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I'd like to ask a company to donate soccer balls, but I'm not sure how to approach it

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For those that have experience with doing this, or are eloquent at speech, could you tell me how I should word it?




My children's Awana program collected about $200 and my dd was asked to purchase school supplies, frisbees, kites, etc for kids in Mexico. A group from the church are leaving on Friday and will bring the items to the children. The big ticket item is soccer balls, though. We don't really have enough money to purchase them, but they're always such a big hit (they deflate them and send them with a pump). How would I ask a sporting supply store for a donation? It feels QUITE awkward!



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1. Put it in writing. That way it can go through the right channels. Make it clear that you are not benefiting from the charity and also if you can think of a way to make it a win win situation for the company. That is good. Like maybe offering to advertise their generosity to all Awana and church members. Approaching it with the idea that we have $200 to spend and this is our list, what kind of deal can you give us?


2. I don't know how big of a city you live in, but our non-profit has found that you have better success with small privately owned shops. Big corporations are less likely to give. They hide behind the corporate policy and list donations given as a corporation. Another idea is to approach multiple places for fewer balls, than just one for a big donation.


Since your time frame is short, I would recommend that you make initial contact with as many places as you can first thing tomorrow.


Good Luck,


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A few more ideas:

Go in person. Ask to talk to the manager or owner.


Take a letter with you. If there's not an owner or manager available, leave the letter. Then follow up the next day.


Do ask sporting goods stores. But I wouldn't limit myself to sporting goods stores. Go to other businesses too, and ask for cash donations, even small ones. You can pool those for more money to purchase soccer balls. You can also ask the sporting goods stores if they can give you a good deal on any balls you are able to purchase.


Call some of the big box stores (think Wal-Mart, Target). They may not be able to donate, but it's a 5-10 minute phone call and if you get the right person on the phone you might get lucky.


Send thank yous to those who donate. Include a tax id number if you've got one so that they can write off the donation on their taxes. Your group may need soccer balls again next year. :-)



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Put the letter on official church letterhead,and include any IRS identification numbers that show your nonprofit status.


That's what I was thinking.


Let them know that you do have $200 to spend and you would like to get x,y,and z and see what they can do. What a great thing to do for the kids!

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Call the local soccer clubs. I think every club in our area collects new and used soccer supplies for trips to Mexico and South America at some time throughout the year. Used cleats, jerseys, shin guards, goals, and balls are worth their weight in gold. Many times a sporting goods store will donate items to be included, for example bags, pumps, and additional balls.

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I once worked for a city-run dental clinic who saw low income kids. Many of these kids were not well cared for and had dirty hair, stinky bodies and overall bad hygiene. I wanted to make "care packs" for patients that had soap, shampoo, toothbrush and paste, and some good hygiene coloring pages. I wrote to our local Walmart and they sent me a gift card to use for these items. I was able to make up 20 care packs and distribute to new patients who seemed to need the encouragement to practice good hygiene.


So, moral of the story; try writing to your local Walmart. I mailed my letter to the store directly, not the corporate offices in Arkansas.

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At our local Walmart, they have a certain amount of money they can give to charitable causes each month, and also a grant that they can give (quarterly, I think). You have to go in and fill out a request form and they usually give you a gift card for you to go and get your items from the store and pay with the card. It usually takes a few days for them to make a decision and go through their process.

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