Keeping in mind that only about 5% of all non-governmental giving to nonprofits comes from corporations, you’ll want to use your time and resources cost-effectively. That means not trying to get funding from every corporation that comes to mind. So, first, make a (wish) list of all those corporations, and then gather the material you need to begin your research.
Some Corporate Annual Reports list the amount(s) they’ve given to nonprofit organizations, and often list those NPOs. Check to see if they give to organizations that do what you do. Look to see if there’s a statement of policy as to the types/locations of NPOs they support. Some corps give only to NPOs that their employees support – check that out. Go to your public library or a branch of the foundation library and check the reports of corporate giving.
Check to see if the corporation has an office/department/division of charitable giving … or whatever they may call it. Call them, ask for a copy of the corporation’s giving guidelines. Talk with a corporate giving officer, if they have such, and (come right out and) ask what you have to do to get the corp to add you to their list of nonprofits they support. FYI, corporate giving officers are there to work with you to see if there’s a match – and sometimes work with you to create a match — between what you can do for them and what they can do for you.
Make a list of the officers and directors of the corporations and circulate that list to your board members, volunteers and major donors to see if anyone you know has a personal connection with a corporate board member or officer who can help you get corporate money.
That means that you must cultivate – build a relationship with – those corporate officers and directors … the same as you would with a prospective major donor.
See my recent three-part series on Asking for the Major Gift — the links to the three articles are at the right, under “Recent Blog Posts.”
Most corporations have been asked before. Don’t be bashful.
Sometimes the ask can be as simple as a conversation with the right person, and sometimes as formal as a grant proposal to a foundation. You’ll find out which when you do your research.
Have a comment or a question about starting or expanding your fundraising program, your corporate solicitation program, major gifts fundraising program or a capital campaign? Email me at AskHank@Major-Capital-Giving.com. With over 30 years of counseling in major gifts, capital campaigns, bequest programs and the planning studies to precede these three, we’ll be happy to answer your question.