After months of planning for an upcoming charity event, now comes the time where you have to reach out to multiple businesses and ask for product donations or auction items for the event. As a resourceful problem solver, avoid becoming timid or hesitant when you make the request, feeling like you’re asking the business for a handout. Instead, it’s important to realize that a product donation actually does benefit the business!
Having an item showcased at an event is an excellent marketing opportunity for businesses, allowing both you and the company to share in a win-win situation. Understanding that both the nonprofit and the business can win is the key to receiving a successful amount of product donations. Below are some additional tips that can help to prepare as you approach a business asking for product donations or auction items.
Do Research Upfront
Try to first learn what your attendees would prefer to purchase and then find businesses offering those items. This ensures a better fit for both the attendees and the donor. Also, make sure you understand the demographics (age, gender, location, etc.) of the people attending your event. Then when speaking to the businesses, you’ll be able to confirm that the event attendees are their ideal target audience.
Promote Social Good
With the topic of social good on the horizon, many companies are beginning to realize that supporting a cause can provide the business with successful ROI. A study by Cone Communications found that 87% of Americans will purchase a product because a company advocated for an issue they cared about. A business is not only receiving the opportunity to support an important cause, but is also being offered the chance to promote their product or company to hundreds of people at the event, with very little effort needed on their part.
Prepare a List of Benefits
Before speaking to the business, be prepared by compiling a list of benefits you’re able to provide to the organization. For example, the company will benefit by having a room full a attendee at the event that are their ideal target market, while being able to benefit from a low cost method of marketing. They will also benefit by being one product among a limited amount of featured items or businesses at the event. This will help the brand in standing out as a featured product. Don’t forget to offer the opportunity to help promote the brand through social media or provide the company with a social media image or video post-event. Companies would also appreciate receiving links to their site from the event website. Feel free to ask what the company values that you can deliver. It often doesn’t cost more to deliver an additional benefit to the company and it could compel them to increase their donation.
If you can follow these steps when approaching a business regarding product donations, then you should be able to achieve a more successful outcome with a win-win for both your nonprofit and donor businesses.