We need EVERYONE’S help to solicit donations for our Auction. Whether it is from a retailer, restaurant, service establishment (hair, nails, etc.) or service provider (piano teacher, swim instructor, dance studio, sports coach, summer camp, etc.), we are looking for quality donations (not just quantity). Think of things that you would want to bid on, that you think would sell and make money for our school. The sooner we get started, the better – many schools in the area are hitting up the same businesses for donations, so the earlier we get out there the more likely we’ll be to receive donations. Here are some tips to get vendors to say YES!
Talking Points for Solicitation:
“Franklin is an amazing school because of supporters like you.”
Tell potential donors how your children attend this great public school which has faced severe budget cuts. The Auction is our largest fundraiser and allows the PTA to fund vital resources such as art and music programs, technology in the classroom and teachers’ aids. It is because of our supporters that Franklin is a California Distinguished School. Bring your well-behaved, cute kid to drive the message home!
“What’s in it for my Business?”
In these tough economic times, vendors want to know how contributing to our Auction can help them. Tell them how this is a form of advertising that will help them build brand awareness. Their business name, logo and a link to their website will be included on our Online Auction site, which is available for viewing nationwide (February 11– 21, 2013). Data points:
- Franklin is made up of over 750 students and 600 families. This tight knit community (and their neighbors and friends) will be shopping our Auction.
- Franklin families live in North Santa Monica and love to shop! This is a great demographic for businesses to attract and develop a loyal consumer base.
Best Practices for Solicitation:
- Just Ask! It’s a lot easier than you might think. Simply ask when you’re having a service done, doing your holiday shopping, or enjoying a meal. Say something like “My child goes to Franklin Elementary School in Santa Monica and we are launching our annual Auction. Would you be interested in donating a gift certificate, service, or product to our Auction? All proceeds go directly to our School and it will help your business in return.”
- For retailers and restaurants you may need to solicit in person. Always ask for the owner, manager or assistant manager (a salesperson or server will not be able to give you an answer).
- Leave a copy of the donation form (already filled in with your name, email address and phone number) and ask them when would be the best time to follow-up with the owner/manager.
- Follow-up by phone and email until you receive an answer. You do not need to follow-up in person unless necessary. Persistence is the key.
- This goes without saying, but just remember to be nice, courteous and gracious. We are asking people/businesses to do a huge favor for us. We want to not only have them donate this year, but for years to come.
￼The more quality items we solicit and contribute to the Auction, the more funds we raise for Franklin School and our students!
If you have any questions feel free to contact Julie Gillespie and Tom Zelenovic.