Today you’ve received a solicitation from a well-meaning service organization, Cleaning Caring Cities (MCC). CCC is inviting your company, Jones Wealth Management, to be a featured sponsor of its annual Fix-It Fair, which has volunteers from all over the city contributing one day’s labor to helping their less fortunate neighbors with yard work, home repairs, and other tasks. Your contribution of $1,000 will help pay for the volunteers’ t-shirts (on which your company’s name will appear), the supplies, and the picnic that will follow the day’s work. Any employees who volunteer will have the satisfaction of knowing they helped make someone’s home safer and more comfortable.

Although this $1,000 doesn’t sound like much for a successful business, you’ve given over $5,000 to such causes this year, and that’s all you can afford right now. And even if you could afford the $1,000 donation, you’re not sure that the publicity opportunity CCC offers would be the best use of your money. Those helped by CCC aren’t likely to become your customers since one reason they’re being helped is that they can’t afford to pay for services like yours.

Write the CCC chair a letter turning down the request for sponsorship while building goodwill and promoting a positive image of your company as a supporter of CCC’s efforts. In fact, if MCC could use more volunteers, you and another employee might be interested in helping with some yard work during the Fix-It Fair.

You can make up CCC’s chair’s name and address, as well as your title and the address for Jones Wealth Management. Making a letterhead is optional, but not at all necessary.

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