How to Get People to Donate to Charity

by Thomas McNish

Asking for money is never an easy thing to do. When you work for a charity, or you have a charity of your own, you must develop a thick skin, as you'll receive far more rejections than donations. After you've gotten into the right mentality, there are a few things to learn about asking for charitable donations. And although it's not necessary, believing in your cause can be very helpful, as this will show in your attitude when you ask for donations.

Make contact with potential donors. Send out emails, as well as written requests for donations, to businesses, residents, friends and family. Make the letter specific, including information on who you are, the cause for donation and how to donate.

Be specific about what you want. When speaking to businesses, ask if they have discontinued merchandise, prototypes or gift certificates that they're willing to donate. When speaking with people, be specific in the amount of money or time you want them to donate.

Be resilient. If someone says they'd like to donate, but they'll do it in the future, respond by saying, "I understand. But to make it easier, we can just take care of it right now."

Find out what your potential donors have to offer. If one man has a band, ask him if they would consider performing at a charity event. If a woman has a cabin in the mountains, ask if she'll donate a weekend getaway for an auction.

Be personal. When phoning new potential donors, refrain from reading a script. Be genuine and listen to their responses. Building a rapport will help establish a trusting relationship, and hopefully eliminate any fears someone might have with making a donation.

Offer incentives for large donors. Dedicate an area of your building, website or newsletter to large donors to give them credit for helping you so much. Although this isn't the main goal of a donor's charity, it's a nice way to say "thank you."

About the Author

Thomas McNish has been writing since 2005, contributing to Salon.com and other online publications. He is working toward his Associate of Science in computer information technology from Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Fla.

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