Tips for Getting Local Businesses Involved with your Fundraiser

As a successful fundraising organization, you require volunteers who are not only enthusiastic, but able to bring that enthusiasm to local businesses in order to gain their financial support.

Open for Business

With so many fundraising organizations competing for the financial attention of the businesses in your area, your approach needs to be both unique and convincing.

Since many charity outfits are made up of volunteers who give their spare time out of the goodness of their hearts, it’s hard to ask them to approach a local business blindly—especially if they don’t have a background in sales.

That’s why we’ve put together a handy list of tips that you can distribute to your volunteers. Now when they approach small businesses to request financial donations, prize donations, free space, and equipment, they will be confident in their sales tactics.

8 Tips for Approaching Business Sponsors…

1. Make Use of the Web

Using technology, such as a charity Webpage or blog, to help market your charitable cause will enhance the credibility and mission behind your fundraiser as your volunteers approach businesses to request money.

For instance, many business owners will not give a donation blindly. They would rather do some research into the credibility of your cause first. That’s why providing them with a Website URL, which they can visit and donate to later on, is a wise investment to support your volunteers.

2. Social Networking

In addition, you can use the Web to create virtual ways to approach potential donors. For instance you can send an email to everyone you know alerting them to your event. Or you can attach a link to your email signature that leads to a Webpage with all of the vital information about your fundraiser.

Lastly, you can create a Facebook page to promote your event—including the date, time, and how sponsors can sign up to support your cause.

3. Call in Favors

Do you know a local celebrity who supports your cause? Well there is no shame in asking volunteers to call on local celebrity friends and favorites to help promote your event. In the business world it’s always good to have a big name in your back pocket—they create credibility.

And the same goes for local companies. If you have a connection, don’t be afraid to approach them for products and free tickets to use as prizes, advertising, for a space to host your fundraiser, free promotional materials, or financial donations.

4. Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

Call on the local papers, radio, and television stations to promote your event. Often times the local media is hoping for a news piece to drop into their lap. However, if you do approach them and they won’t come out to cover your event, then submit a letter to the editorial or community letters page to help spread news of the fundraising effort.

5. Ask Everyone and Anyone

Just because a business is new to the area or small, don’t overlook them as a potential donor. Your fundraiser may be just the thing that helps introduce and integrate them into your community. Remember, sponsoring businesses do gain acknowledgement and promotion from helping your cause—it’s a win-win situation.

6. Ask the Right People

By this I mean approach potential sponsors consciously by researching and drafting a list of those who might be sympathetic to your cause (for instance veterinarians would be sympathetic to animal support charities).

You can also draft some bullet points beside the company names to suggest how they can help with your fundraiser if they don’t want to give financially. For instance, some will donate money; and others will be more comfortable donating goods and services.

7. Offer a Tax Break

Believe it or not, offering tax exemptions for charitable donations is an excellent incentive.

8. Keep in Touch

Just because they’ve given funds and the fundraising season is over doesn’t mean you can’t send a thank you note, or provide an update through your charity newsletter. Keep the lines open by communicating regularly with your supporters.

A personalized thank you note can go a long way. Validate their donation by telling them exactly how their money was used to encourage future donations.

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