Gain an understanding of how to approach different prospective donors.
There are three ways to ask a prospect to make a gift:
The more personal the approach, the better the results, and if you have built a relationship through cultivation you will know when the prospect is ready to be asked.
A sample personalized pledge card may be downloaded below.Download Word Doc 11: Sample Pledge Card
The best way to approach a business prospect is to find someone associated with your archive who knows a senior person in the business. Ask that person for advice and also ask if they would make “the ask” on behalf of your archive. Often, businesses respond positively to an “ask” when an employee is associated with the asking organization.
It is difficult to get a personal appointment without a personal connection and in this case you could send a letter to the contributions contact and follow up by telephone.
When approaching a business the normal practice is to ask for a specific amount for a specific purpose and to offer recognition of the gift in a way the business would like. Often businesses make charitable gifts because they want to be seen in a certain light by their employees or shareholders so recognition that accomplishes this will appeal to them.
After a personal ask is made you may be asked to submit a request in writing or a short proposal. Please see the section below on Types of Proposals following the Foundation section.
Foundations normally have a very clear application process that asks for a written letter of inquiry or a full proposal. Remember to give foundation prospects exactly what they ask for and try to keep the proposal as short as possible.
Information about developing a relationship with foundations is available free on the website of the Foundation Centre. foundationcenter.org/
Three Types of Proposals
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