Needless to say, I did not agree. However, her honesty, brutal as it was, has challenged me to think about the obstacles that my organization may face as the need for donations increases.
Asking for money, especially in tough economic times, can be daunting. And, it is true that businesses are overwhelmed by the high volume of requests for donations.
Jane's negative comments are proof that seeking partnerships with local businesses may be more productive than exclusively seeking cash donations. Building relationships and establishing partnerships are mutually beneficial while achieving the ultimate goal which is to help non-profits like IDS increase awareness and advance their cause.
Through event sponsorships, in-kind donations, pro-bono assistance, volunteering, and publicity, non-profits can benefit immensely while providing a return on investment for the business by sharing their generosity on social media, creating links on their website, displaying their logo on printed material, and so on. In the end, the partnership positively affects both parties.
Spark Templates and the National Council of Nonprofits are both good websites for information about seeking corporate sponsorships, sample letters, and templates for sponsor packages.
At the end of the day, asking for cash donations will always be necessary and greatly appreciated by non-profits, IDS included. But the importance of reaching out to local businesses with an opportunity for them to get a return for their investment cannot be overstated.
Hopefully, by presenting businesses with partnerships and sponsorships, “we” non-profits will be called friends and assets, not "those people.”