How to Procure Donations Like a Pro
Written by Mike Hallowell, Coyote Hills Golf Course
When it comes down to getting raffle prizes for your tournament, do not be afraid to ask. The worst that can happen is that someone will say no! The more people you solicit for donations, the more people will donate, and thus—the better off your event will be. A lot of businesses want to help out in some way or another. They may not be able to be a main sponsor of the event, but they can donate a prize for your raffle or auction.
So how do you procure donations like a pro?
Before you set out to solicit donations, make sure you have all your materials ready. Be sure to have a nice-looking donation letter (preferably in color if you can), a flyer with the details about your event—and most importantly—contact info with a mailing address pre-written to the person who is receiving the donations for your organization. Many times a company will receive a donation letter and might want to contribute, but they do not know where to return the letter, or how to contact the tournament.
In addition to corporate sponsors and friends of players, you will also want to approach local businesses in the area, as they will be more likely to donate to the community they live and work in. Many times, I have parked at a mall or in an area with a lot of restaurants, retail stores, and movie theatres; and walked in and asked to speak to a manager at each store. Personally walking into an establishment will generally get you better results than solely mailing a donation letter. Never doubt the power of the personal connection. However, if you are mailing letters, make sure that you let the business know what the donation is for and that the letter looks professional. Keep in mind, the more letters you send out increase the number of donations you get back.
Lastly, be sure to follow up with the businesses you send donation letters to. If those organizations are on the fence about donating, a follow-up call can solidify their response. Be sure to send a Thank You letter to everyone who donates to your event! By doing this, the company feels your gratitude and they will be a lot more likely to donate again next year!