If you tuned into Broadsheet during last year’s holiday season, you will have seen our call-outs to support the grassroots charity organisation StreetSmart with its yearly fund-raising drive, DineSmart.

Each year since 2003, StreetSmart enlists restaurants to help raise funds through DineSmart, an initiative that encourages diners to add at least $2 to their bill as a donation to organisations that help the homeless and less fortunate.

Now that StreetSmart CEO Adam Robinson has had a chance to do the maths, he tells Broadsheet that last year’s drive raised $445,921 – up from the previous record of $370,167 in 2012.

“We’ve just finished adding up the funds raised and the next step is to review applications for funding from the services and agencies we’re supporting,” Robinson explained.

“Our focus is keeping the money as local as possible. This means donations will support charities in the vicinity (of the business they were made at), and the same goes with Sydney. We want to make sure the donations diners make will have local impact.”

The current tally means StreetSmart has raised more than $3 million since 2003, and Robinson says this is helped by creating awareness throughout the restaurant industry as well. Not just diners.

Broadsheet readers may have also noticed we’ve supported the DineSmart initiative for a number of years, and last year we pitched in by adding a DineSmart button in the directory to help readers find participating restaurants.

“DineSmart is a wonderful program and one that is close to us here at Broadsheet,” says director Nick Shelton. “A program that supports and raises money for local communities by continuing to do what we already love – eating out at restaurants – is something our readers really respond to.”

The next StreetSmart initiative will be the CafeSmart event held mid-year, where participating cafes will donate $1 from every coffee bought to grassroots charities.

The DineSmart campaign will run again between November 11–December 21 this year. CafeSmart will be held on August 8.

streetsmartaustralia.org