Corporate fundraising is a fantastic way to raise income for your charity. Not only monetary donations but gifts in kind and pro bono work are often supplied by businesses. If done right, corporate fundraising can be incredibly effective. This post will outline everything you need to know on how to gain corporate donations from target businesses.
- Make Connections
- Identify the Right Contact Within the Correct Business
- Think About Non-Monetary Support
- What Can you Offer in Return?
- Ask the Question
- Show Thanks and Appreciation
Wondering who you should approach? Well, first of all, it’s a good place to start by considering your size and business intentions. Start brainstorming and jotting down the current companies that you have existing relationships with.
Don’t just stop at strengthening your relationships with businesses that you’re already well acquainted with. Speak to your volunteers and trustees to see who they’re willing to introduce you to who you can form new working relationships with.
TIP: Why not use your LinkedIn to help you? Refine your search and easily see which businesses line up with your charity’s views and would potentially benefit by sending a donation. That way, you don’t forget any businesses off the top of your head too that might be a perfect match waiting to happen.
Identify the Right Contact Within the Correct Business
So you’ve found the perfect company who you feel that both parties would benefit from working together, now you’ve got to get in touch with the right contact who can make it all happen. There’s no point trying to get in touch with somebody who can’t make any decisions on the company’s behalf is there?
What you should be looking for is either a store/company manager for the smaller organisations and somebody with corporate social responsibility in the larger businesses. You should aim to approach them directly, that way you’re not being passed around a team of people and it will allow you to get an honest answer from the person themselves.
Think About Non-Monetary Support
When you hear the word “donation” you automatically think “money,” right? Well, people seem to forget that a donation can be anything you desire. Many businesses will be more easily persuaded to donate something tangible to your cause rather than a simple cash donation.
For example, a restaurant may prefer to donate a stack of £50 gift cards to offer as a prize rather than £500 cash as they’ll then receive indefinite custom. Gift donations tend to be more personal too as opposed to a cash donation.
The focus has to be put on what they want to achieve through giving, otherwise, they aren’t likely to donate. Businesses are always interested in getting the best value so tailor your offers especially for each business and make them an offer they can’t refuse.
TIP: A good approach to receiving non-monetary gifts and support is to ask for items to auction or open them up as a raffle prize. Or even a pro bono scheme for young employees to learn new skills on the job whilst volunteering for your charity.
What Can you Offer in Return?
The majority of businesses offer donations with a large degree of self-interest behind them. What will they get in return for their donation? There’s no point making a business an offer that they won’t benefit from. For example, you may offer a business £500 worth of marketing space - which is great - but is it the correct audience for them? Or on the flip side, can they tap into a new demographic they wouldn’t normally reach?
Think about which of your charity’s values best match up to those of the target businesses. Companies won’t want to be associated with charities that have conflicting viewpoints to them so think carefully when you’re deciding who to target.
TIP: Public acknowledgement or publicity opportunities are among the more popular methods that charities tend to use in return for donations. Mentions in monthly newsletters or recognition on the website are both examples of how you can show this.
Ask the Question
So, after you’ve shortlisted your companies and decided on your offer, you’ve now got to make the move and ask them. Start with a letter outlining what you’re doing, what it is you’re asking for and why you think that the company should start supporting you.
Follow up your letter with a phone call a week or two later. You don’t want to come across as being pushy or a pest so allow time for the targeted businesses to familiarise themselves with your request.
Show Thanks and Appreciation
Remember to thank them for their support and report back regularly on how their contributions have made an impact. This keeps the business sweet too and potentially paves the way for further contribution in the future. Plus, the reputation of the charity and corporate fundraising, in general, is further bolstered.
Perfect Your Next Newsletter
So, after securing plenty of donations on the back of the above advice you’re probably going to have a lot of thanks and recognition to give. Make sure that you perfect your next newsletter. From getting it ready for printing to a checklist to ensure that you don’t miss anything vital out of the content. Download it today and get well on your way to creating impressive literature for your audience to see.