STEPS TO CONDUCTING COLD CALLS:
APPROACHING BUSINESSES

cold calls

1. Before you begin to canvas your community of restaurants, roller rinks, or the mall to request donations, be sure to get permission from your school principal. Every school has different policies and procedures for requesting donations. Make sure that you are following the appropriate procedures for your school.

2. When going to the mall to request donations, such as perfume samples from make up counters, popcorn from Topsy's™, or shampoo samples from salons, make a flyer on your school's letterhead stationery that clearly states who your are representing, what the donations are for, and how the donations will help students. Many stores need this documentation for tax purposes. Other stores will use this information to judge the legitimacy of your request.

3. Show the principal the flyer that you have written and a list of places (e.g., stores, restaurants, etc.) from which you are seeking donations. The principal may want to make some edits on the flyer. Complete any edits made by the principal before using the flyer to seek donations.

4. Think about items that you would like to have donated for before you walk into a store. For example, if you are going to Dillard's, perfume or makeup samples may be obtained at each cosmetic counter. In other situations, you may want to ask the organization what they would be willing to donate. For example, Topsy's™ may decide to donate cookies or popcorn!

5. Find out if stores, restaurants, or bowling allies are owned independently or franchised since this will make a difference in determining whether they will give donations to schools. Many locally owned businesses want to make sure contributions are going to people in their home communities. Businesses that are based out of another city aren't as likely to donate to members of your community. For example, locally owned bowling alley may agree to sponsor a "free" bowl from 11:00-Noon during the school day for the fifth grade class whose behavior has improved the most. Or, the owners may provide "free "bowling coupons for students to use at their leisure.

6. Before you approach departments in major retail stores, find out if the department is contracted or if it is part of the store itself. For example, many cosmetic departments are contracted within a larger store. Although they answer to the general store manager, they have their own managers who can make decisions about giving donations. Approach the appropriate manager by telling who your are, what school you are representing, what you are seeking, and how it will benefit students. Give them a brief explanation about the school-wide positive behavior support project and a copy of the flyer for their records.

7. Write a thank you letter within at least two weeks of receiving the reinforcers from the stores, restaurants, or recreation businesses. This will encourage them to send more reinforcers in the future.

8. Ask the principal if you can put the name of the store and their contribution in the school newsletter. All stores or businesses like publicity, no matter how small the publication. Be sure to send a copy of the newsletter in any follow-up correspondence. Stores and businesses that see newsletters with pictures of students receiving reinforcers will be more likely to respond to you in the future.

9. Some local newspapers have free space for businesses that donate to community organizations or schools. Ask your principal if you can call the newspaper to have the store or business name listed in most current issue. Send a copy of the announcement to the store manager.

10. Summer sales, and before or after sidewalk sales are good times to make calls to businesses. Stores and businesses get many requests from many different civic groups, so you want to catch them while they still have items to donate. Many times, stores are willing to donate merchandise that is left over after a sidewalk sale.

11. Keep a list of all the businesses that made donations, what they donated, and the date you received the donations. Keep a list of the dates you mailed thank you letters. This is helpful for tracking correspondence and donations, especially if you have a number of other people helping you. You don't want to have volunteers to same place multiple times.

12. Some of the following businesses are good to approach for donations. They are:

Pizza Hut™ often will provide a class pizza party either free or at a discount, either at school or at their restaurant.

HyVee's Bakery Department will often provide cookies or donuts to a class that has reached their goal or who has had the most improvement.

Jelly Belly Stores™ often will donate jelly bean package samples for the whole school or grade level.

Merle Norman may give away one or two packages of lipstick samples in a neutral color for middle school or high school students.

Arcades at the mall may donate tokens to play foosball, air hockey pinball, or other game machines.

Salon Cuts™ often will donate sample shampoos, combs, balloons, hair glitter, and hair barrettes as reinforcers.

Applebee's Restaurant may donate a gift certificate for two (up to a certain amount) for students to use at their leisure.

Blockbuster™ may donate gift certificates for free video rentals.

Gold's Gym™ often will donate a free pass for one workout session.

Hallmark stores may provide free stickers, pencils, or balloons to students.

A locally owned roller rink often will provide a free skating party to a group of students in order to celebrate their acheivements.

 

EXAMPLE FLYER

Century Junior High School

A Place to Grow and Learn

USD 001 Everywhere Public Schools
5678 Century Road, Everywhere, KS 20003-5678

YOU CAN HELP US REACH OUR GOAL!!
Students at Century Middle School are participating in a project called POSITIVE BEHAVIOR SUPPORT. We are building a positive climate in our school by emphasizing the three R's which include being;

We would appreciate any donations that you are willing to give us. Your donations will provide incentives for us as we build our school climate and become responsible citizens in our school and community.
THANK YOU!!!!

TEMPLATE FLYER*
(*This template is on the accompanying CD in the folder, Cold Calls.)

(Your School's Letterhead Stationery)

YOU CAN HELP US REACH OUR GOAL!!
Students at (Name of Your School) are participating in a project called POSITIVE BEHAVIOR SUPPORT. We are building a positive climate in our school by emphasizing the three R's which include being;

We would appreciate any donations that you are willing to give us. Your donations will provide incentives for us as we build our school climate and become responsible citizens in our school and community.

THANK YOU!!!!

EXAMPLE THANK YOU LETTER

Century Junior High School

A Place to Grow and Learn

USD 001 Everywhere Public Schools
5678 Century Road, Everywhere, KS 20003-5678

January 26, 2003

Stacie Storman, General Manager
Superstores Inc.
1111 Mall Avenue, Suite 111
Everywhere, KS 2003

Dear Ms. Storman:

Thank you so much for your generous donation of stickers, balloons, and gel pens to Century Middle School students. Your donation serves as reinforcers for Century's school-wide implementation of positive behavior support. Your generosity is greatly appreciated by students and teachers alike.

It was a pleasure meeting with one of your salespersons the other day when I was in Superstores securing donations for a program to improve overall school climate at Century Middle School. Your store representative was very courteous and helpful.

We would like to thank you so much again for your thoughtfulness. We wish the best of luck to you and the Superstore employees in the upcoming year.

Sincerely yours,

Vern Vollen

Vern Vollen, Parent Volunteer
Century Middle School
5678 Century Road
Everywhere, KS 2003-5678

TEMPLATE THANK YOU LETTER*
(*This template is on the accompanying CD in the folder, Cold Calls.)

(Your School's Letterhead Stationery)

(Date)

(Name and Title of Person Donating)
(Name and Address of Business)

Dear (Name of Person Donating):

Thank you so much for your generous donation of (List of Items Donated) to (Name of Your School) students. Your donation serves as reinforcers for the (Name of Your School) school-wide implementation of positive behavior support. Your generosity is greatly appreciated by students and teachers alike.

It was a pleasure meeting with one of your salespersons the other day when I was in (Name of Business) securing donations for a program to improve overall school climate and recognize students for their accomplishments at (Name of Your School). Your store representative was very courteous and helpful.

We would like to thank you so much again for your thoughtfulness. We wish the best of luck to you and the (Name of Business) employees in the upcoming year.

Sincerely yours,

(Your Name and Title)
(Name and Address of Your School)