Fundraising events are a great opportunity to bring awareness to your organization and your cause. However organizing an event requires resources and costs to produce. Over the past few weeks of planning our charity event, I would have to say (and I think the class would agree) that there were so many more components in project management and event planning than we initially planned for. These components may be a small fraction of your event but detrimental to the entire project if neglected or not executed properly. For example, getting donations for prizes and sponsors may not be necessary for your event, however it is a great way to spread awareness and gain exposure for your event. Luckily our particular event did not require a significant amount of upfront cost to produce, however if we neglected to focus our efforts on soliciting sponsors and donations, the financial risk would impact all team members.
The Fundraising Authority, an online resource that helps non-profits fund work that matters. They published an article with helpful tips for securing donations and sponsors for your fundraising event. I thought these tips were very useful and hopefully can benefit others in their fundraising efforts.
- Utilize your network: Before going on a search for sponsors, talk to people you know whether it be coworkers, friends, and family members. You may be surprised to find out what connections others may have with businesses or local community members. Plus, the conversation may be easier to have with people you know.
- Do your research: Find out if there are businesses looking to sponsor an event. After all, there is a tax benefit for businesses since their sponsorship is considered a donation. Research what businesses nearby have sponsored other events in the past.
- Media sponsorships: Media sponsors are great partners to help spread the word for your event. Local newspaper and radio stations are always looking for stories to share about the community and it’s free advertisement.
- Outline detailed benefits: What will businesses get in return for sponsoring your event? Remember to provide them a list of benefits from sponsoring event. This can be free advertisement on your promotional materials, allowing the business to provide sampling of products, or on-site event promotion.
- Create customized pitches: One size does not always fit all. In order to persuade a potential sponsor, create a customized pitch that is personalized for that prospects brand or business goals.
- Manage sponsorship relationships: This should go without saying, be sure to treat your sponsors well. In the end, they are helping you and your charity. Keep those networks there in case for future events. Doing so may require designating a team member to manage the relationship to ensure obligations are met.
- Event re-cap: Lastly, send thank you notes! Provide a recap of the event, outlining the success that their sponsorship helped bring. Tying back to tip #6, providing a recap and showing gratitude will help maintain relationships for the future.
More details on ways to secure sponsors can be found at http://www.thefundraisingauthority.com/fundraising-events/securing-sponsors-for-your-event/