This page contains resources for FII Family partners to us in grassroots fundraising efforts.
Please comment on UpTogether if you have any questions or resources that should be added to this page.
Resources to Print and Leave Behind
Leave Behind Letter Print or email this official letter to people who are interested in giving, but want to know more.
Tips on Making the Ask Get yourself pumped up before doing outreach with a few tips.
✓ Know Your Audience
Think about who would be interested in contributing to FII so that others like you can experience the benefits you and your family have experienced through your partnership with FII-Detroit. Think about who might be interested in making a small donation to (a) bring FII’s partnership to additional families in #RealDetroit or (b) add to the UpTogether Fund pool of dollars so families can make progress toward their goals.
There is nothing so persuasive and touching as authenticity so when you approach others, talk about your own achievements and how they have moved along because of your involvement with FII – either through the support of your cohort members, the strength of your community relationships, the availability of UpTogether Funds, etc.
Compile a list of those closest to you – your inner circle who will care about your cause because they care about you. Then think about the next circle out – friends and colleagues of your inner circle – maybe your inner circle would be willing to reach out to their own inner circles and so on. The more they understand what the family partnership experience has meant to you and other families in your cohort, your neighborhood, and your community, the more likely they will donate. So be sure to personalize your pitch when possible.
Next, think about people who support similar organizations, the communities directly affected by what you do, and even local officials and personalities who might be interested in supporting your program. They are your low-hanging fruit just waiting to be picked.
✓ Frame Your Message
Talk authentically about the things you care about with enthusiasm and passion. For your inner circle (those closest to you), talk about things you know they will care about because they are important to you.
Here are some ideas to talk about:
- The impact or benefit that partnering with FII has brought to you, others you know, and your broader community. For example, what initiatives did UpTogether dollars fund in your cohort? How did your cohort support community change?
- Positivity that has come about as a result of your FII relationships. Some people say FII helped them to dream again. Others say their cohort helped them feel less alone. What’s true for you?
Help your potential donors see that their small investment goes directly into the hands of families, and that it all adds up to make a big difference.
If you are speaking with someone who you don’t have a personal relationship with, you can tell them that small direct investments have been proven to have a big impact. Then talk about what it has meant in your life, and the positive changes you’ve observed in your cohort and community.
✓ Choose Your Approach
Email – can be for inner circle or for folks you don’t know as well
Text – typically reserved for inner circle
In person – meet them where they are – wherever you and they will be most comfortable
Social Media – invite your community to publicly support by amplifying our message
✓ Set a Personal Goal
Pick a fundraising number that you think makes sense for you – something challenging but realistic. Ten donations of $5? Ten donations of $10? Ten donations of $25? A couple of larger donations from businesses that you frequent? $500 in total? You get the idea. Make a list and see what you think is possible. Then track your progress and celebrate your wins with your cohort, on social media, on UpTogether, and via text with the #realdetroit team.
✓ Be clear and direct in your ask
Make a direct and clear ask, whatever you have decided is appropriate for each prospective donor. If you have no idea, you can simply ask for a donation (no specific amount) and remind the person that you are asking that every donation matters, no matter the size. It can be very effective to share that you have your own personal goal of $XX and that any donation that gets you closer to your goal is so appreciated. This approach usually results in donations.
✓ Ask Examples
(Each can be used in either email or in-person conversations with friends, strangers, business owners, etc. You will likely want to tweak to represent your own style but though examples might get you thinking about an approach that could work for you.)
To a friend:
Jerry, I want to talk to you about an organization that’s made a real difference in my life – Family Independence Initiative. Maybe you’ve heard of them? They make small, direct investments in hardworking families like me here in Detroit that allow us to accelerate our progress in meeting our goals, on our own terms and our own timelines. My partnership with them has allowed me/my family to __________ and __________. Would you be willing to make a small donation (or $10 donation or whatever number you think is appropriate) to FII on behalf of all the families who represent #RealDetroit? We need more supporters like you to invest in us directly so we can continue to make progress toward our goals, and we’d greatly appreciate your help.
To a new contact:
Hi, I’m Ann Doyle and I was wondering if I could have a couple of minutes of your time. I partner with FII, a local nonprofit focused on alleviating poverty here in the city and we are kicking off what we are calling a #RealDetroit campaign to raise awareness of what’s going on right here in this neighborhood, FII’s approach is a novel one – they trust and invest in families like mine so we can have choice and control over our journeys – they understand that we don’t need to be told what to do – that we know best what we need to do for our families. They provide a structure conducive to community building and communications, and access to funds we can draw on to accelerate one or more of our goals. But they leave us alone – they offer us choice and control and step out of the way. Likely a conversation will continue. At its close or during your chat, you can ask if it would be ok to hang a flyer in the window so others can check it out. If all seems to be going well, you can ask if they (or the business) would like to make a contribution.
Other ways to make the ‘ask’:
- Would you consider making a small donation (or a $10 donation or whatever number you think is appropriate) to FII on behalf of our community’s #RealDetroit families, families working hard to achieve economic mobility? FII invests directly in the initiative of families living in Detroit communities so they can advance their progress in meeting goals and fulfilling dreams. For my family, that meant ____________________.
- Would you consider donating $10 (or whatever amount feels right for the particular person) to FII on behalf of the hardworking families of #RealDetroit?
- Have you seen the flyers we’ve been passing around the neighborhood over the last few days? I have one here – maybe I could take a minute of your time to fill you in on what it’s about.
- There are some wonderful things happening in downtown Detroit for sure but did you know there are some wonderful things happening right here in this neighborhood? Have you heard about FII/#RealDetroit?
Lots of options here – these are but a few. Use your imagination and an approach that works for you. This is not a one size fits all exercise – not all approaches will work for each of you and you will likely not use the same approach with all of your prospects. Try a few and see what feels right. If there is one thing I have learned, you definitely won’t get a donation if you don’t ask. So, go ahead and ask. The worst thing that can happen is the prospect says no.
✓ Keep Track of your success
Keep track of donor names, donation amounts, and contact details if you have them. We can use any or all of the following: full names, email addresses, mailing addresses, Company name and title (if business donations), and phone numbers. Most important is full name and email address. We want to know who our supporters are so we can thank them properly!
✓ Be prepared for ‘no’
Not everyone you ask will be able to or will choose to participate. That’s ok. Thank them anyway for their time and attention.
✓ Be sure and say thank you
Say thank you yourself and keep track of donor information – that way, we can thank them again and keep them abreast of #RealDetroit news.