Donation Request Forms: What They Are and How to Make One

Do you host events at your bingo hall that advertises prizes from local businesses? These prizes might include a year’s membership to a gym, a package of products and coupons from a local salon, or maybe even a new car from a dealership. Offering quality prizes that are easily recognized is a great way to entice players to come in and participate; however, these can become costly, and may cut into budgeted money that would be better allocated toward charities. The best way to offer great prizes while keeping costs low is, of course, to implore businesses to donate to the cause!

In order to make it possible for business to donate prizes, it’s necessary to have a system in place; to both make it as easy as possible for businesses to donate, and to make them feel confident in donating to your cause. This system might include a donation request form. A donation request form is exactly what you’d expect it to be: a form requesting donations! This can be a paper or digital form (or both), and should include a few key things, like an informational letter.

Your informational letter should answer a number of important questions:

  1. Who you are, and why should businesses donate to your cause? Explain your establishment, what you offer to your customers, and which charities benefit from your establishment.
  2. What exactly are you requesting? Let potential donors know what kind of donations would be most appreciated. Sponsored cash prizes? Gift packages of products and services? You know best what your player base would like to see at bingo events.
  3. What are donors offered in return? Are you willing to place their name and branding on advertisements for events, or on products like bingo paper? Make sure any potential donor knows how many players are reached on a given night of bingo, and that donating to a non-profit is tax-deductible.
  4. How do they sign up? Make sure your informational letter explains how and where to donate, whether it’s online or in person. Include any important contact information, and of course, your form!

Treat your donation form as if it’s official documentation for a business transaction, because that’s what it is. Your form should include this information:

  1. Your contact information. Make sure your establishment’s information is included in the form. Donors may also ask for your Tax ID if they’d like to itemize this donation on their taxes, so be prepared to provide that, as well.
  2. Donor information. You’ll both want a copy of this form for your records, so make sure both parties are well-identified on the form. Have donor include their contact information, a thorough description of their donation and monetary value of that donation.
  3. Instructions on how to make their donation. This can include how they should address a check, where they should drop it off, any limitations on the value of the prize, and maybe even an area for additional notes the donor may want to utilize. You know your hall best, so if there are other things you wish to include, make sure you do so.

Now that you have your donation request form complete, you need to get it into the right hands! Make sure potential donors are able to easily find this on your website; that physical copies are easy to find in a designated spot in your hall; that you are posting about a call for donations on your social media channels; and maybe consider asking any current donors to mention you in their social media, as well. Good luck!

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