In every Nonprofit Jenni Show podcast episode, I answer an anonymous question submitted by someone who works for a nonprofit or serves on a nonprofit organization’s board of directors. These questions may cover controversial topics, or may just come from someone who doesn’t want to be publicly associated with asking the question. Please subscribe to my podcast to make sure you catch all the advice I give from my anonymous Q&A segment!
In my recent episode on negative stereotypes that surround certain cause areas, I answered the question, “Can I ask my organization’s vendors to sponsor upcoming fundraiser?”
The short answer? YES!
You should definitely be asking your organization’s vendors and stakeholders to support your mission through monetary and/or in-kind sponsorships. As an organization, you are supporting their business by choosing to use their company as your vendor for your printing, vehicle maintenance, custodial work, or some other service. In return, it would be great for them to support your mission as well.
Remember, they don’t have to support you…but you also don’t have to support them! Unless you live in a very isolated community, you probably have several other vendors you could choose to use if you needed to find a competitor who would be more willing to give back to those in need. On the other hand, if they did choose to financially support your organization, they would feel more confident in your long-term commitment to your relationship with them.
I would even encourage your board members and long-term volunteers to ask their vendors for support! Additionally, have everyone brainstorm about the “vendors” they use in their personal lives, such as doctors, daycare centers, and restaurants.
Here are some ideas to get you started.
Who provides your organization (and your board members’ companies) with:
Printing and mailing services
Secure shredding services
Banking services, including loans and credit card processing
Office supplies, including big-ticket items like computers and furniture
Company vehicles, vehicle maintenance, and wrapping
Company “swag,” such as uniforms, promotional products, and branded office supplies
Plumbing and HVAC repair
IT support and company software
Accounting and financial services
Event products, such as a rented stage, port-a-potties, and sound equipment
Where do you, your employees, your board members, and your volunteers go for:
Daycare or private school
“Doggy daycare” and other pet services, such as grooming and veterinary services
Car maintenance, including car washes
Banking services, including loans
Eating out, like restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and other places that you regularly visit
Primary care doctor, eye doctor, and dentist visits
Home renovation, including supply stores or companies you’ve used to do renovations for you
Spa days, massages, manicures and pedicures, hair styling
Physical therapy (and heck, mental therapy!)
Working out, like your gym or specialized fitness studio
Clothes, makeup, accessories, athletic wear, clothing alterations
Movies, games, books
School supplies, toys, tutoring services
Be sure to subscribe to the Nonprofit Jenni Show on your favorite podcast platform for more anonymous Q&A's!