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2014 Ultimate Donation List

10 years 1 month ago #165650 by KarenVan
I am going to tell you how I got donations for my auction. What I am going to tell you is going to be a lot of work, but work is what it takes to get donations. This was my first year as auction chair, and our final total ended up being 150% higher than last year. I spent every free second of more than month gathering email addresses of local businesses. I sent them a nice email with my donation letter attached. None of this is a guarantee. Some say yes, others no, even more don't bother to reply. But the more people you contact, the more chance you have of getting donations.

The way I see it is if someone is advertising their business, they are looking for new customers. A donation could be a way for them to bring in new business, if they see it that way, so why not contact them? All of that junk mail you get in the way of postcards and brochures? Look up their business and email address. The valpak or money mailer coupons you get? More businesses to contact. In the car and see a billboard or poster stuck in the ground? Pass an interesting business? More names for you.

What I do is use my best friend google to see if the business has a website (not all do). If there is a "contact us" link, there should be an email address there. If they only have a form to fill out, I fill it out and ask a question like "are you open on Sundays" or "do you accept competitor's coupons?" When they reply to you ... bam, you have their email address. If there is a facebook page, if their address is listed on the left side, click on it, and if they have an email address, it should be right there.

Again using google, I type in my town name and an activity (ie martial arts Raritan). If it is something that isn't as common in town, I use my county (ie golf course Fairfield County). What you end up with is a list of businesses with links to their webpages, where you can look for more email addresses. Examples of what I try to find is: gym, health club, spa, massage, hair salon, nail salon, waxing, tanning, chiropractor, acupuncture, lawyer, billiards, boxing, golf, mini golf, roller skating, ice skating, trampoline/jump, birthday party, yoga, rock climbing, dance studio, petting zoo, pumpkin patch, corn maze, skiing, cupcake shop, bakery, pilates, car wash, ceramics ... and there are so many more.

Again, this is all very time consuming. I have received donations from 5-10 percent of these places. If you are lucky, you may get more. But for me it is easier than hitting the streets, I can work while laundry is in or kids are at activities. And now I have all of this information for next year. But all of this hard work, coupled with the wonderful information on this site, is what helped me and brought me to tears when I got our final total.
10 years 1 month ago #165649 by Lori
Replied by Lori on topic Re:2014 Ultimate Donation List
It does not sound harsh to me at all McKenna. I looked over 500+ pages here from all of the donation threads on this wonderful site from generous-hearted posters. I worked for it and would never dream of asking a question that I could have found had I invested the time myself. No rudeness intended, just a bit of reality.
10 years 1 month ago #165647 by McKenna
Replied by McKenna on topic Re:2014 Ultimate Donation List
For those who are looking for lists of places that donate, there are 68 pages here where people have posted places that they had luck with, you just have to take the time to go look. Many are national companies, and others are local. There is valuable information in here, but you have to work for it. And then google "donation request" with your city. I just did that for Erie, PA, and it lists a bunch - Harley Davidson, Erie Otters, banks, restaurants... Pages and pages of places. Also bring your donation letter with you when you go about your day - give a copy to restaurants, markets, etc. while you are doing business there. I hope this doesn't sound harsh, I just hope that people who ask for lists are willing to work to access the information that others have worked so hard to provide.
10 years 1 month ago #165643 by Ashley
Replied by Ashley on topic Re:2014 Ultimate Donation List
Are there any places in Florida that donates?
10 years 1 month ago #165641 by Susan
Replied by Susan on topic Re:2014 Ultimate Donation List
sdp - that is smart. I didn't think you could do that. They have restaurant gift cards and other gif cards. You could do that too probably? hmm. Thanks for the tip.
10 years 1 month ago #165640 by CHRISSIE1122
Replied by CHRISSIE1122 on topic Re:2014 Ultimate Donation List
I am in Pittsburgh pa and i am looking to hold a auction. i was trying to see if anyone on here has gotten anything from this area of from Erie Pa . I haven't had any luck. please list any places that have given a donation..
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