The business community is an excellent source of funds for nonprofit organizations.
Develop a strategy for asking for funds from businesses
1) Identify businesses in your community
- Get lists from your Chamber of Commerce. (Joining the Chamber is a good idea.)
- Include businesses which are employers of board members of other volunteers
- Include all businesses from whom you purchase goods and services
- Include businesses from whom your clients purchase good and services
- Include businesses with a history of charitable giving in the community.
2) Decide how to let businesses know about your agency and the services it provides
Note that asking for funds from businesses is a two-part process. First, you decide how to inform the business of the programs of your agency. Then you ask for funds.
There are many ways of informing business about your agency. You can:
- Form a business advisory committee to assist your nonprofit
- Invite business to an Open House to learn about your programs
- Visit individual businesses to find out more about their products and services and tell them about your agency
- Invite individual businesspersons to tour your agency and learn more about what you do.
- Send businesses information packets and newsletters about your agency.
3) Visit businesses personally to ask for funds.
You will find that large amounts will only be raised after personal meetings with company representatives.
Before you go, learn as much as you can about the company:
- The specific services they offer
- Their profitability
- The types of charities they have supported
- The amounts of previous gifts
Several addition tips:
- Make sure the individual with whom you are meeting knows about your agency before you make the visit.
- Include a board member or another volunteer in the visit to the business.
- Make sure you personally know the individual you are visiting.
- Bring information about your agency with you to the meeting. A video showing your programs in action is very effective.
- Send a personal thank you note after completing the visit.
Keep excellent records of contacts with each company. Remember that cultivating business donors is a long-term ongoing process.