About Adam Weinger

Adam Weinger is one of the leading experts on corporate giving programs. He’s the president of Double the Donation, a company which helps organizations raise more money from employee matching gift and volunteer grant programs. The company partners with nonprofits ranging from arts and cultural organizations, hospitals, educational institutions, and community based organizations to help them increase fundraising from corporate giving programs. Adam is a frequent contributor to many leading nonprofit magazines and blogs, including NonprofitPro, Nonprofit Marketing Guide, Top Nonprofits,Nonprofit.About.com and of course, Double the Donation’s blog. Organizations looking to learn more about employee matching gift and volunteer grant programs should check out the resources the company provides which include lists of the top matching gift and volunteer grant companies. Have questions for Adam Weinger or Double the Donation? Email Adam or connect with Double the Donation on Twitter or LinkedIn.

4 Ways to Get Corporate Sponsors and Donations for your Next Fundraising Event

4 Ways to Get Corporate Sponsors and Donations for your Next Fundraising EventLet’s face it. Fundraising events are tough to pull off. Even if you have a comprehensive plan in place, a strong team of staff members and volunteers, and a great speaker lineup, things can always go wrong.

This isn’t meant to discourage you from hosting fundraising events. On the contrary, it’s supposed to serve as an inspiration for your organization!

While there is no shortage of fundraising advice out there, this article will mainly focus on securing corporate sponsorships and donations from local businesses.

Companies are nearly always looking for ways to be more philanthropic. Your nonprofit can be the recipient of their goodwill if you simply reach out before you host your next big fundraising event.

Read ahead for the four main ways your nonprofit can obtain corporate sponsors and donations for your next fundraising event.

If you’re looking for general advice on asking for donations from businesses, check out this article!

1. Research well in advance.

If your nonprofit wants to successfully ask for and receive donations from companies, you have to determine which companies you can realistically receive contributions from.

To do this, create a general list of companies that you already have relationships with. These could include:

  • Vendors that you buy office supplies from.
  • Companies that match the contributions of your donors.
  • Local businesses with well-known owners or executives (some of these people might be board members of your organization!).
  • And more!

This step is crucial if you want to successfully obtain corporate sponsors and donations for your fundraising event. You’re likely already conducting prospect screenings on your donor pool. Why not employ a similar strategy when asking for donations from local companies and businesses?

They say that past giving is the greatest indicator of future giving, and that principle holds up when applied to companies. Find out which businesses are already philanthropically minded and ask for donations and sponsorships from them first.

2. Remind companies of what you can offer them.

While many companies are more than willing to show their support for your cause with their sponsorships and donations, most of them are going to want something in return. In her article, “Corporate Sponsorships Are Not About Doing Good — Or Are They?” Nancy Page states that,

“Indeed, since from the corporation’s point of view these relationships are transactions, the expectation is that benefits will go both ways. The sponsor receives exposure to its desired audiences and shares a charitable glow, while the nonprofit receives money or supplies to support its projects.”

Before a company decides to commit to being a corporate sponsor at your fundraising event, you have to convince them that it will also be worth their while.

In order to do this, your meetings with company executives should address several questions, including:

  • How will the short-term event and the long-term sponsorship meet the company’s objections and vision?
  • Are their different levels of support and what do companies receive at each one?
  • How long will the sponsorship last (i.e., just for the duration of the event? A year? Indefinitely?)
  • What types of donors will be exposed to the sponsorship?

Naturally, you should be prepared to answer other questions that companies might have. Forming a corporate partnership or acquiring a corporate sponsor isn’t something that should be entered into lightly. Your fundraising team should be prepared to answer these questions to the best of your ability.

3. Remind companies of the different ways they can give.

If, during the course of your meetings with companies, you realize that they might be on the fence about donating a major gift or sponsoring your fundraising event, try shifting gears and remind them of the different ways that they can contribute to your cause.

Some of these ways include:

  • Offering products for your event.
  • Matching the donations of employees that give to your nonprofit during the fundraising event.
  • Contributing manpower and volunteers.
  • Donating items to sell during an auction (when applicable).
  • And more!

Companies might be more willing to start out with one of these contributions rather than jumping straight into a sponsorship or major donation. Remind them that there are other ways to give back!

4. Add corporate executives to your guest list.

If you didn’t land the sponsorship that you wanted or were unable to secure a donation from a local business, don’t fret. There are still ways you can ask for donations and expand your fundraising efforts to the corporate world.

How? By inviting corporate executives and business leaders to your fundraising events!

Sometimes, a CEO or business owner might want to see evidence of how your nonprofit is spending existing donations. They also might want to directly interact with other donors or your nonprofit’s staff.

And who could blame them, really? If their company is planning to donate a significant amount of money or partnering with your organization, they’ll probably want to know that their donations and sponsorship will be money, time, and effort well spent.

Make sure that your invitation is personalized and signed by a board member or leader in your organization. You don’t want to send out a cookie cutter invitation!

Once your guests arrive at your fundraising event, make sure that you introduce them to various staff members that can effectively answer their questions and show them evidence of how donations are typically used.

By inviting corporate executives and business leaders to your fundraiser, you’ll be able to raise more money during the event itself and in the future as well!

 

 

As stated in the introduction of this article, fundraising events are no easy task. They require money, time, a dedicated staff, and lots of patience and planning.

But you might be able to take some of the stress away by asking for corporate sponsorships and donations for your next fundraising event. Whether you’re hosting a silent auction for your church or throwing the annual gala for your cultural organization, corporate sponsors and donations are a great additional source of fundraising revenue!

 




5 Tips for Asking for Different Types of Donations

Fundraising Advice - How To Ask for DonationsWhen someone goes to build a new house, they generally have to look to several different vendors to provide them with the materials they need. All of the bathroom fixtures come from a completely different place than the windows, as do the carpet, ceiling fans, appliances, and everything else that makes a house a home.

Asking for different types of donations is similar to the process of building that house. You can’t receive all of your donations online, just like you wouldn’t expect your sink manufacturer to supply the materials to construct a functioning fireplace.

Instead, it’s wise to take a multichannel approach to fundraising, one that appeals to different demographics of supporters and helps your nonprofit raise as much money as possible.

Let’s take a look at the tips you need before you start construction on your fundraising house.

1. Do your research.

Unless you want a lopsided house with faulty wiring, you’ll want to bring a blueprint along to the construction site.

You’ll also need to do some research on your donors before you start asking them for donations.

Prospect research, specifically.

Prospect research essentially allows your nonprofit to have a look into your donors’ and prospects’ past giving history. It also helps you discover those tendencies that make them more likely to donate to organizations like yours.

Prospect research can uncover:

  • Past giving to your organization.
  • Past giving to other nonprofits.
  • Political contributions.
  • Real estate and stock ownership.
  • Basic data like names, addresses, and marital status.
  • And more!

With prospect research at your fingertips, your organization is in a much better position to start asking for donations from different types of donors.

No two prospects are alike, and your nonprofit should do what it can to tailor your donation appeals to your various donors. Prospect research is a good first step in the right direction.

2. Go online and go mobile.

If you thought that all of your donors would write a check, seal an envelope, and mail their contributions to your organization, think again.

These days, more and more nonprofit supporters are making their donations online and on mobile devices, like smartphones and tablets.

Is your organization part of that digital conversation?

Tips for Soliciting Donations - Fundraising AdvicePart of asking for different types of donations means that you should be reaching out to your more technologically-savvy donors. You can:

  • Provide your donors with an online donation page.
  • Make sure that your website and donation form are mobile responsive and are therefore able to be viewed on all types of devices.
  • Try using text-to-give technology to encourage donors to give during events and on the go.
  • And more!

The options are nearly limitless when it comes to online- and mobile-giving technology.

The only problem that comes with online and mobile giving is that it has the potential to isolate donors. Someone who gives through a screen doesn’t get the same experience that someone who donates in person or over the phone would get.

Part of creating a positive online donation experience is connecting with your donors on a personal level and making the donation experience about them.

Learn how your nonprofit can connect and empathize with your online donors with this helpful and insightful article.

3. Transform your advocates into donors.

Take a moment to think about your organization’s biggest supporters. Outside of your actual staff, your key champions are likely advocates and volunteers.

Can you imagine if your pool of advocates were transformed into donors?

While some of your supporters may be perfectly content giving their time to your organization, many others will be excited to help you further your mission with their donations.

You might have a major gift donor in your advocate pool. Or you could possibly find a volunteer who will help you coordinate your upcoming phonathon or fundraising event.

Whatever the case, it’s wise to take a look at your group of advocates and volunteers to see who would be willing to become a donor. Volunteers are valuable to all types of nonprofit work; their commitment is evidenced every time they go to work for an organization. Use this dedication to your advantage when asking for donations!

4. Say thank you.

One of the most important components of donor stewardship and retention is being grateful.

When you make a donation appeal to an individual who has given to your organization in the past, make sure that you reference and acknowledge their previous gifts.

This is crucial to your nonprofit’s fundraising process regardless of how you’re asking for donations.

Donors who aren’t properly thanked for their previous contributions are unlikely to donate again. Your nonprofit can’t afford to miss out on donations that might have been made if you had just said, “Thank you!”

Make sure that all of your donation appeals are genuine sincere, and don’t forget to say thank you!

5. Don’t overlook corporate donations.

So far, this article has focused mainly on asking for donations from individuals. But there’s an important demographic of donors that we can’t leave out of the equation.

Companies like to exercise their corporate philanthropy in many different ways, and your nonprofit can be the recipient of that goodwill if you just ask for it!

Fundraising Advice - Transform Your Advocates Into DonorsOkay, so that may be simplifying the process a little, but you get the idea.

Companies who want to give back to their communities do so with the help of:

  • Corporate grants.
  • Matching gift programs.
  • Dollars for doers programs.
  • Product- and service-based donations.

Do some research on the types of corporate donations that local companies might offer. You might find that your organization is a perfect fit for a corporate grant and end up scoring a long-term partnership with that business.

 

These five tips are not the sole answers to asking for different types of donations. There is a plethora of fundraising strategies and tactics out there that can help nonprofits of all shapes and sizes success when it comes to raising money. These five are a good starting point for any organization that wants to start generating more revenue and asking for donations from different sources.

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