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Ultimate Donation List

6 years 1 month ago #171926 by Rose H
Replied by Rose H on topic Ultimate Donation List
Hi there!
The donation request letter template is on our File Exchange and you can download it here:

Let us know if you need other auction-related resources. Happy to help!

6 years 1 month ago #171925 by Rose H
Replied by Rose H on topic Ultimate Donation List
Hi there!
The donation request letter template is on our File Exchange and you can download it here:

Let us know if you need other auction-related resources. Happy to help!

6 years 1 month ago #171924 by refugio romero
Replied by refugio romero on topic Ultimate Donation List
hello, would you be so kind to share the request letter with me. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. thank you!
6 years 2 months ago #171915 by Rose H
Replied by Rose H on topic More tips
Geri313, There's tons of good information in your post. Thanks so much for sharing.

6 years 2 months ago #171914 by Geri313
Replied by Geri313 on topic More tips
Those are great tips findingautism. Here are some more:

Start soliciting items a good six months or more before an event. The earlier you start, the more successful you will be.

Many places now require you to fill out a form and this is very time consuming. Companies know this will keep the majority of folks from applying. But the task is doable if you plan ahead.
1. Divide the list of items that require forms by the number of committee members.
a. Make sure to keep the most important companies on your own list. That way you are 100% sure the forms are completed.
2. Put together a document with all pertinent information so that everyone can complete the forms.
3. It's VERY important that each committee member use the same email address when completing forms. This way all responses go to the same person, and you can always get back into a form the next time you need to apply. This is particularly important for forms such as Disney, that require a minimal amount of updating each year - but only if you can get back into the previous year's form.
4. Send the list and the information document to each committee member, and suggest they shoot for two application a day.
5. Send the committee frequent (every two weeks) reminder notes asking them how they are coming along with this project.
a. MOST people postpone the task of completing the forms. If and when they ever get around to it, it's often past the application deadline.

Keep up-to-date on local business openings and closings.
1. Find out which newspaper reporters write about this and keep an eye out for their articles.
2. Periodically look thru your area (not just your own town) Chamber of Commerce member lists. These lists are usually available to the public. You will probably have to Google the contact information, but you will be able to pick up the names of new businesses this way.
3. Subscribe to your town and all neighboring towns' e-newsletter. If you cannot subscribe online, make yourself a list and periodically go online and peruse the newsletters. Most towns list new businesses. Once again, you'll need to Google the contact information.
4. As you're driving around, use the voice app on your phone to note new businesses you see.

When you go to an event make note of raffle prizes that you may not have on your list.

Ask friends who frequent a restaurant, hair dresser, nail tech, etc. to ask the manager for a gift card. She/he is more likely to donate one to someone they know, than to a stranger. Supply your friends with solicitation letters, or brochures if you have one.

Keep your solicitation list current. This means every 3-4 years spend some time going through the list and weeding things out. (I try to do 5-10 listings a day when I do this project and depending upon the size of your list could take a few months or more to get thru it.) This again, is VERY time consuming, but worth it. You're checking to make sure the donation request process has not changed. Companies that notify you of changed requirements are few and far between. So you need to be vigilant in checking your list every so often. This is also a good time to weed out prospects that are simply a waste of time. I am currently in the process of doing this and have found changes in more the 25% of our list. Most of these are companies that once allowed you to mail a request, but now require you to complete an online form.
6 years 2 months ago #171901 by findingautism
Hi all:

As I have been busy getting ready to host the Inaugural Tri State Adult Autism Symposium (conference), I have hauled in close to
$6,000 worth of donations - thanks to tips on searching from this group. I will post my haul in early August after the conference is done.

Because my conference has nothing to do with a PTO/PTA as the focus in on transition teens on into adulthood on the autism spectrum, I believe we can all learn from each other in regard to donation requests and getting donations. I don't know of any other donation groups like this one, so I joined this group trying to learn as much as I could.

Some of my tips...
1. You can read all about the theory of donation requests and getting donations, but you still have to put it into practice and "just do it". I spent at least a good week going through the posts on here from 2013-2015 or so, then went to work. Emailed orgs, went to websites, and more.

2. One thing some people said on here was not to forget not to forget things locally. I didn't. Got a lot of gift cards. Didn't have time to contact everyone, though. Which leads to tip #3.

3. Plan accordingly and add in time.
I got into the donation ballgame with just over two months to the conference. Didn't give me much time. This is where my personal network came into play to help. I receive a three night package from a fitness spa, a one night stay at one hotel, a one night stay at another hotel, and a one night stay at a resort. Learn to network if you're not doing so yet and learn to do it as well as possible.

Think about people at other organizations outside of PTOs that you volunteer with or donate or have an association. Do you use LinkedIn? That is a business NETWORK (my emphasis). Facebook is a social NETWORK (again my
emphasis). Networks are both face to face in person as well as online (not just one or the other). Do you NETWORK (again my emphasis) at conferences where there are a good number of people? The possibilities are endless. The two hotel donations were from (1) a former boss who I worked for elsewhere but is at a hotel and (2) a friend of mine who is an executive director at an autism center who I reached out to on FB. My friend reached out to her network. One of her friends read about what I was trying to do and knew a lot of people working in the hotel industry and reached out to them. Got a donation as a result of all this. But I wouldn't have if I did not reach out to my friend in the first place. I learned early on to believe in the power of networking and the things that can provide. Should try it sometime.

Exercise for you. If you're stuck on who to ask for a donation, I want you to write down the names of at least ten people - friends, family, present and former co-workers, people in your industry, fellow attendees at places of worship you know and trust, places you volunteer, places you associate (think what you do every day or go every week).

Take a little time. Write down their names, association to you, where they work, and their contact information. Who to start with first? The person you are most comfortable to gain and build confidence. I used to be really shy, and know this could be a challenge for a couple of people reading this. But you've got to push through your "envelope of comfort" or your "comfort zone".

Because it is me getting the donations, I have fun with it. I enjoy meeting people in person. When they see what I am doing to get donations for an adult autism conference like the Symposium. Sure, there will be donations that a PTO qualifies for that my conference doesn't and vice versa.

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