Evan Dobos
by Evan Dobos in Featured Community Engagement Ideas

What a Cash Mob is and Why You Should Do One in Your Community

Simultaneously bring your neighbors together while supporting a local business. It’s the perfect recipe, and it’s called the Cash Mob!

We’ve all seen efforts to build local business, whether it’s a “keep it local” discount card, or a networking meeting that nomadically moves its location from one locally owned and operated business to another, there are lots of ways to raise awareness. But, how many of them put guaranteed money in the pockets of local business owners that are making a difference right where you live, while enriching your community by creating new relationships between neighbors who have never met?

Enter the Cash Mob

The cash mob is a simple concept for a way to focus community-wide attention on one local business, on a specific day (or range of days) and time for two purposes.

  1. To bring a truck-ton of new cash business to a deserving local business.
  2. To encourage participants to get to know each other.

While there is a trademarked group backing cash mobs around the globe, it’s something anyone can do.

The Benefits of a Cash Mob

Since you’ll be working with a business that is already giving back to your community, you can feel good about your efforts.

  1. You’ll give an immediate cash infusion to a small business, trust us, they can always use it.
  2. Through participant’s social media and word of mouth, you’ll create a free publicity bomb that will bring new people into a great local shop.
  3. The event will give your community a chance to grow tighter, by building new relationships, based around a local business.
  4. The business will get a chance to showcase their best products and publicize what they’re all about, including any community initiatives they are currently supporting.
  5. Once you’ve started, you can focus the mob to other areas of your community that need cash infusion, branch out into other community activities, the potential is virtually limitless!

How To Conduct One in Your Community

If you’ve never coordinated a community event before, it may sound intimidating. If your community utilizes CivicLift, there are tools included with a step-by-step guide on how to conduct one successfully. If you are just an enthusiastic resident, just follow our guidelines below.

First, we suggest you choose a single business category per Cash Mob. For this example, let's choose restaurants.

  1. Ask the community who their favorite restaurant is. Be clear that it can be for whatever reason they choose. Consistently good food, they've provided jobs to local kids, exceptional staff, their contribution to the community, etc.
  2. Take the top 5 and conduct a poll on social media. Ask participants to vote for which restaurant deserves to be the "victim" of the Cash Mob. This should of course include a link to explain what a Cash Mob is.
  3. Communicate with the five business owners to make sure they are prepared and to have them encourage voting themselves through their own social media channels.
  4. Recruit all participants to become part of the promotions team by sharing the information, date, time location, and the rules. Provide them with easy to copy/paste info to make it easy.
  5. When the voting closes, coordinate with the winner so they can prepare for the influx of business they can expect.
  6. Make a big deal over who won (again, on social media, emails, websites, etc.)
  7. Go to the event and provide support for the business owner. Take pictures and post immediately to social media, do a livestream, interview guests, just have fun with your neighbors!.
  8. Spend your $20 to buy products while you’re there. Put your money where your mouth is.
  9. Encourage every attendee to meet three new people they don’t know and engage in some conversation. You’re sure to meet more than three, as the coordinators of the event.
  10. Stick around to help with any cleanup, to answer questions, and make connections.
  11. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done, and… plan your next event!


We think this a great way that any community can get together to provide support for local businesses and have a great time doing it. The benefits to the business will extend far past your mob night, as they make new friends, fans, and loyal customers, allowing them to be even more of a force for good in your community. Well done.

If your community has CivicLift, the entire process can be run through our tools, guides, and support staff. If your community doesn't have it, share our link with your community leaders and let's do grow your community together!

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Evan Dobos

Evan Dobos

I started CivicLift because the communities I love – and the reasons why I love them – were impossible to discover online. Since my background is in web design and digital marketing, it bothered me to think about the missed visibility for the local businesses and events. After launching a few prototypes and witnessing the impact, CivicLift stole my heart and my team and I grew the idea into full scale software.