Guest post by Kari Ann Kiel from DoJiggy
Fundraising events provide a great opportunity to bring in funds for your organization, while raising awareness for your cause. However, organizing an event also costs money to produce, as well as resources to manage all the details. Implementing online fundraising software can help you save time and money by more efficiently managing your fundraising event. Yet, there are still a number of hard-costs required to produce an event. To help offset these costs, you may want to consider soliciting event sponsors.
Local businesses often look for opportunities to give-back to their community. The wonderful thing about fundraising event sponsorships is that not only do companies receive tax benefits (as their sponsorship fee is considered a donation), but they also receive exposure through presence at the event. This allows them to reach out to new potential customers, and receive free publicity through media coverage. Sponsoring an event also gives employers an opportunity to engage employees and business partners in a social setting outside of the workplace, while encouraging teamwork and goodwill.
Below we’ve created seven tips for soliciting sponsorships for your fundraiser:
Utilize your network:
Talk to employees, partners, members on your board, etc. to find out what connections they have in the local community. Perhaps they can introduce you to people who handle corporate sponsorships for large businesses.
Do your research:
See what kind of businesses other events are recruiting for sponsorships, and research ideas for sponsorship opportunities (i.e. “ticket-back” sponsor, title sponsor, food and beverage sponsors, etc.)
Media can be great sponsor partners to help you spread the word about your fundraising event, saving you from spending dollars advertising your event. Local newspaper and radio stations often look for opportunities to engage with the community in a live setting, so presence at your event may be just what they are looking for in exchange for free advertisements!
Outline detailed benefits:
Make a list of the benefits companies will receive from sponsoring your event such as exposure to potential customers and media through: expected event attendance, promotional efforts, lead generation, event signage, advertising inclusion, viral marketing efforts, on-site sampling, VIP passes, etc.
Create customized pitches:
Rather than having one sponsorship template, create a custom package that addresses each unique prospect. Be strategic and create a package that compliments the prospects brand and business goals. For example, if you reach out to a fitness company to sponsor your walk-a-thon, provide them with an on-site area for people to test equipment, or offer discounted gym membership coupons in goodie bags.
Manage sponsorship relationships:
Once you secure sponsors, be sure to treat them well (they may want to come back in future years) Dedicate someone on your team to manage sponsor relations to ensure obligations are met. There are a number of logistics that must be managed including: obtaining sponsor logos, gaining approval on collateral prior to print, customizing offerings based on what is more important to sponsors, managing communications, etc.
Don’t forget to send thank you letters to all sponsors. In addition, provide detailed event recap reports that outline the success of the event including: event attendance, money raised, press coverage, sample ads, event photos, etc.
Visit DoJiggy’s fundraising resources page for additional tips, “how-to” guidelines and sample templates to assist you in planning and managing your fundraising events. View our free webinar “How to get sponsors to support your fundraiser” for more details about securing fundraising event sponsorships.
Photo credit: Wollombi