How To Ask For Donations And Sponsorships
Originally featured on Notley's blog on September 21, 2017.
There is a right way and wrong way to ask potential donors for donations, sponsorships and corporate partnerships. I thought I’d boil down my do's and don'ts into some easy bullet points.
Send a cold email. Find someone who is willing to vouch for you to make an intro. I get a ton of these and probably won’t even see it and most certainly won’t read it.
Ask for money from a person without them offering to help first. They probably already know you need money. If there’s a good fit, they’ll ask you how they can help or get involved.
Ask for something every time you see a potential donor. This is the easiest way for donors to start dodging your phone calls and start ignoring your emails
Ask donors to intro you to their network to solicit donations. Unless they’ve offered to do this for you, this will never happen.
Ask potential donors for money as the only option for them to engage. How else might you get them involved?
Take the time to learn about a donor's mission, including who they give to and where they spend their time. You want to craft your asks around what they're already passionate about.
Offer ways you can help a donor or their projects. I don’t mean this in a selfish way and it’s not about reverse psychology. It’s about building a relationship that is a two-way street. Plus it’s a lot harder to say no to someone who is helping you.
Craft a custom engagement and giving opportunity. The better your mission connects with theirs, the better the chances are they'll want to fund it.
Ask for advice, not money. “Ask for advice, you’ll get money. Ask for money, you’ll get advice”
Read Give and Take by Adam Grant