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How Small Businesses Can Manage Solicitations

 

Here are the 3 posts that I placed on Instagram, all on managing solicitations. Once my small, independent bookstore adopted this Donations Requests Log, it helped us tremendously in fielding the numerous requests we were receiving. Hope this information helps you and your small business, too.

Instagram Post #1 (9-25-17)
As a small business owner, are you overwhelmed by donation requests? Frequently asked by schools, churches, hospitals, civic groups, non-profits, etc., for free items for their upcoming auctions/fundraisers?

I have a tried and true system that’ll help you manage all these solicitations. Here’s the first step: Establish a donation policy. Ask yourself, “What organizations best align with my business? Whom/what am I particularly interested in helping?

Instagram Post #2 (10-2-17)
Create a “Donation Request Log.” You’ll use it for everyone who asks for a donation from your small business.

At the top of each page, summarize your donation policy. Just a few sentences are all that’s necessary. Use your answers from Step 1. Create 3 columns/rows: Organization, Item/Dollar Amount Requested and Date. Keep one clean “Master Copy.”

Whenever someone requests a donation from your business, bring out your donation request log. Ask the individual to fill out the necessary information. Since the log looks like a guest registry, they’ll be able to see all of the other organizations that have made a request of your business. They’ll also see your donation policy clearly articulated at the top of the page. This is incredibly helpful for many reasons. Let me know if you need me to elaborate on why.

Make copies of your master as needed.

Instagram Post #3 (10-16-17)
Throughout the year, review your Donation Request Log. Is your business doing its fair share in giving back to the community? Do you need to ease up on the amount you are giving? Let your accountant know of your donations. As the years go by, how many times have you given to the same organization? Are you willing to give some help to a new organization? Is it in line with your donation policy?

 

DONATION REQUEST LOG TEMPLATE (Customize to fit your needs.)