How to Get Donations

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How to Get Donations

Donations are crucial for many charitable organizations and institutions that do what they can to help those who are needy or marginalized. If you’re a volunteer or indeed someone who running a charitable institution, getting donations can be one of the more daunting tasks, but it’s all worth it in the end. Learn how to get donations and how to keep donors.

Document Your Charity Work

Generally, the longer and bigger your charity has been around, the more people will recognize it and give donations. Newer charities may have a harder time getting donations from people if the community is not familiar with them. Documenting your organization’s charity work will help potential donors to visualize what exactly you’re doing and that their donations will go somewhere. Preparing a list of activities you’ve done will also give the donors a feel of what your charity does.

Make Flyers and Posters

Once you’ve gotten your documentation materials together, it’s time to make flyers, posters, informational sheets and solicitation letters. Make these distribution materials colorful, attractive, concise but chock-full of details. They shouldn’t be a list of facts and a grocery list of your organization’s needs. Write from a personal perspective, to get in touch with your potential donors’ empathy. Don’t let your distribution materials sound too cloying, manipulative or needy. Include contact details of your organization and the schedule of when you conduct your charitable organization’s activities, and invite them to participate. This way, you might get volunteers, if not actual donations, and the potential donors may even fond a personal relationship with your cause.

Know Where to Distribute

Once you’re done making your distribution materials, look up the local Chamber of Commerce to see the list of businesses in your locale. Try to get in touch with the contact persons within these businesses, and if they would like to work with your charity. You can send your information sheet with an introduction first sent first before calling them. Explain your charity’s aims and your goal to solicit donations or cooperation from the local businesses. Have a meeting set up with the manager, owner or chairman of the company.

Have reproductions of your flyers and posters made, and post them wherever they can be posted, especially in high-traffic areas. Some examples of high-traffic areas would be laundry areas, groceries, schools and places of worship.

Contact local media or newspapers about your cause. Hold a press conference or distribute press releases to widen your area of reach.

You can also request schools and even churches to allow you to speak for your organization. Setting up a stall where you can directly pass out flyers is another popular way of soliciting donations. People can also ask questions directly to you if they want to learn more about the organization.

Use Your Networks

The average person is more likely to donate to a charity where there is someone they know involved than the alternative. Forward solicitation letters to friends and family, and urge them to pass them on to other people they know. Take advantage of social networking sites, and online websites that cater for charitable donations, such as Reality Charity. Make a website for your charity, and provide details about your cause. People will be cautious about donating online (as they should), so providing details about your activities, your legitimate charity institution will go a long way. Online networks have steadily grown in influence recently, and allow you access to potential donors along the way.

Hold Fundraisers

Give potential donors an incentive to donate their money by working with the local businesses in your area for your charity. For example, a local restaurant can pledge a free dinner for two for a certain amount of donations made. You can also hold a raffle, charity bidding, charity mini-concerts, performances or a charity sale with the help of your business supporters and counterparts. These efforts will engage the donors more and make the whole business of donation more enjoyable.

Be Transparent

Keeping a careful account of donations made and making them transparent and readily accessible are key in making your charity more recognized. Keeping donors are just are important as getting new donors, and you won’t have either if they do not know where their money is going. People are careful with their money and if you give them a reason not to trust your organization, you can expect them to not give money anymore. You do not have to hold showy activities to prove that their money is being used properly, simply true documents that you have been using their donations as your charity has pledged to do.

Getting donations is hard work, and your efforts may not pay off immediately. Patience and determination are key. Building a good reputation for your charitable institution is also crucial, so don’t lose your focus and work towards your goal. It will pay off in the end.