Every small business owner gets asked for charitable contributions practically every day. I’m finding that this spring seems to be an especially busy for events. While I like to give everyone, there are sometimes I need to say no. But here are some tips for getting to yes.
– The best way for me to give your organization a donation is to be shopper at my store. I’m always willing to help my customers with their causes.
– Understand that I’m more inclined to give to a literacy related organization than to others. If your child’s class is seeking something, be very clear about what the donation will be going towards. There was a school that called and asked if we donate and I asked what the cause was: funding a junior class trip to Barbados. Well, now, that’s not quite I had in mind for my gift certificate donation. Donation for books or enrollment scholarships, sure. Barbardos, not so much.
– We want to give to everyone. So, if we offer a gift card for less than you were thinking, please don’t say, “Is that the best you can do?” Someone actually said that us as they lamented that our $25 gift card wasn’t a $100.
– If we always give to your group, maybe skip a year of asking before seeking another donation. Skipping a year allows us to give t9 another group. Just the other day a customer decided to skip us in a funny way. Janet had come in seeking our annual donation to the Rotary. I happened to be out and she got to talking to a staffer and realized that we’d given a donation for the last six years and she thought we should take a break, so she bought the gift card herself to donate to the Rotary. And, she bought a book. That was just lovely. So next year, we’ll be sure to remember this.
– Be understanding if your organization is too far away from us for our gift card to actually be used. Part of giving a charitable donation is to bring new people to the store.
– We like talking to kids if their class is raising money. It’s always fun to hear from a third grader about how the money raised will be used for a trip to the Eco Center, so if they can come to talk us themselves, that’s also nice.
– Please do send us a thank you card that we can use for our taxes.
– If there’s a way for little kids to help make a thank you card, please do that. There is nothing I like more than getting a ridiculously over-sized paper with tiny handprints on it and a drawing of a flying pig.