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Asking The Right People For Donations To Your Charity

Aug 17, 2007
If you want to make money for your organization or charity, you need to know where you will be getting your money from. Of course, you will want to be able to appeal to a wide range of donors, but in fact you will get the most money by targeting donors.

You have seen this in action already in fundraising efforts you have likely observed: Cancer societies often appeal for donations from people who have lost someone to cancer; Girl Scouts target customers leaving grocery stores as these are likely candidates to buy a box of cookies. Targeting your audience and carefully planning where you will look for money will help ensure that all your resources all well-spent and that you get the best return on your time and effort investment.

So who gives money?

Plenty of people and groups are willing to give money to non-profit organizations that support a good cause. Some of the people and groups that offer money are:

Individual People or Donors: Many non-profits, especially the smaller ones, get much of their money from concerned individuals. People are extremely generous about supporting causes that they believe in. Some will donate just small amounts of money - sometimes just a few dollars at a time - that can quickly add up.

More affluent philanthropists may offer you large sums of money. No matter what your fundraising goals in the long run, you should spend at least some of your fundraising efforts trying to reach individual donors. Not only are these donors likely to support your group if your group seems to offer a legitimate help to society, but educating individual donors about the importance of your cause will help spread the word about your group's mandate and programs.

The more individuals know about your group, the more your group is likely to thrive. Another benefit of individual donors, especially for the smaller non-profit, is that individuals are often quite community-minded. If you are a small group mostly interested in helping the local community, local donors are the ones most likely to be interested in - and supportive of - your group.

Companies: Industry is actually a big supporter of non-profits. The profits made by companies in your area are pumped back into the community in many ways - including through employment, taxation, and through direct donations. Browse through your local papers and look for articles about corporate or company donations and sponsorship.

You will notice that some companies and industries in your area are especially adept at contributing to charities and non-profit groups. In some cases, companies contribute in order to be a part of a community or in order to bolster their image in a community. In many cases, companies and industry give to charities because an owner or shareholders believe strongly in a cause.

Many companies and larger industries have a large amount of money, and in some cases they may be willing to share a small amount with a worthwhile cause. Even if you cannot gain on-going support from a company or industry, these sources are often great for individual donations or support. For example, if you are organizing a fair or sale, a company may be willing to grant supplies, volunteers, or money in exchange for some free advertising, which can be as simple as a large banner at your event proclaiming "refreshments generously provided by Acme Bakery."

Governments: Local, state, and federal governments are a huge source of money for non-profit groups.

Other Charitable Groups: Non-profits often help each other. Larger organizations such as the Red Cross or United Way will often give support and even money support to local charities and groups doing similar work. Churches, schools, and local groups will often fundraise or gather donations for a group they believe in. There are also larger foundations and philanthropical groups, such as the famous Rockefeller Foundation, which exist solely to help other groups and individuals do charitable work. These groups can be a great resource, and, large and small, they should not be ignored.
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