Lindsey Pollak is author of Getting from College to Career and has mentored Tammy Tibbetts, President/Founder of She’s the First, since her sophomore year of college — years before She’s the First was even a thought.
Today, Lindsey serves on the She’s the First Board of Directors. Lindsey travels the country speaking on college campuses, and through her blog, lindseypollak.com/blog, has become a virtual mentor to our generation, the Millennials. It gets better: Last year, when She’s the First signed on to be a Social Change ambassador in Levi’s Shape What’s to Come community, which fosters mentoring among women online, we later discovered that Levi’s had invited her to be the national spokeswoman — without even realizing she was connected to She’s the First! Lindsey is the go-to for advice on gracefully navigating your way through a network that not only will help you further your own career, but will also help you make your fundraisers for sponsorships successful.
If you read Getting from College to Career, you’ll see for yourself how Lindsey provides tips that stretch beyond common sense. Some pieces of advice that apply as much to your pursuit of donations as they do to jobs and internships:
1. Keep your emails short and to the point (But personalized them! No one likes to receive a template email.) Make your subject line strong and specific.
2. Give the person/company options on how they can help, i.e. 1) In-kind product donation, 2) Financial support, 3) Publicity. Show them how the partnership is mutually beneficial.
3. Follow-up with thank you notes, always! E-mail for sure, snail mail for an extra special touch, and a Tweet can be icing on the cake (when applicable). If someone makes an introduction for you (i.e. to a caterer who can donate food to your event), let them know the outcome.
4. If someone turns you down, still send them a note to say thanks for the consideration — always be gracious, and they might change their mind next time.
5. MOST IMPORTANT TIP! When negotiating, know when to stop talking. Get your points across, but then let the potential donor fill the silence with what they can do to help you reach your goals.