an unstable income, a skyrocketing cost of living, erratic tour schedules, distance from family and support, and constant proximity to drugs and alcohol.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, one in five Americans experiences a mental health condition each year. That’s why SIMS Foundation ensures that members of our music community have access to a full array of mental health and substance use recovery treatments, delivered with no barriers and at low or no cost.

To succeed in our work, SIMS needs the Austin community, including music fans and local business leaders, and that’s where you come in. Together, we provide vital services so that our music family can thrive.

“Checkout Charity” doesn’t just have to be about helping SIMS Foundation and our local music scene, it’s good for business too:

  • Sixty percent of respondents in a 2016 survey said they felt positive about a company after being asked to donate at the register.
  • Another study from 2017 showed that a checkout charity campaign has statistically significant positive impact on sales.

Why SIMS foundation

The SIMS Foundation is the only non-profit in the United States that provides mental health and substance use recovery services and supports for musicians, music industry professionals and their dependent family members. The SIMS Foundation has been supporting the mental health of individuals in the music industry for 28 years.

Some of the services SIMS offers or connects people to are counseling, outpatient, psychiatric, including medication management, substance abuse disorder treatment and harm reduction, and trainings for the music community.

In the music industry, mental health challenges are a reality, with the constant pressures, touring, and demanding schedules. These difficulties affect not only musicians but also the professionals who work behind the scenes.

The 28K for 28 end of year giving campaign is a response to this need, as we seek to ensure that individuals in the industry have access to the support they require for their mental well-being. We aim to raise $28,000 in just 28 days, which is symbolic of our commitment to supporting mental health within the music community. Achieving this goal will enable us to continue and expand our services, ensuring that vital therapy and substance abuse recovery options are readily available.

This campaign is not just about raising funds but also about preserving the memory and legacy of Sims Ellison, an Austin musician who lost his battle with depression 28 years ago. By participating, you help us continue to honor Sims while supporting mental health awareness, which is an issue close to the hearts of many in the music community.

The success of the campaign depends on the collective action of our community. Every single contribution, regardless of its size, is a crucial part of the larger effort. By participating, you become a part of the solution, actively contributing to the betterment of the music industry and the lives it touches.

Giving Tuesday, falling on November 28, serves as an additional opportunity to support our campaign. On this day, we encourage everyone to take part by making a donation, sharing our mission, and spreading the word about the importance of mental health in the music community.

How to set up the fundraiser


How to Set-Up Toast Fundraising

To raise funds with the Toast Fundraising Product:

  • Off-premise – Toast Online Ordering must be enabled
  • On-premise – Your restaurant must have a Guest Facing display (GFD) or a Toast hardware device (e.g., Toast Flex, Toast Go™).

1. Log in to Toast Web and select Guest engagement using the left-hand navigation menu. Scroll to the Fundraising section and select either Create new or Create and manage fundraising campaign.

2. In the Active Campaign section, select Create new campaign.

3. Two types of campaigns that can be started:

  • Nonprofit/Charity – e.g. 501(c)(3) – can run for up to 60 days
  • Other Cause – can run for up to 30 days

Nonprofit/Charity – e.g. 501(c)(3)

Use the Nonprofit/Charity feature to search for “SIMS Foundation”

Once you select SIMS, an image and a description of the cause will automatically populate.

Fundraising for a Nonprofit/Charity “Project”:
Benevity, the toast fundraising database partner, gives SIMS the option to create “projects,” which allow you to fundraise for a specific initiative within the selected organization’s portfolio.
SIMS does not have a specific initiative at this time. Simply select SIMS Foundation.

4. Once you have determined your campaign type and entered the necessary information, you can select Continue.
5. Select your Collection Type.

  • Round Up
  • Flat Rate

Selecting Round up will round the donation to the nearest whole dollar. Selecting Flat rate will allow you to select three specific dollar amount options. Either of these options support the SIMS foundation, so choose whichever is best for you and your customers.

6. In the final setup step, you can review your fundraising campaign before it goes live. There is a preview of how your guests will see your fundraising campaign on Online Ordering, Guest-Facing Display, and digital receipts. Remember to confirm the checkboxes below and select Publish.

Duplicating Campaigns for Multi-Unit Locations

Some restaurants have more than one location and plan to have their locations concurrently supporting one fundraising cause. We made duplicating a campaign from one of your locations to other locations in your group easier.

1. Start by creating the initial campaign (as instructed above) in one of your locations
2. Next, proceed to the fundraising page on the next location in your group. Select the icon under the Duplicate column.

Auto-Disbursements Directly to Nonprofit

When you create a campaign using the Nonprofit/Charity feature, funds are withheld and will be automatically disbursed at the end of your campaign. Donations made using this feature are sent to the American Online Giving Foundation (AOGF), a 501(c)(3) charity, at the end of your fundraising campaign. AOGF disburses donations on a monthly basis. It may take up to 60 days following the end of your fundraising campaign for donations to get to the recipient charity. It’s unlikely, but if AOGF cannot disburse the donations to the recommended charity, AOGF may select a different recipient charity.

Once a campaign ends, the customer will receive a confirmation email from with the subject: Toast Fundraising Campaign Completed.

On the active campaign page, you will see how the funds will be disbursed:

On the Past Campaigns page, you can see how the funds were disbursed to the organization under the Disbursement Method header.

Please use auto-disbursement when fundraising for SIMS Foundation

How to Communicate the Fundraising Product to Your Front of House Team

Your front of house staff is an important part of ensuring your fundraising campaign is successful. Encourage your staff to be part of the campaign! We have often found that the most successful campaigns are the ones where the staff is engaged in promoting the cause your restaurant is fundraising for. Consider having your staff mention the fundraising campaign to your guests as they are about to checkout.

On digital receipt terminals (e.g., Toast terminals and Toast Go™), your guests go through the normal checkout flow with an additional prompt for whether they would like to round up their check or contribute a flat-rate donation (depending on the campaign’s setup). Please note that your front of house staff will need to initiate a credit card payment to get the fundraising prompt if you are flipping a tablet for digital receipts or using a Toast Go™ handheld (see the images below).

Removing a Contribution

If a guest changes their mind after completing the transaction, your staff can return to the closed check and remove the round up or flat rate contribution. You can see this article on Voiding Items, Payments, and Checks if you want more information on editing a closed check.

How to Communicate the Fundraising Product to Guests

Communicate each active campaign with staff to optimize fundraising efforts so they are fully informed. Your campaign should include the name of the cause and what they support, and any other required information. With each fundraising campaign, you can promote to guests via email and social media by sharing from your Active campaign dashboard.


How to Accept Donations with Square Online

Efficiently manage sales with Square Online

Square Online accepts and manages orders, both online and in-store from social and mobile showroom to stockroom, for today and tomorrow.

With donation items in Square Online, you can accept donations of up to $5,000 on your website. Donors can choose any preset suggested amounts or enter their own, making the process of supporting a cause people care about seamless and easy.

Learn more about items and categories in Square Online. You can also check out the Square Online for Nonprofits FAQ.

Create a Donation Item

To add a donation item:

  • From your Square Online Overview page, go to Items > Site Items.
  • Select Create new item.
  • In the Item Type menu, choose Donation.
  • Under Donation Settings, enter suggested donation amounts to display on the item page and toggle the option to allow donors to enter a custom amount.
  • Complete all other details and select Save when finished.

Note: Donations are non-refundable, and made voluntarily without exchange of goods or services. A donor must read and tick a checkbox to accept this disclaimer before donating.

Customize Your Donation Item

When creating your donation item, be sure to add a title, a detailed description about your cause, and a photo. Learn more about product images in Square Online.

After entering the basic information for your item, you can customize the suggested donation amounts under Donation Settings. By default, a custom amount option is also included for donations, which allows donors to set their own price instead of choosing one of the preset amounts. If you don’t want to offer this option, use the toggle to turn it off.

You can also set up modifiers for donation items. For example, you might include a text modifier to allow donations in memory of another person.

Finally, you can add an optional title and description to the SEO settings to make your item discoverable in search engine results. Learn more about how to optimize your items and categories for search.

Feature Donations on Your Site

You can feature your donation items on your site to help increase visibility for potential donors. Learn more about featured items in Square Online.

Note: If you haven’t created a donation item yet, you can create one without leaving the editor. Learn more about adding a new item and category to Square Online in the site editor.


How to Accept Donations on Clover

Clover requires businesses to download a 3rd party app called Donate at Checkout by Zoomifi, Inc. There is a $9.99/month subscription cost for the app.

After connecting the app to your Clover account:


  1. Open the Donate at Checkout App.
  2. Type in the name of the charity, SIMS Foundation, at the bottom of the screen and click Save.
  3. Click on the four green boxes and create pre-set donation amounts.
  4. Make sure that the “Enable Donations” switch is in the “On” position.

When processing a transaction:

  1. While in the Register Application, Click on the “Pay” button.
  2. Click on the “Donate at Checkout” button under “Other” Payment Methods.
  3. Select the amount to donate.
  4. Click on “Add Payment” on the next screen.

It is up to you as the Merchant to distribute the funds that you have collected. The donations that you’ve taken are deposited into your bank account along with the other Credit Card receivables.

The donation report is available online. Log into your portal and click on the Donate at Checkout icon. On the new website you can run reports to see how many donations have been received and other pertinent information.

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