Before you make a fundraising bid be clear about what you want; make it evidence based and demonstrate outcomes to be achieved by the funding. To make an effective appeal to industry or commerce you must have a basic understanding of why corporates give. This enables you to put forward good reasons why they should support your work. Some companies receive up to 100 applications each week. You need to make a good case for yours to be successful. A company will not be particularly impressed with a general plea to ‘put something back into the community’. They want something more substantial. You should be able to demonstrate a clear link with the company, be it geographical, product, employee contact, or some other connection.
• Think in terms of months not weeks
• Trusts may meet only twice a year;
• Sponsorship budgets may be committed 18 months ahead.
RESEARCH THE DONOR
• Read up on their policy and priorities.
• How much do they normally give?
• Find out the right contact name
• When is the best time to apply?
• Do they issue guidelines
• How do they like to be approached?
PACKAGE YOUR PROJECT
• Identify unique selling points
• Package specific needs
• Prepare a proper budget
• Is it cash you need?
• Is it sponsorship or a donation?
• Consider unit costs or a choice of costs
• Sponsorship benefits
PLAN THE PROPOSAL
• Organise your information
• Gather supporting documents
NOW YOU CAN WRITE IT!
• Decide on a format
• Avoid jargon
• Bring out human interest
• Generate emotion, belief and commitment
• Break up the text & include a summary
• Do not forget enclosures
• “Dear Sir/Madam”. There is no excuse for not addressing a named correspondent and preferably the correct name! Circulars waste time and money.Long winded and vague appeal letters. Be concise and precise, most letters will be scanned.Not understanding the commercial world. Companies want to know what they will get out of it. Companies expect some good publicity, even from a donation.
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