Special Feature: Turning Silver into Gold

This article is available until October 30, 2016
Turning Year-End Holiday Charity Into Year-Round Gold

You've just about had it. The fifth group today has called to ask if their employees can donate a holiday basket of food and clothing to one of your needy children or families.

What should they include in the basket? How many children does the family have? Where should they drop it off and when?

Sound familiar? It's that time of the year when giving is in the air.

Your job: to convert these groups and their members into lifelong donors. Be thinking about it from the moment you get that first call.

Some tips:

  • Do a thorough intake call. How did that company choose your organization? How much do they know about your work? Has anyone from their company ever had a direct connection to your organization?
  • Learn more about them. What does their company or department do? How many people work there? Are they involved in other charitable projects? Do they have other fundraising projects or events throughout the year?
  • Tell them you want to be sure they understand the kind of people you serve and their year-round needs. Invite them to a Point of Entry Event, including a tour and a testimonial from a former client, family, or staff member about what your program has meant to them. Or ask if you can meet with the group at their office for a Point of Entry in a Box. (Hint: in this way you are converting the contact person for each potential donor group to an Ambassador.) Many nonprofits using the Benevon Model include this Point of Entry as a benefit of corporate holiday giving.
  • Show them your Wish List. Be sure it covers everything from soup to nuts: diapers for the babies, computers, new apartments, new staff, volunteer drivers—whatever you really need. Tell them that these needs are year-round, not just during the holidays.
  • Tell them that one of your biggest challenges is having this level of support year-round, not just at the holidays. Ask them to consider having their company or department sponsor a family or student for one year or longer. It would cost only $_____, and they could become involved in the following ways. Perhaps they would do the same sort of "gift basket plus" program quarterly.
  • Let them know how they will be recognized for their year-round contribution. Where and how will their name be listed? What other Free Feel-Good Cultivation Events will they be invited to attend that will honor them and reconnect them to the human stories of your organization?
  • Ask who else they know who might want to do the same. Remember that once they have bought in to the program for themselves, they will be excited. The natural human tendency is to want to share that enthusiasm with others. Who else would they suggest you contact? Aim to have at least one new Ambassador be generated out of every Point of Entry.
  • Take really good care of them as they put together and deliver their first "gift basket." Make it a positive experience all the way around.
  • Follow up with your contact person at their company early in January. Get their feedback on the experience. Schedule three or four other events throughout the year that they can host—birthday parties, holiday parties, special arts presentations, taking the kids to sporting events, etc. Be sensitive to their interests. Most of all, have them become Ambassadors to introduce others.
  • Encourage them to put together a little committee so the responsibility and decision-making won't all rest with one person. It will be more likely to succeed long-term that way. It also gives you more people to connect with and involve from their company. Perhaps there is another department that would like to participate next year.
  • Remember, the more people who are spreading the good word about your mission and work, the more opportunities they will make available to you for next year—and year-round.

Contact Benevon today to learn how the Benevon Model for nonprofit fundraising can help you develop an effective fundraising campaign and cultivate committed lifelong donors.

Printer-friendly version of this page