Avoid Fundraising Rejection with “Keep the Change Programs”

Change happens

Change happens (Photo credit: adam*b)

Fundraising can be quite a daunting task considering that – in most cases – there is a 5:1 rejection ratio.  Well, I am here to let you know you don’t have to do it alone, and you don’t have to hear rejection!

Doing a local “Keep the Change Program” with neighborhood commerce can help any fundraiser tap into otherwise untapped resources just waiting for you.  “Keep the Change Program” is a fundraising strategy that involves vendors who will solicit donation on the behalf of nonprofits from their customers.  As customers pay for goods and services, the vendor will ask, “Can we keep the change and donate it to a nonprofit”. A variety of nationally known nonprofits have participated with nationally known stores to facilitate in this kind of fundraising.  This link demonstrates the effectiveness of Ronald McDonald House’s participation in a “Keep the Change Program”. http://www.nooga.com/156065/local-ronald-mcdonald-house-raises-more-than-17000-with-spare-change-fundraiser/ .  In the state of Maryland, Giant Supermarkets raised thousands of dollars for The Johns Hopkins Children Network and CVS Drug Stores also did substantial fundraising for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  The employees of Giant and CVS did the promotion, pitch and ask. That’s substantial human capital!

You don’t have to be a multimillion dollar nonprofit to incorporate this kind of fundraising. I’m not, but here is how I would do it:

  1. Make a list of all of your neighborhood business.
  2. Enroll chosen businesses into your nonprofit:  You want those businesses emotionally connected and involved. You   would also explain how they can benefit as well (higher patronage, new customers etc.).
  3. After your chosen businesses are hooked, you would broker a deal. You just don’t want to keep the change you also want the money that folds. Encourage businesses to ask for more than “the change”.
  4. Once you and the businesses are in agreement with the fundraising, you would be akin to your selected businesses by growing and building you new relationship.  Showing appreciation encourages high morale and makes the entire staff in the fundraising process feel needed and important.  Let’s face it: they are needed and important.
  5. Watch your nonprofit benefit from community businesses assistance.

So that’s what I would do.  This is just one set of steps to use for your “Keep the Change Program”  What will you do or do you have similar success stories?  I am very interested in hearing your “Keep the Change” experience.  Below is the commenting section, please your share thoughts and ideas with us.

Demetria Barrett

Finance & Operations Manager

Campaign Consultation, Inc.

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Demetria Barrett

Finance & Operations Manager at Campaign Consultation, Inc.
I have an affinity with nonprofits and small businesses. My commitment to making a change, growing small businesses and volunteering my skills are recognized throughout Baltimore City. As Finance and Operations Manager, I am responsible for managing all functions pertaining to finance, human resources, and operations necessary to maintain an effective, efficient, and sound corporate environment. Read more.

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