When asking for a donation, a gift-in-kind, or services from a corporation, it is best to use a letter. Corporations generally prefer a letter, spelling out exactly what you need, rather than a more formal proposal such as you would provide to a foundation.
Some corporations do have application forms so do check to see if this is the case. A call to the corporate office that generally handles corporate giving will do to get this information, or a visit to the corporate website. Below is a fictional sample letter to a corporation requesting a gift-in-kind. I have used a format recommended by Beverly A. Browning, author of Grant Writing for Dummies, 3rd edition (Wiley Publishing, 2009).
August 26, 2010
The Gravitas Neighborhood Senior Center
90123 S. Lindenwood Lane
Monsoon, IA 14399-5678
Ms. Lauren M. Funder
Senior Vice President and Corporate Giving Officer
Cooper Restaurant Equipment Corporation
10903 Birdseye Terrace
Monsoon, IA 28281-7777
Dear Ms. Funder:
- Two hundred of the 425 people over the age of 65 who use our senior center are considered to be living below the state poverty level. Most of those receive their morning and noon meals through our meals program on site.
- In the past two years, the number of elderly living below the poverty level in Butler County, District 9, has risen 10% per year. Many of those have found their way to our Senior Center and to our daily meals program, where we serve nearly 300 breakfasts and lunches daily for a sliding fee based on income.
- The neighborhoods surrounding our senior center are primarily occupied by lower middle class families, the working poor, and older people living on modest fixed incomes in their own small homes, senior apartments, or with their adult children. The Senior Center is the only available safe environment for most, outside their homes, and they come nearly daily for companionship, recreation, and warm meals.
The Gravitas Senior Center is located in Monsoon, Iowa. The Center was founded in 1985 by the Butler County Council for Aging, which serves a large elderly population throughout the county's 75 square miles. The Gravitas Neighborhood Senior Center's mission is to provide a safe and nurturing environment to support the social, physical, and health needs of the neighborhood's elderly. Over 100 volunteers and four full-time staff assist in the Center's daily programs and activities throughout the year. The Center offers several outstanding programs such as: