Raising funds for your company or small business can be tricky. Generally, people assume fundraising is done by non-profit organizations wanting to help the population they serve. For-profit companies, on the other hand, are in business to make money. They may provide a service or a product that is helpful to people, but overall, their goal is to sell, not to assist a person in need. However, there is a place for every kind of business and organization, and there is a manner in which for-profit companies can legitimately raise funds.
One way to raise funds for something that may not be in the company budget is to have an internal fundraiser among your staff and employees. Fundraising Insight provides creative ideas for funding an employee Fun Team. Examples include raffling off donated flowers once a month, selling cheap and easy lunches, and having a premium parking spot raffle. All money collected would go into the Fun Team account; any special events, such as celebrations to honor employees, would be funded from this account.
Old-fashioned snail mail is the best way to send out fundraising letters. In order to set yourself up for success, make sure your mailing lists are up-to-date. Only send out letters to current and committed customers or clients. Plan your appeal, and consider hiring a professional writer to help write a concise, persuasive letter. Follow-up with a phone call after five business days. You may be able to get a verbal commitment from some who read your letter.
It is true that most people loathe telemarketers; however, there is a way to contact people at home with minimum invasiveness and annoyance. Utilize a professional marketing research firm that understands the nuances of cold-calling. Also, thoroughly review your list of contacts to only include steady clients of the past 12 months. You want to make sure you are contacting people who have a vested interest in your business.
Your employees can volunteer to sell candy, magazines or any other product as a fundraiser for your business. These types of fundraisers can be highly profitable. It is important to let your employees know that their participation in fundraising events is voluntary and will not affect their employment, either positively or negatively. The process of utilizing employees in for-profit fundraising can be a touchy human resources issue if it is not handled correctly. Get your HR team involved.
As your business is for-profit, using online charity auction companies is not an option for you. However, adding a "Donate" button to your website can help encourage visitors to contribute. Along with the button, include a brief explanation of the purpose of the fundraiser and the specific allocation of funds raised, to help those who donate feel like their money is being put to good use.
Ekaete Bailey began writing professionally in 2005. She has experience in journalism, copyediting, Web content, marketing, creative writing and public relations/communications, with an emphasis in travel writing. Bailey writes for a variety of print and online publications. She earned a Master of Science in public-relations management from State University of New York College at Buffalo.