Advice to Non-Profits

What Businesses Want Non-Profits to Know

  1. Non-profits have a responsibility to create more awareness.  When people understand the needs, they are very generous in donation of money and material goods.  Resources should educate people and businesses, let them know what they can do, why they need to do it, and how they can do it.

  2. Businesses want to help.  We help non-profits by making more money, so that we can donate larger amounts to charity.  If you help a business make more money, they can donate more to charity; and you can focus on what you do best, fulfill your mission.

  3. Businesses want to work with you, not take advantage of you. A large percentage of charities treat businesses as if they were ATMs.  We are looking for ways that we can all benefit from working together.  In the end, if we make more money, we have more money to give. We are more likely to give to those that work with us, rather than those that donít.

  4. Search out, and reach out, to businesses that are likely to help. To get and keep a donorís attention, point out shared values between your cause and their business.  Businesses help plenty of charities, but usually have to seek them out and ask if they can donate.

  5. Offer something to businesses that donate to you.   It could be as simple as a mention in your newsletter, or creating a sponsor page where you can list all of your business sponsors in one place, and place a link back to the business, thanking them.

  6. Encourage donors to give again.   Send personal, hand-written letters of appreciation to those who give financial donations.  Tell them what you plan to put their donation towards if they havenít specifically requested something already.  (Remember, some donors really do care about your nonprofit and desire a working relationship, and some simply want to mail you a check.  Choose your interactions carefully and value your connection with the donor.)

  7. Keep in touch with donors.   Show the donor all the good that came from their donation.  Provide pictures, stories, and proof that their money was spent wisely and allocated towards very important changes.

  8. Bonus Tip!   Make sure that your charity is represented on sites like Charity Navigator or GuideStar.  While this isnít mandatory, larger companies like to have outside assurance that they are dealing with charities with proven histories of helping.