1. Look for companies that sponsor similar activities you will have and get to know them.
If you know of other activities conducted similar of what you will have, try to find out their sponsors. That will be your first stepping stone. Their sponsors most probably would sponsor your event as well. When you have a list of these companies already, be knowledgeable of them before making a request. Who makes the decisions for sponsorships? What do they do? Who are their customers? Are decisions made locally or elsewhere? Is the company new? Is the company not “visible” yet? What are their goals? The information you will get will help you in creating your sponsorship packet which will be discussed on the next step.
The venue where we held our first workshop was a University. Because our target participants were teachers, we gave the university some slots where they can send some of their teachers to the workshop. It was also timely since our workshop was on something that the teachers have no or little knowledge of.
2. Create a sponsorship packet.
Before you create the sponsorship packet, you need to know the needs of your potential sponsor and that is through answering the questions posted in #1. Always think like the business wherein you have to declare what benefits or advantages can the company get if they sponsor your event. Later on, when you take their sponsorship, you are entitled to meet their expectations. Once you already know the needs of the company, you can create a sponsorship packet where you list down the things that you need from them and the advantages they can get from the activity. Think win-win.
For example, when we wanted to do a workshop for teachers last October, we found out that a condominium in our locality was going to have an Open House and they were asking people to join. When we learned about that, we asked them if we can use a space on their venue for our workshop and in return, we will give them time to advertise their condominium and that we will ask teachers to join their Open House after our activity.
3. Personalize and Never Be Lazy.
Personalize every email, document, and sponsorship packet you send to companies. Taking a lazy way out will not guarantee a “YES” from a potential sponsor. Let them feel that they are important by customizing any correspondence you send to them. After sending out the packets, wait for a few days and make a phone call to follow-up. Ask them if they have read the correspondence and if they have questions. Make sure you are available when they have requests or something to ask.
Once you make an initial contact with a decision-maker, it’s important to attract their interest, response, and participation. These decision-makers are bombarded with requests and are to invest wisely. Educate the company about the value of your project and program. Prepare some hand-outs, presentation materials and other stuff regarding your project. If they see the value of this project, they might consider sponsoring long term.
I hope this 4 steps will help you in planning and organizing your projects. Good luck to your activities!