How to Get Companies to Donate Free Products to Charity

by Laila Alvarez

Whether you're working directly for a charity organization or are holding a fundraiser that will benefit a charity, having a company to donate items the charity needs or items that can be given as prizes for raffles and other fundraising activities will help tremendously. With a professional letter, kind words and a phone call explaining the hows and whys, companies are more likely to donate to your cause.

Write a list of companies and products you'd like to see donated to the charity you have in mind.

Use the Internet to look up contact addresses for each company's public relations department and add those addresses to the list. Add contact phone numbers to the list, too.

Type a detailed description or flyer of your charity and print out multiple copies of this description on nice paper (like resume paper).

Type a letter to the first company on your list. Use flattery in explaining to the company's public relations manager how the product you'd wish to have donated would benefit the charity and why only their product would work best.

Your letter should also explain how donating a product to your charity would benefit the company in the long run. Explain the advantages of free advertising by having the company's name in any of the charity's advertisements or fundraising activities. Explain that if the company donates an item, people will hear the company's name associated with a good cause.

End the letter by giving your contact information in case the company would like to find out more information or would like to donate in any way. Remember to say "thank you for your time." Always be polite.

Re-read the letter three times to ensure that there are no spelling or grammatical errors. Also re-read the letter from a personal standpoint, making sure a polite attitude is presented throughout.

Print the letter and mail it, along with the printed charity description or flyer, to the first company.

Wait a week or two to hear back. If you don't hear from the company, call the public relations department and ask to speak with the person in charge.

Tell the person in charge who you are, describe the charity and ask if they've received your letter. Reiterate all of the flattery and beneficial information you stated in the letter.

Repeat steps four through 10 for every company on your list until multiple companies donate to your cause.

Tip

  • Keep your letters short and to the point. Be sure the letters are personalized and not "stock" letters with only the company name changed.

Warning

  • Only mail one letter and make one call to each company unless asked otherwise by the company. Multiple mailings and calls may cause the company to sue for harassment.

Items you will need

  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Contact Information for Companies
  • Computer
  • Internet Access and Email

About the Author

Laila Alvarez has been writing professionally since 2002. She has written for Houston Community Newspapers and "L.A. Zoo View," "North O.C. Magazine," "Perpetual Phlegm" and other magazines, newspapers and websites. Alvarez has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from California State University-Fullerton.

Photo Credits

  • Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images