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How to Solicit Sponsors for a Fundraiser

How to Solicit Sponsors for a Fundraiser

Follow these steps to land big sponsors for your next fundraising event.

Ruthie Prasil

Channel: Ruthie PrasilPublished on Mar 17, 2016

What costs of your event do you need covered? With your team, make a list of costs: food, drink, entertainment, site rental, tables, chairs, etc. Don't forget to include costs associated with marketing your event (printing costs, graphic design, etc).

You will want sponsors for entertainment (maybe that is $500), sponsors for food (maybe that is $2,000), sponsors for advertising (maybe that's $5,000) and so on and so forth. Dividing needs up makes the next few steps a lot easier.

Assign 1-3 people to each category. They will be in charge of procuring money for that particular need. How many people assigned to each category will depend on how many sponsors you want for each (for example, you might want 5 different sponsors to be entertainment sponsors at $100 each).

Who in your community has the ability to help fund your event? Who has ties to your organization who also has the means to sponsor? Think of business owners or people associated with different businesses. Sponsors can come in the form of in-kind donations as well. The drink sponsor might possibly be your local soft-drink franchise and instead of money, they will donate all the product. Divide this list up according to the needs and where they might fit.

A sponsor deck is written information showing the prospective sponsor exactly what they'll be getting in return for their sponsorship. ALWAYS be able to offer them something, whether that is free tickets to the event, advertising space in an auction booklet, exposure on all marketing items, etc. Have all details written out, with better and bigger perks the larger the sponsorship commitment.

Your first contact should be by phone, asking if there is a time you can meet with them IN PERSON regarding your organization.

After they've agreed to meet with you, decide on a time and place to meet. Put together for them a packet of information about your organization: what you do for your community, who you help/affect, how you're funded, etc. Talk to them about your event, exactly what it is, exactly what you'd like them to sponsor, and ask them to please consider being a sponsor, ending your conversation with a promise to follow up via telephone in the coming week.

Follow up when you say you will: not before and not after. Put it on your calendar and do it over telephone, not email. It is much harder to say no when you are speaking with someone than it is to simply type a response. If they are unable to sponsor for the amount requested, ask them (right then and there) if they would be willing to sponsor a lesser amount. If they agree, ask for their mailing information so you can send them an invoice (this is good for their accounting purposes).

Send invoice within a day of them agreeing to sponsor.

Do not forget the promises you made in the sponsor deck. If you've promised to use their logo and name on all posters, make sure you get that logo from them and off to your graphic designer asap. Send free tickets to them as soon as you receive payment, and don't go back on your word.

As soon as payment is received, hand write a thank you letter. This should come from the person who met with the sponsor. Write why their sponsorship is important and what it will mean to your organization.

Ruthie Prasil

Channel: Ruthie PrasilPublished on Mar 17, 2016

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