Businesses will pledge to campaigns if they are made to feel like there is a genuine connection to the project, and are sold on its benefits.
As you’re adding value to the neighbourhood, local businesses will be keen to put their name to the cause. However, approaching them at the right time is essential to making sure that your efforts aren’t in vain! Businesses will only wish to back projects that already have a significant amount of backers, so make sure not to approach them prematurely. When the time is right, pop in and ask for a chat with the store manager ‘to hear their thoughts on a local community project you’re running’. Try and genuinely get their views on the area, and see what they think about your project – they may have good advice for you!
If they’re not in, arrange a time to come back, or if that’s not possible ask for an email address/phone number.
When your crowdfunding campaign is showing community support (aim for at least 30 backers), you can go back to the business and build on the first conversation that you had. They'll likely remember you and will respect the fact that you've made progress!
Make sure to take a carefully put together info pack that includes basic information about the project, and a clear ask.
Another good tip is to bring in a laptop or tablet and show them your Spacehive page, and the backers tab where they will hopefully appear if they pledge to you. It’s an effective way to show them that you mean business and that your campaign is getting local support.
Example of easy-to-understand one-pager
Don’t just do a blanket sweep of the area where you spend all day visiting every business on the high street. You are far better off identifying a smaller number based on them having a potential fit with your project.