Monday, June 27, 2011

People give money to people, not ideas

When I started my first full-time job in fundraising, I met with a very successful newspaper ad sales friend. I asked her what the key to a successful sale was. "People buy from who they like," she said.

Think about the last time you gave money to or volunteered for a charity. What made you give? Why did you volunteer?

Chances are REALLY good that a specific person you already knew - and probably knew well - asked you to give money, walk on their team, raise funds for their cause, etc...

Rarely do people give money or volunteer for charities that they are not familiar with or do not already have a personal connection to.

Remember that when you are looking for funds or even new volunteers for a project you are raising money for. Don't sit in the office creating sponsorship packets, get out of the office and network!

It sounds simple, but the most likely people to fund your project or get involved with it are people who are familiar with you or your work. They will donate if you just make the ask!

Conversely, people who are not familiar with you and your work are FAR LESS LIKELY to donate to it or even read your appeal, email, letter, solicitation, etc... From personal experience, it really doesn't even matter how good your sponsorship packet is.

One of my corporate friends told me she receives up to ten or more sponsorship proposals via email EACH day. She reads the ones she gets from the people she knows first!

I remember one time attending a fundraising seminar on how to raise money through golf tournaments. The one particular session I attended was on creating sponsorship packets. I asked the guy leading the workshop how he found his Gold sponsor. He said that the owner of the company was his wife's brother.

Truth is, you can have the best sponsorship packet in the world, but it's not gonna do you any good if you don't have relationships.

Nuff said!

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