With the rise of the tech industry, Silicon Valley has become home to one of the wealthiest sectors in the US. That also makes it a prime target for charitable organizations in need of funding, but charitable organizations are finding Silicon Valley to be a tough nut to crack. Getting charitable donations from Silicon Valley donors is not impossible, but it does require a different approach from other types of donors. Here are four tips on seeking philanthropic contributions in Silicon Valley.
- Focus on numbers, not emotion
Charitable organizations are somewhat infamous for playing on the heartstrings of donors. One of the most notorious examples of this was this 2006 SPCA commercial featuring Sarah McLachlan that had viewers scurrying for remotes the second they heard the first terrifying bars of the song. This isn’t to say that the denizens of Silicon Valley don’t have a heart; it is to say that they are more swayed by facts, figures and numbers than emotional pleas.
- Use data, data and more data
Where advanced analytics was once the purview of only the giants of industry, they are now available to even the most humble non-profits. Size does not matter to Silicon Valley nearly as much as potential does. In a world where most businesses were just a humble startup in the last decade, being a small non-profit doesn’t discount you from big donations from Silicon Valley if you can prove you have the infrastructure in place to put them to good use.
- Be a disruptor
Silicon Valley is a prime target for smaller non-profits that have to compete with established giants for donor dollars. There is little Silicon Valley loves more than a disruptor, or a small upstart that can prove it has a new solution to an age-old problem. While this may be somewhat unfair to larger organizations that are fighting an issue for which there legitimately is no real “solution,” it is one of the very best ways to wrangle donor dollars from the tech world.
- Speak the language
Anyone who speaks more than one language knows that languages do more than just use different words for the same items. Languages actually impact world view, and the way certain things are phrased in each language provides deep insight into how that culture views various things. To speak the language of Silicon Valley is to also understand the mindset. By understanding the mindset, you will be far better positioned to connect with donors in a way that makes them eager to give.