How to Get Companies to Donate Prizes or Refreshments to a Library Event

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No matter what type of library program you plan for your patrons, it's always nice to offer door prizes or refreshments. With tight budgets, it can be difficult to secure these items for your library program. But it's possible to receive donations from local businesses.

  • Write a letter to local businesses regarding your upcoming library event and your need for donated money, materials or prizes. Use the library letterhead so businesses realize it is an official request from the public library. Be sure to receive your manager's permission before approaching any business for help.

  • Provide details about your upcoming event. Make sure you include in your letter the type of event planned, the specific items needed, and why the business should consider donating the items to the library. For example, mention that the library needs Summer Reading program prizes for the kids and the annual budget does not cover the amount needed to purchase them. If you need coffee for a Poetry Night, highlight the fact that the Poetry Night is an event for teenagers to get them more involved with teen library programs.

  • Offer to pass out the business's flyers or business cards after the library event has ended. This will provide free publicity for the business, something that the owner of the company will appreciate.

  • Thank the business by printing a thank-you in the library newsletter or calendar. You can also write a press release calling attention to the company's donation to the library event. Submit the press release to local newspapers.

  • Send a personalized thank-you card to the company after your library event ends. This will show the company how much the library appreciates the donation of money or items for the event. The business will be more likely to donate again in the near future.

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