Will your business be involved with charities? If so, read this before you donate a gift basket to ensure that you’re giving for the right reasons.
Palms up and open
When you start a gift basket business, you can bet that requests for donations will arrive. It will happen most times online and in person at events where you display your beautiful collections.
Every request comes with a slogan.
- Help the church fundraiser
- Keep the charity open
- Send a kid to camp
You want to be helpful and giving to every group. However, you’ll find that accepting every donation request will deplete your inventory and put you out of business.
That won’t stop the appeals. You’ve closed your doors due to your own mismanagement, but the requests still arrive. Once you’re on a donation roster, there’s no deleting your business name.
What do you get in return for giving? Wait a minute. No one told you it’s okay to want something back? It’s okay. There’s a cure for that.
There’s nothing wrong with donating gift baskets. Such giving may be part of your gift basket marketing plan. From there it’s your call which charities receive what you create.
The groups I assist are the ones I believe in because of a situation associated with a family, friend, or me. You can model my format or choose one of your own. Most of all, it’s important to decide whether or not to give and the reasons why.
Read this before you donate a gift basket
I’m a recipient of blood donations provided during surgery. Because of that, I donate blood when possible and will also provide gift baskets for blood drives in my area.
You probably have a similar story from the past that connects you with supporting a certain event that helps health, education, sports, or another category. If a group contacts you for a donation, you emotionally connect with the need and give without reservation.
Other charities will learn of your generosity, so get ready. They will come calling wanting the same treatment.
How do you decide who will get and who to turn down? How do you turn them down without feeling guilty?
You must create boundaries in your gift basket business that allow you to make these decisions. If you don’t, you will be stressed from all the “give to us” requests. It tends to overwhelm you, especially during the holidays when you’re taking care of paying clients.
One designer who recently scheduled a coaching call with me asked for guidance on donations. Schools and summer programs have bombarded her with requests. She wanted to respond with care rather than with an abrupt and mean-spirited answer.
I not only provided her with a script for when calls and emails arrive but also created a paper document for her to qualify each organization. That’s the type of service my clients receive from me.
When you qualify a group, you separate the real charities from the ones that don’t have their paperwork in order. You are letting them know that you mean business and are not a hobbyist. The majority of donation requests cease when you tell a charity you need proof about the group.
Party with prospects
One more thing about charities. They often hold lavish parties bringing their benefactors together. Parties are where your gift baskets are displayed. Your beautiful designs are present, but perhaps you’re not at the event. How can this be? Here’s why you need to be at the charitable events where your gift baskets are featured.
- Those benefactors ought to be on your prospect list
- You can’t meet potential clients if you’re not at the party
- None of the party guests will call you to order – trust me on this
Attending such parties is one of the most-overlooked opportunities for gift basket designers, and that includes you. Have you attended such functions? I have, and it’s a blast in terms of fun and connections that lead to an avalanche of corporate sales.
You can’t get into the party without asking the right person, and it’s not who you think. The designer I mentored during our one hour call now knows what to do for the charitable events held in her area this summer and during holidays. Do you?
What’s your plan for turning charitable gift baskets into a sales bonanza?