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Action Update: Raising Resources & In-Kind Donations
Power properly understood is nothing but the ability to achieve purpose. It is the strength required to bring about social, political and economic change. - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Regardless of where you are in planning your MLK Day of Service project(s), learning how to secure more monetary or in-kind resources will help expand the power and impact of your project(s) as you plan for a service day that spurs change in your community.
- What are your resource development goals?
Americans gave more than $298.42 billion in 2011 to their favorite causes despite economic conditions. Don't be too conservative when setting your fundraising and in-kind donation goals for MLK Day 2013. Setting appropriate goals will maximize the impact of your project while minimizing the financial strain on your organization.
- Who will make the ask?
Build a fundraising team early to help you meet your resource goals. Consider asking your Board of Directors, partner organizations, seniors with memories of Dr. King, business owners, political figures, and faith groups to join.
- Where to look for resources and in-kind donations
When looking for donors, don't forget both traditional and non-traditional sources. Traditional places to look might include: community foundations, local businesses, and donor listings. Go beyond your usual donors with a tailored fundraising event, online fundraising, or an online group fundraising challenge.
- How to make the ask?
Whether executing "the ask" by letter, email, social media, or in-person (or some combination of these things), soliciting in-kind donations and monetary resources is hard work. Regardless of how you ask, create a dialogue, not a monologue. Listen to your prospective donor first, create a rapport, and "the ask" may come naturally. Read more tips about making the ask and preparing a case for support .
- When are the appropriate times to ask?
Lead and follow-up times for asking depend largely on who you ask. When asking individuals, know that more than half of an organization's gifts accumulate between September and December, while large corporations are more likely to give toward the beginning of year (until the money runs out.) Use http://www.grantstation.com/ to determine foundations' giving calendars. Regardless of when you ask, always follow-up!