1. Ask for the manager
2. Introduce yourself
3. Read the prepared script (or make and practice your own less “scripted” sounding script so the potential donor knows you are sincere and are thinking about them specifically rather than just hitting every business in town): Thank you for all that you do to support our community. We hope you agree that quality science education for our children is also worthy of your support. That’s why we are asking you to sponsor our Teen Science Café on [date or dates]. A donation from ________ would be used to provide food for the [approximate attendance] teens participating in this program. [If the donation would be tax-deductible or their sponsorship would be recognized, mention that here.] [If you are offering to recognize the donor in some way, mention that here too. For example, “We would like to show our gratitude by including your logo on our advertising materials and by making a public thank you at our cafe events.”]
4. Offer to follow up with more information via email or phone
5. Actually follow up via email and/or phone!
Subject line: Teen Science Café donation/sponsorship
Thank you for all you do to support our community. We hope you agree that quality science education for our children is also worthy of your support. That’s why we are asking you to join us as a sponsor of [name of your Teen Science Café].
Our Teen Science Café takes place ____ times a year at [location] and serves approximately ____ teens. The Café provides an engaging, intellectually stimulating opportunity for teens from throughout the local community to interact with STEM professionals.
As a Teen Science Café sponsor, we would like for you to contribute to our monthly events in the form of food donations. Such donations will be used to feed our students and STEM professional for the night, which will be about ___ people. Anything that you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
[If applicable, mention tax deductible status for donation, opportunities for recognition, and any previous experience working with the business.]
Please let me know if I can answer any questions for you.
Organization Summary: One or two sentences about the organization that coordinates the Teen Science Café. If you have tax-exempt status, mention that again here!
Event Summary: A few sentences describing your Teen Science Café. Be sure to include information such as when you began, any affiliations you have, and how many teens you reach.
***Be sure to follow up on emails via phone or email!***
Food Donations from National Chains
Click on the links to access the chain’s donation info page.
Albertson’s – If a nonprofit wants to ask Albertson’s for a donation, they must make the donation request at least 8 weeks before the event or fundraising need. Nonprofits must provide details about their organization as well as the fundraising event.
Burger King – While each Burger King franchise owner is in charge of handling their restaurant’s specific donation requests, the company as a whole has a “Benefit Night” program where 20% of all sales from a particular night will go toward a nonprofit or school.
Chick-fil-A – Chick-fil-A donates surplus food to local shelters and soup kitchen through their “Chick-fil-A Shared Table” program. They also help victims and first responders during and after natural disasters. Individual restaurants also host fundraising and benefit nights.
Coca Cola – All donation requests for Coca Cola must be submitted online. Nonprofits can apply year-round, and there is no dollar limitation for these community grants. Nonprofits can also request product donations from Coca Cola.
Darden Restaurants – Since the mid 1990s, Darden Restaurant Group (which includes restaurants such as Olive Garden, Bahama Breeze, and LongHorn) has donated more than $82 million in grants to nonprofit organizations.
Dunkin’ Donuts – Dunkin’ Donuts’ “The Joy In Childhood Foundation” helps sick and hungry children across the country. They have donated over $11 million to hundreds of national and local charities all across the United States.
The Fresh Market – The Fresh Market has a quarterly budget for in-kind or product donations. Each store also provides regular donations to food banks in their area. They also have strategic partnerships with several national nonprofits.
General Mills – General Mills focuses their philanthropy on three areas: increasing community food security, the sustainability of agriculture, and protecting natural resources. General Mills also runs the Box Tops for Education program.
Kroger – Organizations can make donation requests to Kroger or any of their partner grocery stores. Nonprofits must be involved in one of the following focus areas: hunger relief, women’s health, education, the environment, or diversity.
McDonald’s – Through the Ronald McDonald House Charities, McDonald’s supports families and children all over the country. Their Courtesy Corporation supports local communities by donating to events that correspond with McDonald’s core values.
Pepsi – In the past 10 years, Pepsi has donated nearly a billion dollars in cash grants and product donations. They primarily make grants to nonprofits that focus on encouraging healthy lifestyles, improving the availability of affordable nutrition, and the environment.
Publix – If your nonprofit is interested in a grant or sponsorship from Publix, you must mail or fax your request at least a month before you need the funds. Publix only supports organizations that focus on young people, education, and homelessness.
Starbucks – As of last year, the Starbucks Foundation changed their grant system to an invitation-only style. Starbucks now selects their grant recipients based on how much impact they think the grant will have in that nonprofit’s area.
Subway – Subway’s corporate social responsibility efforts span from environmental leadership and sustainable sourcing to nutritional leadership and sponsorships and donations. They will accept online donation requests from schools and nonprofits.
Walmart – Walmart offers community grants that range from $250 to $2,500. Nonprofits must submit online applications by the end of the calendar year. Organizations can submit up to 25 grant requests each year.
Whole Foods – Nonprofits are encouraged to make donation requests to the Whole Foods Market closest to their organization. Whole Foods asks that organizations submit applications within 8 weeks of the fundraising need.