NET IMPACT FUNDRAISING – THINGS TO CONSIDER
The Ask Cycle
In fundraising, knowing the stages and steps of your ask cycle is key. You must know the following:
When to ask.
Find out the company’s FY, ask at the beginning of it.
Ask after a positive quarterly report.
Ask 3 months before an event, and follow up every 2 – 3 weeks.
Who to ask.
Ask companies with whom your school is affiliated, perhaps as a recruiter.
Ask companies where your alumni work and where you have a potential in.
Ask local companies, or companies who have a large employee or stakeholder basein your community, or your b-school
Often times companies have several different pots of money from which they cansupport you. Perhaps community relations, perhaps PR, perhaps marketing, perhapsCSR, perhaps HR.
Ask people. People Give Money to People.
If you can find a friend at thecompany, you are significantly more likely to be able to gain funds.
What to ask for.
Ask for an amount reasonable to your event. Do not inflate, but do round up.
Ask for something that you know the company likes to give (for example, coffeecompanies tend to love donating coffee products; same with vodka companies)
Be very clear of your value proposition, and what you’re offering in exchange for thisdonation.
How to ask.
Find a friend, an alum, a recruiter, or a company employee who has a relationshipwith your school, or your Net Impact Chapter. Ask them to make an introduction tothe appropriate people.
An emailed letter from you.
Talk to us at NIC to see if we know them.
Communicating with NIC
We’re to help you. We’re happy to review your proposals, help with your strategy, or helpyou benchmark your requests against other proposals from within the network. We will makean introduction if we can, and we encourage you to use the member search feature of ourwebsite to find fellow Net Impact members who work at the company you’re approaching.
What not to do
Please review current and recent Net Impact sponsors on the Funders page of ourwebsite. Please do not approach any Net Impact sponsors without first talking to us.
We’ve got a very active network, and very eager fundraisers. Please don’t ask forany gift in excess of $2,500 without first letting us know. We’d like to help you securethese larger gifts, and we’d like to track your success.
We have learned that successful events have the following characteristics:
A clear understanding at the outset of what the event’s primary goal is to be: is it foreducation, networking, raising funds, or promoting awareness of Net Impact and CSR?Without a clear identity at the outset, goals are very hard to achieve.
Very clear logistics and signage, and a great venue. Understanding the importance ofbranding the event as both Net Impact and as your chapter will have a huge impact on theway attendees view your efforts.
A clear budget, and definitions of what you will pay for vs. what attendees will paythemselves: i.e., don’t spend money buying things people will happily pay for themselves.The clearest example here is a host vs. cash bar; if you feel a host bar will draw people tothe event, think about offering only one free drink.
Good follow-up. You’ll want to be in touch with your attendees afterwards to see how theythought it went, and to see how they might be interested in supporting future Net Impactevents—maybe a donation, maybe they become a member, maybe the volunteer.