How To Ask Me For Donations And Sponsorships

Yesterday I hosted a fireside chat for nonprofit executives with my good friend, Blake Absher, market President for BB&T. We talked about the right way (and the wrong way!) to ask for donations, sponsorships and corporate partnerships. Check out the Facebook Live video.

Leveraging Corporate Sponsorships
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Notley EDU Dan and Blake

I thought I’d boil down my takeaways into some easy bullet points

DONT:

  • Send me a cold email. Find someone who is willing to vouch for you to make an intro. I get a ton of these and probably won’t even see it and most certainly won’t read it.

  • Ask for money with me offering to help first. I know you need money. If there’s a good fit, I’ll ask you how I can help or how I can get involved.

  • Ask me for something every time I see you. This is the easiest way for me to start dodging your phone calls and start ignoring your emails

  • Ask me to intro you to my network to solicit donations. Unless I’ve offered to do this for you, this will never happen.

  • Ask me for money as my only option to engage. How else can I engage?

DO:

  • Take the time to learn about my mission, who I give to and where I spend my time. You want to craft your asks around what I’m already passionate about.

  • Offer ways you can help me or my projects. I don’t mean this in a selfish way and it’s not about reverse psychology. It’s about building a relationship that is a two way street. Plus it’s a lot harder to say no to someone who is helping me. =)

  • Craft a custom engagement and giving opportunity. The better your mission connects with mine, the better the chances are I’ll want to fund it.

  • Ask for advice, not money. “Ask for advice, you’ll get money. Ask for money, you’ll get advice”

  • Read Give and Take by Adam Grant