How to Ask a Billionaire or Millionaire for Money
How to Write an Impressive Letter Asking a Rich Person for Money
Many billionaires, millionaires and philanthropists give away money to deserving causes and individuals each day. They have their own causes and charities that are close to their hearts, but sometimes they will also choose to help others who have genuine need, a great business idea or the kind of enthusiasm that got them started on the path to riches.
They do not, and never will, entertain a begging letter or e-mail. They got their money through hard work and will expect anyone requesting money to show that they are willing to make that extra effort to benefit communities or other individuals—and not just line their own pockets.
Where to Find Billionaires and Millionaires
The most obvious place is the Forbes list of the world’s richest people. Another place to look is The Economist. Don’t forget to seek out the contact details of millionaire celebrities as some of them also like to help out good causes and individuals with donations.
How to Collect Contact Information
Once you have identified as many people as possible, write down their full names, the company they work for and their contact details. It is unlikely you will find a direct contact address for any rich person; instead, it will be through their public relations or customer service representatives. (If for any reason you already have a direct contact address for a billionaire or millionaire, it is rather unlikely you need the advice in this article.)
You will have to address any correspondence for the attention of (FAO or ATTN) the person's name and then care of (c/o) the address of the company (or, in some cases, the individual).
FAO Jane Doe
c/o Jane Doe's Company
How Much to Ask For
How much do you need to do what you want to do or achieve your goal? Remember to be honest at all times. To pretend to need money for something—like an operation or a car to get your disabled mother around town—is deceit and fraud and may be dealt with as such if it got to the stage where an individual agreed to give you money. You could even end up in jail.
Requesting Small Sums From Many Donors
You could also send requests to many different people, asking each one to donate or give you a small sum, such as $100 or £100. If you choose this route, then mention it in your correspondence with details about the total figure you are trying to raise. You may be lucky: If one person sees the benefit of your idea, they may offer to fund you the whole amount you need.
How to Word Your Request
Think carefully about what you would like to say and what someone reading your request would think of you. You need to get across the importance of your request in a few short paragraphs. You also need to keep the reader's interest, so when you have completed your final draft, have some of your friends or family read it and provide constructive feedback. If they say it is rubbish, don’t go in a huff; take it on the chin and start again.
Tips for Writing the Letter
- I am repeating my earlier warning: Do not lie in your request.
- Be honest and straight to the point. Do not go on and on in the initial contact request. Mention that, if someone is interested, they can contact you for further details.
- If possible, make the request light-hearted or funny.
- Add some photographs or attach documents, especially if they emphasis your request.
- Always be professional, open, sincere, honest and polite.
- Thank them for their time spent reading your letter or e-mail, and say something along these lines: "Even if you cannot help me this time, I appreciate and understand that you must get many such requests."
- Make your request in the first person and word it like a story, mentioning your accomplishments and successes or failures and losses. Depending on what you need money for, you can even make it profound and touching.
- Avoid statements such as “Please send me some money” and “I need money really urgently” and “You are my last hope for money."
- In concise terms, you want to explain your situation, state why you need money, explain what you will do with any monies received and describe how that person can contact you.
- Finally, e-mails can be intercepted, so think carefully about the information you do provide in any correspondence.
Since the person reading your request is unlikely to be the person with the money, your aim is to connect with that person so that they will feel the need to show your letter to someone else higher up the chain of command—or even the billionaire or millionaire themselves.
Craft Your Request Carefully to Make a Good Impression
Definitely avoid sending outright begging letters. No one will read past any statement such as, "I need money for my children’s medicine”, “a nice new car”, “a wedding/funeral” or “the holiday of a lifetime."
All companies and individuals known to be wealthy get hundreds of requests for money each week, so you have to stand out. Your request has to be read by someone who sees the potential and thinks that it will strike a chord with the person who has the money. Or, they should at least think it's interesting enough to pass it to that person’s personal assistant.
Ultimately, the billionaire or millionaire who has the money must be impressed and interested enough to say to their staff, "This is great; get me more details." So, make it great, and don’t be too disappointed by the lack of positive replies or even acknowledgements. It only takes one person to see the potential.
Please don't use the Comments section to ask for money. It's absolutely pointless and rather annoying.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.