Are you wondering how to ask millionaires for free money? If you've seen the multitude of YouTube videos by individuals asking for free money or heard the story of Craig Rowin, who not only asked for but received a million dollars, you might think it's an easy way to get some cash to help pay bills or bail you out of an unfortunate life circumstance.
However, if you don't know who to ask or how to make the request in the right way, your chances of success are slim. Here's what you need to know and do to increase your odds of getting your request for free money granted.
Ways to Ask for Monetary Help
Digital Options: Using the Internet is one way to broadcast your message to the largest possible pool of potential donors. Whether you opt for uploading a video, posting on blogs or cyber begging sites, or mining your social network, remember this: The larger the scope of exposure for your message, the greater your odds for success.
While the Internet puts you in front of the most people at the lowest possible cost, it may not be your best method for contacting those wealthy individuals who give away money to needy people. It may come across as too impersonal or a digital take on traditional pan handling.
Snail Mail: If you write letters to rich people to ask them for money, you can personalize each letter to the individual. You can include photographs and documents to substantiate your need. For instance, if you lost all your possessions in a house fire, you could take photos of the damaged residence. If your local newspaper wrote an article about your loss, you could put that in your letter as well. Using a traditional method like the mail may give you more options and alternatives than using the Internet does.
How to Ask for Free Money
Whether you opt for a digital or conventional mail message, there are certain elements your message must contain to get the results you want. Be sure to include:
1. Introduction: Explain who you are and what happened. For example, "I was in a car accident that totaled my car and kept me out of work for eight months. Because I couldn't make my rent payments, I lost my apartment and need to move to more affordable housing."
2. Evidence: To continue with our example above of an accident, in this section you can reference or provide copies of the police report, insurance claims, medical bills, eviction notices and so forth. Be truthful and provide as much information as you can to back up your claims.
Be willing to provide documentation of hardship (if you are making an individual request) or project information if you are soliciting money for a group or organization. Offer a tax exempt number if you have one and a receipt for tax deduction purposes (for group requests for donations).
3. Amount needed: Rather than a generic "I need money to pay my rent or mortgage" request, be specific. "I need $1525 to make deposits and move into a new place."
4. Use of funds: List the ways the money will be used:
$150 deposit for electricity
$25 deposit for water and sewage
$250 security deposit for apartment
$1000 for the first and last month rent in advance
5. Call to action: In sales, this is called the close or asking for the order. "I must be out of my old apartment and into the new one by the end of this month. I need to receive the funds by the 15th of the month to make all the arrangements. Is there any reason why you can't help me in my time of need?"
Use this format as a guide to write your letters asking for free money. Be sure to proofread your letters carefully. Reading them out loud is an excellent way to spot grammatical errors or awkward sentence structure, or you can ask someone to read and proof the letters for you. The key is to be sincere and truthful while keeping your dignity. Almost everyone has been in a tough situation at some point in their lives, and there is no shame in asking for help when you need it most.
How to Find Millionaires
Now that you have your letters ready to mail, you need to find some rich people to send them to. Use names from the Forbes website, newspapers, or television of professional athletes, celebrities or business people. However, don't be surprised if your request is denied as high-profile people like Warren Buffet, Donald Trump or Oprah get more requests for money and donations than they could possible honor. Most of these wealthy people donate money to groups and organizations or their own non-profit foundations rather than private individuals.
Does that mean you should not try to reach these people? Not at all, but it does mean that in addition to contacting high profile donors, you need to do your due diligence in looking for other rich people with a track record of helping out the needy. You might be surprised to find out how many millionaires are living very quietly with no public fanfare in your geographic area or even your hometown.
Other Alternatives to Try
In addition to looking for rich people who give money away for free to help with bills, be aware that there are many local, state and federal assistance programs for those in need of financial or other assistance. Contact your local human or social services organizations, churches or religious groups for information about the kind of help that may be available. You might also want to find out about holiday assistance for low income families.
On the flip side, avoid being scammed by websites offering to sell lists of millionaires who give away money or ask you to pay to make a request for assistance. There are people and organizations who regularly help people in financial straits, so if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Check out credentials and make sure you are dealing with trustworthy groups and individuals.
Be persistent and keep sending out your letters and making your requests. It may take some time, but if you don't give up, you have a better chance of getting the help you need.
Resources: Barth, Chris "Want a Million Dollars? Just Ask for It," Forbes
Image: Jeinny under royalty free license via SXC