November 7, 2017

Learn The Right Way to Ask for Money


Learn The Right Way to Ask for Money

For many people, having to ask for money during sports high school fundraisers is uncomfortable. You’re not asking for yourself, but there may still be an awkward element. The first thing to do is to change your internal wording a bit. Instead of asking for money, think of it as asking for donations. The reality is that you are helping with a worthy cause on behalf of a sports team.

The second thing is to give the donor something in exchange for money, be it game tickets, a product, a service, placement on a prominent sign in the football stadium or something else. After all, there are many fundraising ideas you can take advantage of and tailor as needed.

Best Ways to Ask for Money (Donations)

One major group to target for donations is sponsors — businesses and high-profile individuals who help you put on a fundraiser. Ideally, you would have a record of who has supported past team fundraisers, and they still have a good relationship with the team.

Other potential sponsors to connect with include those who fit naturally with the team — a nearby gym or sporting goods store, for example. Research whom you should contact, and personalize your phone call, email or drop-in visit. Don’t initiate contact without knowing who you want to talk to and why. Other things to research are whether potential sponsors have a history of giving, what they’re passionate about and any objections they have to donating. Use these elements to shape your message and to prepare for your conversation.

How to Sell Your Team and Your Cause

You should always know why these high school fundraisers are necessary, and in as much detail as possible. For example, is it for new uniforms, to help pay for renovations, to revamp the concessions area or something else? How much money do you need? Use the cause as a springboard to convey what the business or sponsor can get in return. For example, say you are fundraising so that the basketball team can travel to a prestigious tournament several states away. One of the potential sponsors you reach out to is an athletic shoes retailer.

You could start with a hook such as, “How would you like to have your business prominently featured on a banner in our gym? Many of our players wear your shoes and swear by them: sleek, efficient and durable. Couple that with your store’s record of donating to homeless shelters, and we could make a good team.”

The key is to recognize that not all people or businesses will give simply out of goodwill. They’d like something in return. It doesn’t need to be anything big. In fact, it’s good practice to establish sponsorship tiers for different budgets. At the lowest level, say $50, the donation could get the person or business a mention in the program and a couple of game tickets.

How to Get Team Parents Involved

Many fundraising ideas exist, and whichever one(s) you choose, it’s essential to get team parents involved. Sometimes, they own businesses or have enough clout in one that they can be the person who reaches out to management for a sponsorship opportunity. On an “easier” level, a donation request can be as simple as asking parents to buy yard signs that feature their player’s name and number, or that advertises the high school fundraisers.

As with sponsors, it’s critical that parents understand what the fundraiser is for and how it benefits their children and the team. Give them varied opportunities to donate and participate instead of forcing them to contact you to ask how they might be able to help.

Perhaps the most important thing when you ask for fundraising money is to believe in your cause. If your words ring hollow, potential donors are likely to pick up on that.

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