When bake sales and lemonade stands won't cut it, it's time to up your fundraising efforts. Your charity project can get a lot of support from businesses, and it doesn't have to be awkward asking them to sponsor you.
Recently DoSomething.org members submitted their toughest questions about corporate fundraising, and our staff experts are here to dish out advice in response.
If I do not know anyone at a company but think their sponsorship would be a good fit, who should I ask to speak to?
Your best bet is marketing or community relations. First see if there’s a foundation attached to the company. Lead conversation with brief overview of what you do and show a level of understanding of the company's past giving (i.e. "I know your committed to ___.").
What's the first step we should take with a company we think would help us fundraise?
Research to see what they’ve supported in past. Build a relationship. Ask them to be an advisor to your project or organization!
How does a startup organization request funding from big organizations when you are not yet a registered 501C(3)?
Start local. Don’t go to a national head quarters, go to a local store that has interest in the community.
When creating a proposal, what materials are crucial and what is the best way to present them?
In a proposal, the must-haves are: big idea, brief intro, a clear ask, and what you can do for them.
Do big companies support student-run projects?
Yes, it depends on the project and the company though. Remember, nothing is impossible
Do corporations have certain causes and issues they prefer to donate money to?
Yes. It's usually indicated on the website.
What do companies look for when sponsoring different organizations?
A lot of time, organizations look for value for them. They also look for reach and impact, a clear budget as to what their money will be spent on, and good PR opportunities.
Is it better to approach smaller, family-owned companies, or large corporations if you are a small project just getting started?
What is one thing you think always impresses corporate sponsors?
Organization. Also, understanding of the sponsors' priorities and ability to speak to how you fit together with thier mission.
What is the most effective approach to appeal to funding from large companies?
The most effective approach is to appeal to logic with a little splash of emotion. Be organized, but remember to tell a good story (we're all human).