This might not come as a shock to you, but businesses can be a tremendous source of support for local nonprofits. Of course, you knew that already. But Ronn Torossian wonders if you’ve taken full advantage of those opportunities … or are you leaving resources untouched and money on the table?
While nonprofits depend on grants and donations, the percentage of GDP allocated to donations has rarely topped 2 percent. Seriously, 2 percent. That’s an incredibly small piece of the pie to be divided out among all the legitimate charitable organizations. Particularly when so much of the donated funding goes toward global or national issues. What’s a small, local nonprofit to do?
Well, truth is, you already have a good idea about how the businesses can help, but do you know how to connect with local business leaders in meaningful ways? Here are four ways to connect in ways that could lead to long-term relationships.
Find out what they love
People want to be connected to things that matter to them. So look for people who are already interested in the causes that you champion. In addition, put out feelers and general invitations to specific causes and events. Certain people will be attracted to specific things. Find your support by finding people who share your passion.
Do What you DO Well
Don’t look like a loser and act like a failure. Carry yourself with both passion and professionalism. Business owners and successful entrepreneurs like to be associated with success. Even if you are small and just getting started, you need to do what you do well. You need someone on your team that’s more than a dreamer. You need dreamers and truth tellers in your inner circle. Not naysayers, just realists. They will help you succeed in ways that make a difference to business owners.
Build Relationships within the Community
Don’t hide in your office. Get involved. Be noticed and be approachable. And don’t waste these opportunities. Instead of always selling, invest in others and what they are doing. It’s tough when you are so excited or engaged in something to keep it out of your mouth, but you must. Otherwise folks will stop taking your calls and your invitations will all get lost in the mail.
Make Specific Requests
While some people just give because they give, business owners are all about specifics. Their success comes from doing a lot of specific things well, and they will appreciate it if you are on the same wavelength. Plus, making a specific request forces you to keep it specific, short, and digestible. Business owners don’t have time for you to waste, and they appreciate it when they don’t have to tell you that.