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Why talking about money too soon could cost you

“Hello, I know you don’t know me but I represent charity x and I wondered if you could make a donation of £100.” If you got that phone call at home, how would you react? Annoyed, irritated, perhaps even a little worried as to why you were being targeted? After all, you know nothing at all about charity x and their objectives, and you can’t afford £100 anyway. You’re very unlikely to engage with the caller, and may even hang up without saying anything at all.

Corporate fundraisers face the same fundamental problem – businesses don’t want to feel they’ve been picked at random and are being treated purely as a cash cow. Modern businesses want to build mutually beneficial relationships with their charity partners – and that means they’re looking to get something out as well as putting something in.

Introducing the subject of money too soon can be a real turn off for the client. Companies often see more value in the donation of time, expertise, goods and services than simply cash, and will back off if they think you only see them as good for donations. Yes, donations are an important part of the conversation – but only after the relationship has been established. Then, instead of just asking for an amount, talk about what a difference their money will make. Go into details. Reach out in a way that creates value for them, and explain how integral their support is. Invite them to come along and see current projects in progress. Work on engaging their interest, and explain the benefits for them.

It may sound complicated, but creating relationships in this way results in a real, ongoing partnership rather than a one-off donation. If you’re struggling to get started, our Corporate Fundraising Kit for Beginners has all the information you need and is currently available at a SPECIAL OFFER PRICE for a limited period only.

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