Thursday, October 9, 2008

Christmas In October - and May, and February

My favorite job at the restaurant is sending out donations each month for charities that are holding fund raisers. Yesterday I mailed out (probably) the last batch for events in 2008, lately we've only been getting requests for 2009 shindigs.

Having spent time soliciting as well as solicited (without sounding illicit?), I would like to share a few tips for success for new solicitors who are following the time honored tradition of asking for donations.

1) Personalize the request, take the time to research the owner or manager's names. Requests addressed to former managers, or worse just "Manager" often end up in the trash.

2) Support the business you're asking. Nothing imprints a "Yes" on a manager's mind firmer than someone who has just made a purchase at their establishment.

3) Time your request, at least 3 month ahead of event - but not more than 6 months ahead. The holiday season is not a good time to follow up on your request, businesses are focused on their busy season.

4) Specify what you would like, but don't expect it. Be ready to pair up underwriting funds to help offset a portion of the expense of the package you are requesting.

Above all, don't be afraid to ask. In my many years of asking, I've only been chased out of one neighborhood establishment - and that restaurant is no longer in business. Many businesses have allowances for "trade out" public relations, it is a very cost effective tool for getting their name out in their community.

At Sevy's we feel fortunate to be able to help our community, here's the list of our 2008 donors: American Cancer Society, American Heart Assoc., Dallas Zoo, CAP Center, March of Dimes, Crystal Charity Ball, North Texas Food Bank, Dallas SW Osteopathic, Parish Episcopal School, St. Mark School of Dallas, United Negro College Fund, St. Rita Catholic School, Callier School, Greenhill School, Children's Cancer Fund, Good Shepherd Episcopal School, Lamplighter Academy, Temple Emanu-El PreSchool, Ursuline Academy, Cambridge School of Dallas, Prince of Peace - Plano, DeGolyer Dads Club, Arthritis Foundation, Jesuit College Prep School, Junior Charity League, Del Frisco/Cystic Fibrosis Golf Classic, Ronald McDonald House/Young Friends, Moss Haven Elementary, Temple Shalom Sisterhood, Retina Foundation of the SW, Preston Royal Preschool, Spring Creek Elementary, North Dallas Early Childhood PTA, UP United Methodist Church, DIFFA Dallas, The Weekday School, Bradfield Elementary, Dallas Country Dental Society, Dallas Symphony Derby, Hillcrest High School, Franklin Middle School, Buckner International/Frost Shoot Out, DFW Breast Cancer 3-day, Galaxy Counseling Center, Hillcrest Athletic Association, Highland Belles, Scottish Rite Hospital/Tartan Golf Classic, St. Jude/Derek Harper Celeb Golf Classic, Prevent Blindness Texas, KidneyTexas, AIWF/Caesar Salad Competition, Sewell Classic/Buckner Children & Family Services, Genesis Women's Shelter, Ronald McDonald House/Southwest LUV Classic, Stephens College Alumni, Library at Cedar Creek Lake, Shearith Israel Sisterhood, DOT Annual Fund Raiser, Love 4 Children, Northwood Women's Club, Race for the Cure, Friends of the Dallas Police, Special Olympics, Hispanic College Fund, Highland Park Cheerleaders/Scotsmen, Heroes for Children/Hold 'Em, Joey's Dream Builders, Dallas Children's Advocacy Center, Creative Arts Center, Women's Museum, Texas Youth Camp, and whew - Team Yogi/Cancer Sucks.

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