Now that you have reviewed what a CEO’s day looks like and considered what motivates business leaders to engage in philanthropy, you need to find out more about the business leaders in your community and plan a successful approach.
The following steps will guide you through the necessary research you can conduct to prepare your best approach for soliciting businesses to support your program:
1. Identify business leaders to approach in your area.
- Begin with the CEOs, business leadership, and others with whom you already have an established relationship through board members, vendors, sponsors, volunteers, etc.
- Identify prospective small businesses and mid-sized corporations to approach.
- Include any large national or international corporations that do business in your area.
2. Research each company and identify the following points:
- Corporate mission
- Brand identity in the community
- Target customers
- Community “good will” reading
- Business objectives
- Employee base
3. Focus your research by gathering information about the business leadership and staff.
- Who has the company given to in the past?
- What boards, community initiatives, and other activities do the CEO, business owner, or gifts manager participates in?
- Who makes decisions about fund or in-kind giving?
YOUR TURN: Cultivate a Connection
Think of a contact or local business leader who is a prospective supporter. Complete the Cultivating a Connection worksheet to begin your business research.