Ten Steps toward Securing Event Donations
by Karen Perry-Weinstat
Struggling to secure donations for your event? Kelli White of EventMB shares ten ways to boost at-event contributions toward your cause:
- Step outside your comfort zone: Start out small by asking for in-kind or product donations. Become educated on why donors should be supporting your event. When you convey this confidence in your pitch to potential donors they’ll be more likely to contribute.
- Pick up the phone: In today’s tech-driven world, it’s easy to overlook the power of a simple phone call. When it comes to financial support and finding people or companies to invest in your event you need to build a personal connection and the easiest way to do so is through real conversations.
- Build Community Relationships: Find a way to build trust within your community, by being present and interactive in your area. Look for local networking opportunities, community events and opportunities to build relationships with other like-minded individuals.
- Find Donors Who Connect with Your Mission or Event: Identify people who have a connection to your mission. Once you find these supporters, not only are they likely to become donors, but they will also encourage others to contribute. Ask them them to join your event committee or involve them through a volunteer opportunity.
- Build Mutually Beneficial Relationships: Find ways to provide donors with proper recognition and value for their contribution. Find out what is important to your donors and look for ways to meet these needs. If supporters see the donation as mutually beneficial, they’ll be more likely to support you year after year.
- Seek Out In-Kind Donations: In-kind or product donations can prove to be just as valuable as monetary donations, depending on the needs of your event. When you find a sponsor that wants to donate a product or service instead of donating money, think about the benefits that this will provide to your attendees. No matter what they would like to donate there is a good chance that the money you save through their donation can have a significant impact in your bottom line.
- Outline Your Donation Levels and Opportunities: Define the value supporters will obtain with their donation. Create a web page or printed piece that helps you present opportunities and levels.
- Share Stories That Make an Impact: Sharing stories that can reflect the impact your donors will have is one of the most influential ways to connect the donors to the cause. Utilize creative messaging with images, video, written stories and artwork. When donors have the chance to form a real picture why there is a need for donations, they’ll be more inclined to open their wallet for your cause.
- Start Early: Most company budgets are created in the previous year, so target potential donors early on. If a company turns you down due to the timeline, find out what type of lead time they need and put them on your list to approach for next year.
- Make “The Ask” and Make It Often: A donor will never know that your event needs money if you don’t take the time to ask them for a donation. Sometimes it is really just this simple. Once you have shown the need for their support ask them to contribute. Don’t be afraid to follow up. If you don’t follow up they may think you found the support in another way and you no longer have a need for their support.
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