Soliciting donated food and raffle items for nonprofit fundraisers is time consuming and frustrating. Nonprofits send out hundreds of applications, only to receive a handful of responses.
Having had to solicit donations ourselves, we built TheShareWay to help nonprofits discover the most responsive companies that donate in their cities. We have matched over 300 nonprofit events to businesses that donate food, beverages, and raffle items.
We analyzed the nearly 2000 applications that came through TheShareWay and found some interesting statistics.
Nearly 60% of applicants submit donation requests less than a month before the event date. We found that applying 2 months in advance increases approval rate by 43%. Get those apps in early!
About half the companies we cataloged specified how far in advance applications need to be submitted. Out of those that specified an advance notice time, 39% of companies require one month notice. 23% require two months notice.
I signed myself up to secure breakfast, lunch, and snack donations for 400 attendees at Teach for America’s Bay Area Education Summit. In six weeks, I secured 17 sponsors, totaling $2500 worth of food. I tracked all of my interactions and found 45% of the sponsors I secured said yes after the first or second follow-ups!
I also lost a donation from a Chipotle that I secured 6 weeks in advance because I didn’t follow-up to remind them.
Events with more than 50 attendees have a 20% higher chance of getting donations. From the companies’ perspectives, donating products take time, from reviewing applications to coordinating shipping and pick-up. For their time to be worth it, they want their products to reach as many people as possible. For nonprofits, this might be a good minimum threshold too because it is likely not worth spending over 10 hours sending out applications to get 25 cupcakes. It would have been much easier to buy that at Costco for $20.
We hope these tips help you secure more donations! Our mission at TheShareWay is to connect companies that donate with nonprofits: those who have something to give, and those who can use that something for the incredible.