so I get a letter from one of the elementary schools parent support group asking for a 100.00
donation for field trips, in return we get our little logo on the back of a t shirt. No return on investment as we know.
We do a school night with the other schools in the area what I would like to do is send a return letter back with how we can help by doing.
So my question is do I do a good faith donation or just send a letter telling them the sucess we have had,
also just a note, it looks as if it was a form letter on an envelope with a label printed so I am sure they just looked up my name and also the return address is way in another town.
thoughts or comments?

“Because we get an overwhelming number of requests for donations, we’ve had to stop giving monetary and food donations. We are happy to do fundraiser events that do not require us to make a judgment on the importance of one organization over another.”

If people don’t take me up on the fundraiser, it tells me they aren’t committed to the organization enough to do anything more than put some stamps on envelopes, so there’s no reason for me to be either.

I’d up the ante by giving them the $100.00 plus I would offer to provide them with free pizza after the field trip. Assuming there might be 30 students, plus maybe three adults, five large pizzas with a party cut should cover the entire group. My feeling is: The kids will never appreciate the monetary donation, but they will like, and appreciate the pizza, and they represent tomorrows customers. Feed them pizza, and they will come back! Plus, it might look good in the local news paper.
Tom Lehmann/The Dough Doctor

Or to take Tom’s thoughts out one more step…offer to do the feed (once you know the numbers) in lieu of the monetary donation. Which do you think the teachers, students AND parents will remember longer? In my current business we’ve pulled back a lot from the door knockers and those that simply cast the wide net hoping to haul in fundage with little effort. But if I had the opportunity, I’d be thinking about the “in kind” sponsorhip pretty hard.

Couldn’t have said it better myself. Besides the kids being tomorrow’s customers the parents you will see become todays customers. We did a donation for an eighth grade winter class trip one time and gave the class (24 students plus two teachers and two parents) soup and hot chocolate. My wife ended up talking to the one parent and we ended up doing a fund raiser for their graduation. 80 - 90 Subs once a week for 30 days.

Generally we do not respond to mass mailers looking for donations/money, rather we respond to existing relationships as we cannot possible support every solicitation.

I think the above suggestions are good. Maybe I would just call and tell them I cannot do the $100 but I would be more than happy to have them over for dinner – my treat. From my experience, they really do not remember where the donations come from and the turnover of people handling the events change over all the time. Next year they will just mass mail again for donations. They will, however, remember who fed them.

Yep, I’d agree with that one. When I opened my second shop I supported most requests (mainly schools) but replied with every one enclosing some menu’s and asking that they consider us for staff meetings etc. One school order for their staff every Thursday one school nothing at all. Next year same requests came back - which one do I support? No a difficult one. However, just because the school doesn’t support me doesn’t me the administrator in the school office doesn’t (she may well be a regular personal customer and maybe it was due to the support I gave in the first year. And maybe the winner of the prize I donated became another super regular customer.

So I suppose where I’m at is… I support all of my regular customers requests and also support a few non-supporters. You never know what may happen.

we get hit up for the dreaded program books all the time that are a total waste of $…I have found that that best way to deal with these is to only be larssponsor anything by paying for it for gift card(s)…of course there are the regulars that you have to take care of, but anybody LOCAL this is how we handle them and it usually gets us a new customer to boot…highly recommend