No, but how you go about it is important. The problem I see when non-profits are using tactics that are traditionally known as for-profit selling techniques is that they don’t employ every step of the process. For example, before cold calling prospects for any type of sale you would do some basic research to qualify them and determine if your product can fulfill a need they have. It’s no different when looking for corporate donors. First determine whether or not you can fulfill the needs of an organization before you pick up the phone.
Create a profile of each company you are thinking of reaching out to that includes the following:
- The mission statement of the company and their community mission statement. Often times this is the fastest way to identify prospects by knowing if their mission aligns with your cause. For example, are they interested in education or animals?
- Make a list of current or past organizations that they have supported so that you can recognize trends and similarities among the nonprofits they choose.
- Determine where the money comes from. Does the company have a separate foundation from which all support flows, or can marketing dollars from different departments also be applied to nonprofit sponsorships? This information will get you to the decision makers faster.
- Does the company have a matching donation program for employees or an organized employee volunteer program? If so, what opportunities can you offer them that complement these programs?
When you’re armed with this type of information, it’s time to make a call and invite the prospect to learn more about your organization. Otherwise, your dialing for dollars efforts will likely turn up nil.