These tips will help you find creative ways to secure financial support.
Funding a project can be a tough job. But a lot of TCC students and teachers have found creative ways of getting support from their communities for the things they want to do. Here are some fundraising tips.
- People give to people, not to programs. No matter how worthwhile your program, it is your relationship that sparks the donation. Establish something you have in common with the donor. You may have to sell yourself as much as the program. After all, you are its representative. Speak about why you personally are involved and committed to your program. Be open, friendly, and honest. Represent your program as an investment to feel good about.
- Ask in person. It is easy for a potential donor to throw away an unsolicited letter. A personal appeal commands immediate attention.
- Use your friends to make contacts. This simple step will start you off on a positive note and will secure you a more attentive reception.
- Know what you are asking for. Are you looking for money, meeting space, food donations, a bus, a PA system, or an endorsement? If you are asking for money, what is it for? How much do you need and how much are you requesting from this potential donor? Have a one page summary of the program or project ready to give to the people you meet.
- You won't get it unless you ask for it. The number one reason people donate resources or volunteer their time is because they are asked. Take time to research your possible donors, then explain how their help is needed to make your program successful.
- Teens are great fundraisers. Adults are impressed with young people who display determination and commitment. When you are seeking contributions for a youth program, teens are the best advertisement of the program's success. Young people can speak from the heart of the need for youth programs. Their passion and zeal can move mountains.
- Try to match your need with a particular donor. People are more likely to give if the donation can also provide them with some type of benefit. (Example: ask a local hardware store to sponsor a "Community Clean-up Day" and provide the supplies.)
- Remember, everyone can help in your cause. Work to utilize all types of donations, including someone's time, materials and supplies, monetary support, or a personal endorsement.