Fundraising Ideas - Community Sponsorship ContinuedThere are a number of ways to go about seeking community sponsorship in your area. In the last post I listed several community organizations that you can contact or apply to for a donation of funds. This post will touch on businesses you can contact to try and receive in-kind donations of products or services. This is by no means an exhaustive list.
Starbucks – I spoke to the manager at my local Starbucks, and while the store doesn’t do financial donations, they do occasionally offer support by providing pastries, coffee, or other drinks for events.
Kroger: Libraries with a non-profit status can apply for donations from Kroger and it’s affiliates. Kroger includes a number of different grocery stores including (but not limited to) King Soopers, Kroger, City Market, QFC, Foods Co. & Baker’s Here's a link In exploring their website, it may be that each organization has a separate donation/funding request page.
Safeway: According to the very helpful woman at customer service in the Longmont, CO Safeway store, you should call 1-877-SAFEWAY and follow the prompts to ask about donations.
You may also want to stop in at any locally owned stores, talk with the manager, and see what other ways they may be able to help out. Perhaps they can donate drinks or hamburgers for an outdoor event.
Check in with local businesses such as Dairy Queen, Sonic, or ice cream shops, and see if they are willing to do special discount vouchers for Summer Reading Participants. Kids love free ice cream; see if the company will donate coupons as prizes.
Chamber of Commerce: - Talk to your local chamber of commerce, and get a listing of their members. Contact the different businesses and see if they are willing to donate prizes, coupons, or food etc. Create a Win-Win situation, trading inexpensive advertising for goods. Businesses that offer services instead of goods can donate vouchers for the services they provide.
Network – I myself am terrible at this, I don’t like crowds, and I find it difficult to talk if there are too many people around. However, it is a necessary evil if you want your local business leaders to know about and appreciate what you do for the community. It is also much less intimidating to call up someone you know and ask for door prize item than it is to call someone who’s never heard of you. So, find out when the meet and greets are and attend a few of them. If you don’t enjoy them, find someone in your organization that does, and send them to do the legwork.
Ultimately the key to successful community partnerships with local businesses lies in creating a win-win situation for everyone, and being able to explain to the potential donor how donating to the library will be a benefit to their business. Don’t be afraid to ask, and don’t take it personally if they aren’t able to give this year.
I would love to hear your stories about successful community partnerships that you have arranged. You can email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will share them here.
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