Your organization decides to host a fundraising event in hopes of gaining funds for your cause. Everything is all set until you realize you don’t have any sponsors for your event. Having sponsors for your fundraising event is critical to increasing the value of your event. A sponsor can be any person or company that provides something free (funds, services, and or products) to increase the value of your event. Essentially, sponsors are critical because they add incentives to attract people to your event.
Additionally, sponsors provide a great marketing and promotional benefit. For example, if a local restaurant is providing food for your event, they are likely to advertise your event at their business. Who wouldn’t want more advertising for their fundraising event?
How to reach out
Remember to plan ahead. Realistically, you should reach out to your sponsors about five months before your event. Plan ahead so that sponsors have enough time to go through any necessary approvals for sponsorship. Moreover, by planning ahead, you avoid potentially competing with any other local organizations. The earlier you start reaching out, the better.
Do your homework. Before visiting a particular business, investigate their business strategy and search for what the business could gain by sponsoring your event. Remember to create business incentives and to ask sponsors exactly what they want. Doing your homework shows that you are serious about benefitting their business and emphasizes what your event can uniquely do for their business.
Remember to be creative on who you reach out to. Get creative about who you reach out to and remember that anything that adds value to your event is worth it. Don’t set too many limitations on who your organization reaches out to. Unique sponsors are a fun way to add more value to your event.
Be creative when approaching potential sponsors. If you want to ensure that a sponsor will say “yes” to sponsoring your event, it is important to make a good first impression on them. Don’t just send a generic email out to them, but also physically visit their business if possible. If you are a loyal customer of a local business, they will be more likely to support your event. Additionally, try to visit a business during off hours so they are more likely to give you their full attention.
Finally, set up a timeline and stay organized. Keeping track of all of your potential sponsors is critical to ensuring you reach out to them all. The more sponsors you reach out to, the more likely you will gain critical sponsorships that will add value to your event.
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