How To Raise Funds Outside Your Community

Gift BasketWhen it comes to fundraising, there’s no business too big or too small to approach for help. Some of the big-name businesses may seem out of reach for booster clubs, but you’d be surprised to know how many have programs in place for just such donation. From airlines to retail stores, many of the places you already shop are glad to lend their support and name to charitable causes. Some businesses offer contests and large sums in charitable grants, while others offer up gift cards and products as prizes for fundraising raffles or contests. Follow these tips to increase your chances of gaining funding from outside the community:

1. Start now, and work hard: You may or may not be thinking about spring fundraising, but large corporations will be. Many have formalized processes for donation requests, meaning your email or application will be added to a pretty large pile, which will take some time to go through. Fall is a great time to round up a few booster club members who will devote their energy to reaching out to these companies, ensuring donations will be awarded in time for spring events. Christy Forhan at PTO Today advises designating “one or two tenacious volunteers to focus on national donations. They should start early, about four months in advance, looking for possible donors and sending out your standard letter to those corporations that would appeal to your community.”

2. Standardize your request: Most national corporations have online request forms, but for those that don’t, be prepared with a well-crafted letter. A letter should include a brief description of your club, the purpose of your fundraiser, the event date (if known), and a club contact. Forhan recommends formatting the request on club letterhead, and getting it signed by both the club president and the school principal.

3. Do your research: Know which companies have established guidelines for requests, and follow them to ensure your application will get into the right hands. And while most larger businesses require donation requests go through their corporate office, keep in mind that locally owned outlets might have the freedom to make their own decisions — it can’t hurt to reach out!

 

For more fundraising tips, see our post (tomorrow) on Fundraising Inside Your Community.

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