Firstly, it is important to remember THREE THINGS:
1) Small businesses are people. Most small businesses will want to donate to a charity they feel personally connected to.
2) Small businesses are for life, not just for Christmas! So although they may use Christmas as a time to launch a charitable fundraising campaign, they should be viewed as life-long supporters.
3) Small businesses need some time to make a plan.
So as we said in our previous post - nurture relationships with small businesses as you would individual supporters and your charity can have a supporter for Christmas and beyond. But, and this is key, start NOW so small businesses have time to plan their fundraising campaigns.
FOUR TIPS for reaching small business owners
1) Build from your current supporter base
Reach out to your individual supporters and volunteers who own or run businesses and expand from there. There are 5.8 million SME’s in the UK so it is highly likely that amongst your individual supporters there are people who run a business. Someone who cycled through Patagonia for you may also own a PR firm or a florist.
2) Talk to small businesses who previously contacted you but couldn't meet your minimum donation threshold in the past
Now it’s easy for them to raise funds through their sales by setting up a pledge via your Work for Good page
3) Say thank you! Share stories about small business owners that already support you
Support the small businesses that already support you - celebrate their fundraising campaigns, their donations, and tell their stories to encourage more small businesses to fundraise for you. Let small businesses know you value their contributions and demonstrate how their help has made a difference.
Here are three examples of charities championing small businesses:
4) Connect via social
Reach out to regional, local or sector specific small business networks on social media.
There are local groups on Facebook and Instagram is full of online markets and support for small businesses. Don’t forget to check out LinkedIn groups too. Some charities are using ClubHouse to have chats - could you create a room in Clubhouse to connect with small businesses?
You can also try national organisations such as The Federation of Small Businesses, or Enterprise Nation who have lots of local groups and often look for speakers.
Once you have made an initial connection, start the conversation as you would with an individual supporter.
Use campaigns and tools you already have, to inspire small business owners, make them feel valued and connected to your cause.
Make some simple suggestions that will get the Christmas spirit flowing.
Here are a few examples of how businesses could support you:
- Restaurant/Pub: For every Christmas lunch/ dinner booking, donate 2%.
- A florist: Donate a % of the sale of each Christmas wreath.
- A beautician: During November fundraise by donating £2 from every manicure.
- A car mechanic: Donate £5 from every MOT completed during November.
- A Deli: Donate £3 from every Christmas hamper sold.
- A website designer: Donate 10% of November invoices to charity.
- A dog walker: Give back 2% of December dog walks.
Charity Christmas cards: You may have your own official charity christmas cards, but think of all those illustrators, Etsy sellers and online marketplaces who will be creating Christmas cards - they may also want to raise money for you.
These are so many ways small businesses can give back at Christmas, whilst doing something they are already doing!
SUPPORT FOR FUNDRAISERS
Work for Good is here to support charities and help fundraisers engage small business supporters. We offer one-to-one support for charities from a team of fundraising professionals and a resource toolkit to help charities engage and support their small business donors.