How to approach businesses

When fundraising for Walk the Walk, approaching local businesses for cash donations, raffle prizes or for a discount in services can be a fantastic way of boosting your sponsorship or minimising your costs when organising a fundraising event.

Simple steps to follow when approaching local businesses

  1. Make connections - approach any companies that you already have connections with (even contacts of contacts), but please be careful not to associate with any companies whose values or practises might conflict with the charity’s (i.e. tobacco companies, fast food chains etc).
  2. Identify the right person- research the correct person to contact (find out their name and contact details)
  3. Think about the kind of support you want- rather than cash donations (which companies might be less willing to give), it might be worth thinking of different kinds of support that would be beneficial to you i.e. raffle prizes. Other forms of support could be the company letting you display your fundraising poster or passing your event flyers around the office...
  4. What will the company receive in return?- bear this in mind when approaching a business (companies normally support out of self interest), you could offer them public acknowledgement or publicity opportunities. Don’t forget to also let companies know of the tax advantages available to them for charitable gifts- find out more
  5. The ‘Ask- Alongside the authorisation letter that Walk the Walk provides, create your own personal letter outlining what you are doing, what you are asking for and why the company should support you. Follow up the letter with a phone call a week or so later and dependant on the ask, you could arrange to have a meeting to discuss your request in further detail.
  6. Thank you - Remember to thank the company and let them know how their support helped- you never know, this might encourage further donations in the future!

Have a look at the following list for some inspiration

Raffle prizes are a brilliant and fun way to draw in extra sponsorship during your fundraising event. From our experience, businesses tend to be more than willing to donate a prize or two for a raffle. To help you on your way, we can send you an authorisation letter which confirms your participation in one of our challenges or that you are fundraising for Walk the Walk. You can then pass this on to the company with your personal letter. To request one of these, please contact our Fundraising Team.

Donations: companies may be able to offer you one off cash donations or free products or services. You could get a special offer for your printing or a free venue for your fundraising event- you never know! You might like to publicly acknowledge the business for their kind donation, unless they requested to stay anonymous.

Sponsorship: if you come across a company which would be willing to enter into a partnership with Walk the Walk (happy to give cash donations or products and services in return for advertisement from the charity), please ask for advice from the Fundraising Team.

Matched Giving: did you know that there are hundreds of organisations throughout the UK that offer their employees the chance to boost their individual fundraising efforts by “matching” the money they raise for their chosen charity? Check with your company if this is a way they could support you.

Some hints and tips on preparing your personal letter when approaching businesses:

  • Keep the letter short and simple.
  • Tell a little bit about the charity, the challenge you are undertaking and how much you are aiming to raise. You can include your personal reasons for taking on the challenge too.
  • Include a paragraph about the event you are organising (how many people are attending, what the evening will involve etc...)
  • State that you are seeking a donation from them and the benefits for the company (if any). 

Don’t forget, nothing will ever replace personal contact, so make sure you follow up with a phone call or visit the business in person if you can. 

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Many more ways to fundraise

Take a look here