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How to talk to possible donors

A few tips on how you can improve your chances of getting a donation for your organisation.

Once you have found some potential business contacts, make time to visit them in person. 

Present your organisation professionally

Create an information pack that includes:

  • a history of your organisation 
  • profiles of the artist(s) and performers
  • attendance numbers and demographics
  • reviews or media
  • other success factors
  • and what the business can expect from you.

For information about how to build good relationships with businesses, see the Touring Manual: a guide to touring and producing in New Zealand performing arts (pdf 60KB)  (refer to pages 45–52). 

Use simple language

Make sure your message is clear and easy to understand.

Tailor the information

Tailor the information to the person or people reading it, eg your message to a business will be different from your message to an individual.

Find out about your potential donor

Business donations are often based on an interest or passion of one of the directors or executives. Take time to research other organisations that have received donations from that business. Show the business what your organisation is doing in the same field.

Pick the right time

Most businesses will make decisions about making donations around the same time as their budgets are worked out (in September/October or June/July, depending on when their financial year starts).

Make it easy to donate

Let your business contacts know your organisation is an Inland Revenue Department - approved donee organisation.

Tax regulations for donations are different in other countries, so international companies may be unaware of the benefits when making donations to a New Zealand organisation.

Have all of your organisation account details and receipt books ready. Explain to potential donors how they can make a contribution.

For information about what to include on your receipts, see page 29 of IR255 - Charitable Organisations on the IRD website

Following these tips, you should be able to find the right donors for your organisation. The next step is to maintain a strong relationship with them.

Next: Keeping your donors happy

Development and resources : How to talk to possible donors