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An overwhelmed craft business owner reached out to me recently and told me that she needed help saying ‘no’ to fundraiser organizers who kept asking for donations for various events and charities. This is pretty common in the handmade world, as crafters and designers are often happy to donate items in exchange for the advertisement of their business.
But, what happens when you are constantly being asked about donation after donation? I mean, you can’t donate to every event and still run a profitable business. However, you don’t want to offend the organizer. And, donations are great for word of mouth advertising and tax deductions.
Two Ways to Say ‘No’ to Fundraisers in Your Craft Business
- Set a budget at the beginning of the year or quarter to go towards donations. When your budget is exhausted, that’s it. When a organizer contacts you about donating to their cause you can either agree to the donation or share that you’ve exhausted your donation fund for the year and invite them to
- Example conversation: Fundraiser: “Hello, we are organizing a silent auction to benefit XYZ charity. We are hoping you will donate ABC product to help us raise money.” You: “Hello and thank you for reaching out to me. At this time, we have exhausted our donation budget for this quarter. Feel free to reach out to us at a later time or different event. Best of luck!”
- Choose a charity to work with in your business. If you’d prefer to work directly with a charity, choose one (or a small handful) and don’t donate to other causes.
- Example conversation: Fundraiser: “Hi, we are collecting product donations for XYZ cause. We are contacting you to gauge your interest in donating a number of ABC product to be given out at our event.” You: “Thanks for contacting me. DEF Business works exclusively with a handpicked number of charities and would not be able to donate to your cause. We wish you the best of luck raising money.”
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Since 2015, Christine Schinagl has been helping crafters start and run craft businesses through her blog, Cutting for Business. As a Silhouette and Cricut crafter herself, she has a unique take on what works and what doesn’t work in the craft business world. She also teaches a course on creating digital SVG designs, available at How to Design SVGs.