Love it or hate it, money is what makes the world go ‘round. That’s not the only thing, of course, but it’s an unforgettable piece to this complicated puzzle that we live in. Someone once said, “a wise person should have money in their head, but not in their heart.” There’s no doubt that your non-profit is run in a wise manner, and everyone involved most likely has a warm heart, but your NGO must have money in the membrane if you’ve found yourself on this article!
But money in the brain isn’t going to get you and your non-profit very far. What’s better is when there’s money in your brain and in the organization’s hands. But you’re tied up keeping the day-to-day activities going, balancing your books, conducting outreach, and treading water as you maintain membership relations.
Chances are, you already applied for grants and sent out letters and e-mails seeking donations, but have you considered (drum roll please)…corporate fundraising? Corporate fundraising can be an effective way to get that money more than in your head, but equally important, into the account of your NGO.
While your organization might be well-versed in sending members out knocking on all neighbors’ doors, and calling everyone in the phone book to sell candles, cookie dough, and other potentially useful things, there are more effective ways to manage your time to serve your purpose. And if you’re a registered 501(c)(3), you’re in luck!
Why approach companies to ask for donations?
In both corporate and small business America, there are so many companies that give donations to nonprofits. More and more, there are companies willing to donate to fundraisers for a number of causes — it’s what’s often referred to as corporate giving. Who knows, maybe your cause might be exactly what a big (or small) company is interested in donating to. It never hurts to ask!
Rather than asking everyone and their cousin, why not start off with a handy list of companies that donate to fundraisers? Seemingly obvious, right? According to Double the Donation’s Research, 65% of Fortune 500 companies offer a matching gift program. Bingo!
Maximize your time and go directly to the (financial) source while waiting for your money tree to mature. You might have a check or two in the mail before you know it. Look to those in your closest circle. Do any of them work for a Fortune 500 company? This might be the best place to start.
Side note: Many companies willing to donate to fundraisers will only donate to nonprofits. It will be easiest to obtain legitimate funds if you’re working with a registered NGO. Whether travel-related or not, fundraising can help you reach some of them #goals! Remember that you can’t do everything today, but you can take one small step in the fundraising direction.
Here are some of the best companies to ask for donations in search of funds for your NGO or non-profit:
6 best companies willing to donate to fundraisers
1. Oriental Trading Company
Recognized as one of the Top 50 Internet Retailers and one of the Top 50 Catalog Companies, the Oriental Trading Company supports nonprofits in the spheres of education, youth, healthcare, and human services — that should cover many bases! Wondering about your eligibility? Your organization must have a current tax exempt status as a 501(c)(3). Submit a request (see below) and you should have a response within four weeks. Boom!
How can I contact them? Request a donation online through their portal here.
2. Google Dot Org
Googles charitable arm gives back to local, national, and global communities. Each year, this organization donates more than $100 million in grants and over $1 billion in products. Applicants can apply for seed funding for entrepreneurial projects in developing countries, along with community grants and disaster relief support. As it’s Google, they also provide funds to help boost online traffic with what they call Google Ad Grants.
How can I contact them? Check out Google.org or simply click here.
Another one of the best companies to ask for donations is Disney’s Corporate Philanthropy Program. Committed to building stronger communities and social responsibility, Disney Programs provides grants geared towards children and families totaling over $332 million a year. They support children around the world and also are known to donate books…at numbers in the millions. They have many of their own initiatives but also might be able to help with yours too.
How can I contact them? Contact the Walt Disney Company here.
The CVS Health Foundation is a private foundation that awards grants for education, healthcare, and local community involvement efforts. These non-profit grants are available by invitation only so it might be best to reach out to understand how you might get an invitation. Otherwise, CVS Health provides strategic investments to nonprofit partners across the U.S. from projects that strive to increase access to healthcare for underserved populations to youth prevention programming.
How can I contact them? Have a look at CVS Health to learn more about corporate social responsibility funding projects.
Starbucks’ Corporate Philanthropy Program has been alive and thriving for some years now. Founded in 1997, the Starbucks Foundation has given millions of USDs in the form of grants to nonprofits. But not only that! Whether your project involves community service, opportunities for youth, or college achievement, this coffee company might be able to help. Check with your local retailer to find out if they have a donation budget. NGO or not, they are bound to fork over some funds for your initiative. Here’s one of the companies that give donations to individuals.
How can I contact them? Stop in a retail location and ask for the manager; also check out the Starbucks Foundation website.
6. United Airlines
Does your fundraiser include travel expenses by air? Airlines are great companies to ask for donations from. Obvious, right? Well, United Airlines’ Grant Program offers in-kind donations in the form of airline transportation vouchers and cash support on a limited basis. Not concerned with airline transportation? They still might be able to help you out. They also offer cold hard cash support to nonprofits on a limited basis. You can also ask those around you to donate their MileagePlus miles to help you lighten your load. That international conference you’re interested in attending or representing your NGO at? They can help!
How can I contact them? Check out their corporate website to learn more. Most large companies and corporations have a unique process if you’re seeking funds on behalf of a 501(c)(3) organization.
Companies that give donations to individuals
Getting money as an individual (i.e. if you’re not a NGO) can be easy if you have the right people around you. Otherwise, approaching companies and the corporate world seeking funds for a project might be a bit more difficult. They might be concerned with your credibility; how do they really know X amount of money is going to Y project that you speak of?
It’s not a lost cause though, by any means. It might be worth it to reach out to local, family-owned stores in this case. You might be better off speaking with those who live, work, and support your community. Think lawyers and dentists, teachers, and doctors…you know, your current (or former) professionals that might be known to give a hand. Get your ideas together, have legitimate argumentation on-hand, and give it a shot.
Take your handy list of companies that donate to fundraisers, and start asking!
There’s not one best company to ask for donations. It depends on your situation; who you are, what it’s for, and how much you need to make the magic happen. While you’re at it, consider creating a FundMyTravel campaign to stimulate giving from your online community. It’s an easy and effective way to share your NGO’s funding goals with those around you.
Hit the pavement, those blank pages, and emails to start reaching out to your prospective donors. Presenting your non-profit’s project in-person can certainly add a more personalized element. Go introduce yourself and shake some hands. If some of these companies are not within a feasible proximity, consider making a call, sending a letter, or typing an email.
Take a moment, prepare yourself, and then start reaching out. Funding your next project doesn’t have to be a nightmare. It’s time to accept that mo’ money means less problems. When it’s all said and done, you’ll surely be saying, “Hey, that wasn’t so bad after all!”