With the holiday season fast approaching, it also marks the time of year when charitable causes begin their respective donation drives. With lots of charities to choose from, many individuals and businesses usually narrow down their choices to a few select causes they find worthy. But as a charitable organization, are you reaching out to these businesses and individuals in the right way? In this post, we'll focus on some simple rules to live by when it comes to raising funds for your charity this year to set your drive up in the best possible way for success. Here's a closer look at these four rules and how to use them to your advantage:
Four Rules to Live By When Asking for Donations
1. Ask (and You May Receive)
If people don't know what you're seeking, how are they going to know what and how to give? Hence, the old rule of "Ask and you shall receive" rings true. And while it's needless to say that not everyone you ask is going to contribute, studies say that the No. 1 reason why a donor didn't make a contribution to a charitable project or organization is they were never asked in the first place.
Bottom line: Make an effort to get the word out to prospective donors and make sure that you clearly ask them for their support as you do.
2. Raise Community Awareness
To piggyback off the above point, a great way to increase your pool of potential donors is to make sure the community you're seeking contributions from knows about your cause. The more people that know about your charitable cause, the more "yes" answers you're likely to get when you approach them to ask for donations. So how do you raise community awareness? A great way is to try to earn media. You can do this by creating and circulating press releases and marketing materials to local media outlets (TV stations, radio stations, newspapers, etc.) in the hopes that they'll share it with their audiences or even do a bigger story on your charitable cause that can earn even more public attention.
3. Recognize Donors
What's your plan for recognizing donors, especially those that significantly contribute to your cause? Donors like to be recognized, especially area businesses that are donating to your cause, as it's good relations to publicize any positive contributions they're making for the community. So what's your plan? A logo and/or list on your website? A check presentation event with local media? Sending plaques or certificates to donors for them to display? Make sure you're doing more than just saying "thank you" when the donations begin coming in.
4. Think Local
Donors like to know that their contributions are going to benefit their local communities. If they're made aware of how contributing to your cause can help accomplish this, then chances are they'll become more likely to do so. So even if your charitable organization has nationwide or worldwide benefits, make sure that potential donors you're reaching out to in your local community know the impact any funds raised will have locally too. On the same accord, it's encouraged that you reach out to local donors before expanding to the greater part of your area.