Getting social prizes donated for your raffle can be one of the most time consuming parts of organizing your social. Social prize packages are often comprised partly of purchased items, as well as donations from local companies.
Getting companies to donate to your wedding or fundraising social can require a fair amount of legwork. You may be required to supply a letter, a voided social ticket to the company, send in a fax, or show up in person to request a donation.
Sometimes donations will be organized by head offices, sometimes only by individual outlets. Companies may be willing to provide physical items, gift cards, discounts or coupons. Accept what you can get gracefully - no one is required to donate to your cause.
There are regulations on social raffles. Read up on them on the Liquor and Gaming Association of Manitoba's website.
Who Donates? (That we know of)
Who to Ask
Talk to companies and people you know
When you collect names of places to request donations from, start with places you know. Try your hair dresser, your gym or spa as well as the dealership where you bought your car.
Depending on where you work, you may be able to get a good donation from your employer, even if it's only a company branded t-shirt or hat. If you regularly patronize any coffee shops or restaurants, drop of a letter at each in person. Try any establishment that would recognize your face.
If you're running the social on the couple's behalf, get them to drop off letters for any companies that would know either of them. Talk with the members of the wedding party about this as well.
Smaller or newer businesses may be eager for advertising. Try to contact local establishments, rather than franchises or chains because they will have more local pride. Family run establishments such as restuarants, cafes, video rental places, or boutique retail stores can be helpful.
This is not to say that larger companies will not donate, but many larger companies receive more donation requests than they can reasonably supply.
Go off the beaten path and find businesses to contact that are somehow unusual, whether because of niche products or services or out of the way location. As you go about the city, try to notice places which would not normally receive donation requests. Contact dog groomers, landscapers, niche retailers, butchers, or tanning salons.
Consultants and Home-based Sales
Home party organizers, such as ParyLite, Passion Parties, Tupperware, Epicure, or Pampered Chef are great for donating to socials. Expect that many will want to host a party at your house before they donate to you. If you do host a party, hold on to any free product you receive to put into your social prizes as well.
Also contact any Avon, Mary Kay, Amway or similar multi-level marketing salespeople you know. Many will be looking for new customers and may be willing to donate a prize or basket.
Try the list
At the top of the page, on the right hand side, you'll see a list of companies that have been known to donate social prizes. This isn't a guarantee that they will donate to your social - just a list of suggestions. Each listed company has a thumbs up and thumbs down symbol representing whether people have had success requesting donations.
If you find information that is out of date or if the company no longer donates, please contact us so we can update the list.
Of course, please let us know if you have anything we can add to the list. Inclusion on the donations list is free of charge.
When to Start
If you can, start scouting donations about six months in advance. If you don't have that time frame, it can be done in less, but you may need to adjust your expectations and be prepared to buy prizes if the donations do not come in.
Writing the letters
Not everyone can think of a good opening line for their donation letter. If you're stuck or need some inspiration, we have a sample wedding social donation letter that you can take a look at.