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How to include local businesses in your year-end appeal

Posted October 7, 2021 by Virginia Davidson

tips to include businesses in yer-end appeal

As you’re busy preparing your year-end appeal, keep in mind that it’s worth including local businesses in your solicitation efforts. Here are 5 suggestions that can help you leverage your year-end appeal to build relationships with local businesses.

5 tips for how to include businesses in your year-end appeal

Tip #1: Pay attention to their guidelines

Some businesses share their charitable giving guidelines on their website. If your organization’s mission doesn’t meet their parameters or your request isn’t in line with their methods of support, respect that. It’s not a good use of your time, or theirs, to overlook those guidelines.

Tip #2: Plan ahead

Last-minute requests are more likely to be turned down. Set yourself up for success by reaching out to potential business supporters well in advance of a deadline. If your development plan doesn’t include any opportunities for support in the near future, it’s still worthwhile to make an introduction with a potential business supporter and mention upcoming opportunities. This outreach gives you a chance to build a relationship in the intervening months so that the business will be more inclined to support you in the future.

Tip #3: Think beyond event sponsorships

Businesses can support your mission in many ways that go beyond the standard purchase of a table at your event. Consider in-kind donations, volunteer opportunities, or program support. You know the needs of your organization; connect with the business to find out what they’re looking for, too. The information they give you can lay the groundwork for a successful partnership.

Tip #4: Make it easy to support you

Just like individual donors do, potential business supporters need to know:

  • How they can support you
  • Who they can contact at your organization in case they need information

If you’re making a specific request of a business, provide details of the request in a clear and concise manner as well as the contact information for a point person they can get in touch with. To make the process convenient for businesses, you could create an online form specifically for them to use. (Tip: If you’re using LGL forms, you can add a “File Upload” field to the form to allow businesses to submit their logo files, if you’re collecting those.)

Tip #5: Keep in touch

Once you’ve initiated contact with a business, include them in your communications plan so you’ll be sure to share targeted updates on your organization’s good work. If you use a donor management system like Little Green Light, you can set reminders to reach out periodically to the businesses that support you.

Conclusion

There’s a lot of potential for nonprofits and local businesses to work together. Carve out some time to connect with them and see how you might collaborate on behalf of your community.

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