Are you at a loss for how to ask for raffle prize donations? Does the thought of asking businesses to donate high cost items to your cause leave you feeling a little intimidated? The success of your fundraiser is very often directly related to the prizes that you offer, so it’s very important to develop good relationships with the businesses willing to help you out. While your organization may have set aside a certain amount for purchasing prizes, you might find that your budget is stretched far too thin after necessary expenses, to cover the costs of popular, high-end, ticket-selling prizes like electronics. The good news is that you don’t have to go it alone – you can call on members of your local business community to lend a hand by asking for raffle prize donations.
Businesses grow and benefit from the positive publicity of contributing to a charitable organization’s fundraising event. Most companies, small and large, maintain a budget for advertising, or welcome a tax write off for donating to charity. For them, it’s simply the cost of being in business and a means of letting the public know about their services–but for you, it can mean a successful event!
There are a number of ways to approach a business owner to ask for their help with a fundraiser or raffle prize donations. One of the best ways is to send him or her a brief letter explaining who you and your organization are, the type and purpose of event you’re planning and the kind of help you’d like to receive from him or her. Be clear, direct and to the point, if you have a non-profit/tax exempt ID, be sure to include it in the letter.
Before you sit down to write that letter, however, be sure to do some research on your targeted businesses and determine who is the appropriate person for your request. Many times, a quick visit to the company’s website or a simple phone call asking to whom such a request should be directed will yield the name you need in just a few minutes. Taking the time and making the effort to do this will go a long way toward receiving a timely – and generous – response.
Here’s an example letter to help you get started:
[Vice President, Marketing]
[Their Business Name, Inc.]
[60 E. Main Street]
[Sampletown, NY 55555]
Dear [Ms. Sample]:
I am writing to you on behalf of [Sample] Elementary School in [Yourtown], [Yourstate]. The school PTA is currently planning a midwinter fundraising raffle to be held [YourDate] in the Middle School cafeteria. This event will consist of an afternoon of fun for the children and their families. Previous raffles have always proved very popular.
Money raised at the event will be used to replace rubber mats and other gymnasium equipment at [Sample] Elementary. These items are worn and no longer suitable for the children’s use.
We are hoping that [Their Business Name, Inc.] is willing to supply us with a suitable prize for our raffle. [Their Business Name, Inc.] gift baskets are always popular, but any suitable product you could donate to us would be much appreciated.
If you are able to help, we would be very grateful. Please send a donation directly to the school at the address below. If you require any more information, please do not hesitate to contact me at the school address or email me at [your email address here]. I can be reached at [(Your) Phone-number] should you wish to speak with me directly.
Thank you in advance and best wishes from everyone at [Sample] Elementary School.
[Sample] Elementary School PTA
tax exempt 501-c ID: [sample]
[Sample] Central Schools
[Yourtown], [Yourstate] [Yourzip]
Most importantly, be sure to thank your business partners for their support at your event and by writing a follow-up “thank you” letter. Make sure that you mention their name a few times at your event; whether it’s out loud while your making announcements, on a banner, or a “thank you to our sponsors” portion of your raffle tickets, or event program. One great idea is to thank each sponsor directly for their generous raffle prize donations as you describe each prize and call out the winning number. Recognizing and thanking your business partners will ensure your organization gains local business support in future fundraising events!