Are you planning to hold a silent auction or raffle drawing at your event? Here’s an e-mail template you can adapt and use to ask for donations from local businesses.
In my experience, businesses either think doing charity raffles is a good idea (and they do them all) or they don’t bother with them at all. Either way, most business owners don’t pay much attention to the details.
So I left this as broad as possible, with no mention of bellydance other than at the link, so it might appeal to day spas, nail salons, travel agencies, boutiques, farmer’s markets, yoga studios, pet groomers — anyone who wants to attract women to their business.
You’re welcome to adapt this as you wish, it’s just a suggestion to make your life easier. Let me know what else I can do for you!
Subject: Would [business] be willing to support our fundraiser?
Hello! My name is [your name]. I’m organizing a local event to benefit the starving people of Yemen, and I’m writing to ask if [business name] would be interested in donating an item or gift certificate for our [silent auction/raffle/etc].
The Hafla for Humanity program and the IRC
The event is part of a global fundraising initiative called Hafla for Humanity (www.haflaforhumanity.com), and all the money we raise will be donated to the International Rescue Committee’s work to support the starving people of war-torn Yemen. These people are suffering beyond belief from a combination of war, famine, and cholera, and the IRC is one of the few organizations that is still able to get help to them.
Our local event
Our local Hafla for Humanity will be held at [location] on [date] and we hope to attract a large attendance of women from our local community. Your donated item or gift certificate will be prominently displayed, along with your logo, and we’ll also announce your generous donation throughout the evening. Of course, I’d also be happy to set out your business cards, rack cards, brochures, or other literature.
Can we count on your support?
I’ll need to collect all the items for the [raffle/silent auction] by [date]. For now, just let me know you’re willing to help and I’ll work with you to find the easiest way to collect your donation.
Thanks for your time!
I’d wait about a week and then send this one to the same people if you don’t hear anything, and paste your original message under it.
Subject: Follow-up on my request for a donation
I don’t want to bother you, but I haven’t gotten a response to the e-mail I sent on [date] asking for a donation for our upcoming event. If it’s not convenient for you to donate at this time, I understand of course. But just in case my first e-mail got lost, or you meant to donate and then got busy with other things, I wanted to reach out one more time. The original e-mail text is below for your convenience