Five Tips for Getting Items Year Round


When a group doesn’t do a good job of managing procurement, volunteers feel out of control.  To ease the inevitable aggravation, start procuring quality items year round, using these tips.

1. After the charity auction, take time to write a wrap-up letter to donors with an additional thank you and auction results.  It will help plant the seed for next year’s ask.

2. Build your contact list by following your community’s business section for new businesses opening.  Flag those contacts in your database so you can customize a letter to them related to their first year in business.

3. Year round, have regular – if not as frequent – teleconferences with your committee to discuss procurement.  Discussion of past or upcoming school /nonprofit events can be a time to brainstorm on who will be there and what they said.  “Julie is going on vacation to Mexico,” you might learn, “We should ask them if they’ll ask the hotel for a donation.”

4. To keep it fresh, consider focusing on a different theme every month.  Travel now … food next.

5. Subscribe to at least one magazine or blog that targets your audience – or a developing section of your audience -so you can be more educated about their interests.  For example, if you intend to target an audience of 30-something men, make sure to read about electronics and technology.  You’ll key in on several items to add to your ask list that will be attractive to those guests.