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Need fundraising ideas...

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Okay, all my twisted, creative, intelligent and crafty minds...! I need some help. I have just signed up to raise money for the Light the Night Walk (leukemia and lymphoma society). I need to raise more money than anyone else in my company. For every so much you raise, there are prizes (including $50 in free gas for every $500 you raise) but the biggest thing is, I want to donate, obviously, but I also am on a mission for a few other reasons..

So, I need to figure out how to solicite donations from major corporations in the form of actual cash, as well as get them to "donate" things to put in raffle baskets. I also need to figure out ways to raise money through other means.

Any ideas?
post #2 of 12
If a tax receipt is issued, most businesses will donate to pretty much anything if the money is left in their budget, it is more a matter of finding out when their tax year ends. Here you can do that by searching their business number which has an expiry date at the end of the tax month but I am not sure if it is the same there.

Play up the benefits they get

- if their name will be displayed, say so and where, try to get numbers from the Light the Night Walk, how many programs / leaflets, will sponsors be recognised in a newsletter / website etc. These details can catch the sponsoring companies' attention.
- what kind of media coverage will the event get, and will the sponsors be thanked on it etc
- mention that it is a charitable donation, they ignore ones that don't say it outright and can't be bothered explaining non charitable donations to auditors / book-keepers.
- write to them and then follow up with a call so they have something in front of them when they speak to you.

Call the businesses before writing and try to find the best person to deal with. If the event will be publicised, the communications department / external relations is usually a good place to start, some have a charitable donation department.

Get the person's name and use it, they tend to warm up to people who have bothered to research them than the 'To Whom It May Concern or Dear Sir / Madam' letters.
post #3 of 12
I've solicted donations from local business's in the past. I would call the business you want a donation from and try to talk to a manager. Most were happy to donate. Sometimes if its a large business they need a letter or will refer you to a specific person.
Good luck.
post #4 of 12
"Proposal" is a good word to use when you call. "Proposal" and "event," rather than "donation" and "charity." Because, sadly, for most corporations, it's not about the good they can do, it's about being seen doing it. So you want to emphasize the publicity, the networking, the "community awareness."

You can make it harder to say no if you personalize it -- maybe show each corporation a group of particular patients they can "sponsor" with a donation -- patients who are walking the walk, or who have volunteers walking in their names.

I trust there's a printed program they can buy pages in, right? And you can also get a sign company to donate a big banner for all the corporate sponsor logos, in exchange for being allowed to include their own logo on it, as well. Let the corporations know that the banner will serve as a backdrop for all the TV interviews and publicity shots for the event, and the corporate logos on it will be sized according to the relative sizes of their donations.

Shameless manipulation, I know... but this is what works. Charity is all about publicity.
post #5 of 12
P.S. -- Before you visit a major corporation, print out a goodlooking point-of-purchase graphic, just a color print in an inexpensive freestanding plastic holder, that shows the corporation's logo and name and the logo of the event, and says "Proud sponsor of..." When they donate, you leave that with them for their front lobby.

If they don't, you rip out their logo and replace it with the next corporation's!
post #6 of 12
P.P.S. -- The first corporation you call is the top-rated TV station in your area. Once they're on board, you can mention their participation to the other corporations you want to enlist... guaranteed TV coverage, see.
post #7 of 12
My husband and I organized a fund raiser for friend of our who lost their house to a fire. Their son was also very sick (in a body cast) so they were having really bad luck. We mainly were trying to get door prizes and things to raffle off rather than money. But, I had never done that before and I was surprised how willing a lot of places were to donate.

I would recommend to have something in writing explaining what the even is and who it benefits. There were a few places we had to go back to with letters of explainations. I guess so they can prove to the higher ups that they weren't just giving things away to their friends!

Good luck!
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
We do have "receipts" and it is tax-deductible since it's a charity. However, I'm still trying to find out if/when it will be published. I'd totally be able to sell it if they were getting "free advertising". They do get the advertising, if they donate an item because.. their product, whatever it is, is in the raffle basket.

The cool thing is, that my company will match all funds raised by 50%. So, if I'm able to raise cash, say, $1000, then my company puts in an additional $500. If they don't match gifts or certificates, then I'd rather get the cash, because that's more beneficial to the charity.

Actually, I can use my attorney to personalize, because he suffers from a mild form of lymphoma. Of course, I'm not entirely sure that he'd be on board with being used, but.. if he doesn't know it, it won't hurt him. He's not likely to know what happens in Fairfax since he lives in Maryland.

I sent an email to the organizer yesterday, but I think it was after she left for the day, so I suspect I'll hear back from her today sometime.
post #9 of 12
In addition to soliciting money from corporations, there are also tried and true methods to raising money. I work part time for a not-for-profit and we have softball games against local corporations with a twist. They are allowed to wear their softball uniforms. We wear odd outfits. I work for the NJ Renaissance Kingdom Players so we wear armor and bodices. Last year we played as pirates to promote our pirate festival. Another year we played as vikings. Its always a lot of fun and raises quite a bit of cash.

Our biggest money maker is a car wash though! We get a donation of a parking lot with accessible water on a major thoroughfare, we put women out in tight bodices and short shorts and wash cars. Granted, it is using sex to sell, but at $15.00 a car, we wash upwards of 500 cars in a 5 hour period. $7500.00 in 5 hours with all volunteers and donated water and soap!
post #10 of 12
I think that the carwash thing is a good idea, because it isn't that hard to organize. A spagetthi dinner with games ans lottery is also a good way to make money (you know, the game where every one that participates gets the chance to win half of the pot and the rest goes to the organization).

Anyways, good luck!
post #11 of 12
That carwash is a great idea! Maybe a costume shop would donate the loan of some outfits...
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
They might donate the loan, but I'm not sure they'd do it for carwash, if the costumes are going to get wet. Of course, if several people had/have costumes of their own, for instance, I have one I could get away with wearing as a rennie costume, as it's actually my rennie costume...then we could put them in front, with a sign that said "Dragon wash.. or some such..

I found out today that they don't get any free advertising.
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