Ready to raise some funds and collect donations for your non-profit organization? Here’s what you need to do to get those donations!
Before you hit the road to drum up donations, make sure you’ve gathered all the supplies and mentally prepared for the task ahead.
I am a list-maker. To me, this is the easiest way to get and stay organized. So, I strongly suggest that you keep a checklist of your sponsorship requests. You may want to track different details, but these are the basic items you should include:
- Donor/Sponsor Name
- Donor/Sponsor Address or Location
- Contact Person
- Visited? (Check mark)
- Donation Received? (Check mark)
- Follow Up Required? (Check mark)
- Item(s) Donated
- Additional Notes (e.g. follow up details, deadline, contact corporate instead, etc.)
Feel free to make a copy of my fundraising checklist and adapt for your own needs.
Making the Request
Everyone has her own style so I won’t script you through the solicitation. However, there are certain components you must include:
- Ask if the owner or manager is available. You’ll have greater success and waste less time if you can speak directly with a decision-maker. If you leave your letter and message with anyone else, they may never make it to a decision-maker and you will have to spend time following up with the company.
- Respect their time. Oftentimes we are so passionate about our mission, we forget to consider that other people have their own important things to attend to, like running their businesses. Thank the other party for giving you their time and be as brief as possible so you don’t waste it.
- Explain what you are asking for and why. Remember your mental prep at home. Why is this event important? What are the benefits of supporting it?
- Share how you are offering your personal support. It’s hard to convince someone else that an event is worth their investment if the person making the request isn’t personally invested as well. Are you donating your time? Have you made your own donation to the organization or event?
- Confirm donation and/or follow-up procedures. If you receive a donation, note the specific amount/item and confirm with the donor that it matches their intention. If you receive the promise of a donation, confirm what is being donated and when you can pick it up, as well as who your point-of-contact will be. If the party you speak with must confer with someone else, ask when you should check back.
- Thank them. Whether you receive a donation or not, thank them for their time (and donation, if applicable).
After the Event
Perhaps the most important part of sponsorship process is often the most overlooked. Once the party is over, make sure you share the success of the event with your sponsors. Send a thank you letter to everyone who donated, thanking them for their donation and letting them know how much the donations contributed to the event’s success.