Your friend works with a charity and she just hit you up for a donation-what do you do? DONATE. That might be all we have to say about this. Its’ an easy way to get the word out about what you do and possibly get a new audience to try your service or product. If you don’t need anyone new for your business then you’re obviously doing great and should donate anyway.
What if you’re the friend trying to GET the donation? It’s always tricky. People of course want to say yes, but maybe change their minds later and it gets awkward. It is a personal decision so here’s the best way we know how to ask and we do a lot of these.
- Be clear about what the charity supports and how much money from the silent auction donations goes to the charity and to the event. Hopefully you’re working with someone who gets all the silent auction donations.
- Have some kind of link or written documentation that you can hand them that clearly spells out what they’d be supporting. Not every case is worthy to everyone and even though it may be something you’re passionate about give people the change to decide.
- Have an idea of what they could donate and how it could benefit them. Don’t just ask, do a little work and explain the type of people attending and how you think they relate to the business. Not everything sells, especially if it isn’t well thought out.
- Be able to say no if someone suggests something that just isn’t going to work. You don’t have to take whatever they offer. Some silent auction items make the rounds every year because nobody buys them and some people are more interested in promoting themselves and putting a big ticket price on something that doesn’t really have that kind of value.
- IF it is a big donation, consider buying them a ticket to the event. There is an added bonus of putting a face to the donation and buyer for them and if their item gets a lot of attention and raises a lot of money, everybody wins.
- Once you get a yes, be persistent about following up. People are busy and they forget. Always pick a date at least a week before the event that you tell them you need the donation by so that way you aren’t running around the day of trying to pick up donations.