Fundraising through businesses could be a bit tricky, but if you are all geared up and have the right approach, you can definitely attract the firms to get a substantial amount of money. Hence, let’s dig deep into details to enrich our minds of what exactly business firms look into before granting funds.
The first aspect of fundraising is to build connections with local businesses, as they are more inclined to community building and uplifting the communities in which they are living. But, one drawback in this scenario is that many local businesses could not have huge grants to support you with. Therefore, you should also target national organizations as well!
When you are pitching your proposal to any big corporates, always remember large originations look for long-term relationships and mutual benefits with the non-profits they sponsor.
Find a person in the corporates to connect with: When you are looking up to businesses to get funds, don’t just expect to walk into the company and ask anyone working there for donations. One needs to go through networking and build a connection with the people. Again if it’s a large corporation, reach out to the person handling corporate social responsibility (CSR) and convey your purpose, requirements, and outcomes. Furthermore, be prepared with the reply of what your charitable trust can support the client’s organization.
Look into what you can suffice within Return: As most relationships dwell on mutual benefit sharing, so do corporates and charitable trust. So, look into what you can provide to the corporates or business houses. Almost every organization aims at trust and reputation built in the community, apart from uplifting the society, and it is one of the foremost reasons behind donations.
The best ways in which a charitable trust can build up a mutual long term relationship with the corporates are as follows:
Logos and Brand name: One way in which you can impress your sponsor is by including their name and logo in the banners whenever you launch any campaign. It helps in spreading a positive word of mouth about the entity and also boosts its popularity.
References: Give the name and the substantial amount donated by the corporate firm in your donor references.
Information in your annual audit report: Mention the name of the firm and the amount donated by them to your charitable trust in your annual audit report.
Tax Benefits: Another reason why businesses donate is they can get tax benefits apart from supporting any noble cause. Whenever there is a business or income tax audit, support your client by furnishing the exact amount donated.
Positive Press: Whenever you organize a press conference for thanksgiving, mention the name of all your donors and how it has helped in uplifting the community.
Ask for Donation: It is no doubt daunting or nerve-wracking for any fundraiser to ask for donations, especially when the amount is hefty! However, there are actually two ways to ask for donations that could simplify your approach.
Please write a letter: It is a formal approach, and one needs to check the schedule of the person responsible for handling CSR. Craft an email that is engaging and with strong, relatable storytelling; doesn’t exceed one page, and also get it signed by the head of the charitable trust.
In-person: Another approach is meeting in person but prior to that, do your strong homework – not only about the organization but also about the points that you are going to convey. Again, always check with the schedule of the CSR head as it will ensure a proper and full-fledged discussion leading to a win-win situation.
Follow–up: Another important criterion is to do a follow-up with business houses, irrespective of whether they signed the cheque or not. The reason is that many organizations make in-kind donations. One can initiate a phone call, meet in person, or send an email! But, restrain yourself from making too many follow-ups as it could annoy the client.
The gesture of thanking: Always acknowledge your donors with a thank you letter, no matter whether they donated in cash or in-kind. Maintaining a proper rapport will help you in attracting more donations in the future; also, thank the clients who did not contribute. The reason is that it will build up better relations for future donations.
When you are a fundraiser dealing with many businesses, keep a note that it is better and easier to retain an existing client rather than attract new ones. It is more than just a one-time investment, but a connection that will lead to a prosperous mutual relationship in the future. But it cannot be ignored that new relationships also need to be built when your cause is big!