Talking to Companies

Holding a garage sale charity event can be a lot of work and not result in too much money.  Though it's easier to get people to buy items at higher prices if the profits are going to a good cause, it's still tough to earn enough cash for it to be worth all the labor.  So why not ask a local business to sponsor your garage sale charity event?  It's a good opportunity for all involved to get something out of the experience, and if you can work up the courage to make the request, you might find yourself pleasantly surprised.

Meeting the board of directors of a company.

Company sponsorship for garage sale charity events is useful for many reasons.  For one thing, it means you can put out more decorations and enticing items (prizes, food, etc.) to bring in potential donors.  For another thing, it means that even if the sale itself is a big flop, you'll still have something to show for your efforts.  People are also more trusting of a charity event that has a company name attached, because they assume it's legitimate instead of just someone who will pocket all the money.

The best kinds of companies to contact are those that have stake in your local area -- particularly in their public image.  Sure, large corporate conglomerations have a lot more money than small businesses, but at the same time, they have no reason to be specifically generous with your particular living area.  Obviously, tiny local businesses will not have the funds to back you, but localized chains, medium-sized companies, and wealthy individuals may be able to give you what you need.

Before you give your spiel to a company, jot down four or five important things.  First, explain who you are and what your purpose is, so there is no deceit about your reason for approaching them.  Second, tell them about the charity you're supporting -- what they do, who they serve, and why you chose them.  Third, tell them how you plan to raise money; explain about your garage sale and how the profits will go to the charity.  Fourth, decide if you're going to ask for a specific amount or just "a generous donation," and add that to your spiel.  Fifth, and optionally, offer them something in return for their support.

But what can you offer a company that they can actually use?  Advertisement is the most important and popular.  Explain that their company name and logo will be all over your signs, or that you'll put it on a certain percentage of the price tags.  Or ask if they want to be the sponsor for a refreshment stand -- Greg's Electronics Brownie Stand may be enough advertisement for them to give you the money you need.

Have you ever approached a local business and asked them to support a charity with you?  Tell your story to use -- we'd love to hear it!  Shoot us an email at blogger@garagesalecow.com, and we'll publish the best ones in an upcoming article.




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