Real Detroit Partners

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Fundraising 101

✓ Know Your Audience

Think about who would be interested in contributing to FII so that others like you can experience the benefits you’ve experienced. Think about who might be interested in making a small donation to increase funds available to families so they can make progress toward their goals. There is nothing so persuasive and touching as authenticity so talk about your own achievements and how they have moved along because of your involvement with FII – either through your cohort or community relationships, UpTogether Funds, etc.

  1. 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.
  2. Look for 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:

  1. 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?
  2. 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?
  3. 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.

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.

✓ 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 they will be most comfortable
  • Social Media

✓ Be clear and direct in your ask

Make a direct and clear ask, whatever you have decided is appropriate for that prospective donor.

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 to FII on behalf of all the families who represent what we believe is the #RealDetroit? FII needs more supporters like you to invest in our families, and we’d greatly appreciate your help.

Other ways to make the ‘ask’:

Would you consider making a small donation 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.

Would you consider donating $10 to FII on behalf of…

Lots of options here – these are but a few.

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?  A couple of larger donations from businesses that you frequent? Make a list and see what you think is possible.

✓ Keep Track of your success

Keep track of donor names, donation amount, 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.

✓ 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!

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