As campus organizations struggle with lack of adequate funding for their programs we look more and more for outside help. There are places on campus as well as in the community to get help with funding. By enlisting other organizations to help co-sponsor your event you can not only get some financial help, but also help in promoting and letting others know about your event. This also lets co-sponsors know about your organization and your activities. With the right co-sponsors your event can have more credibility and will attract a larger and more diverse audience.
Most successful events have co-sponsors
The problems in finding money for projects (pride, guest speakers, seminars, workshops, symposiums, dances, cultural fests etc.) are not going to end soon. It looks like funding for education and the “extras” will continue to diminish. You need to be aware of how to tap into the dollars that are left. Remember, the projects and events are just as important as the other college activities that take place on your campus weekly.
Getting other organizations and establishments to co-sponsor an event is an easy and effective way to help fund-raising, promotion and visibility. I have listed some ideas here for you to try. Most of these have been successfully used by other campuses students and organizations. If you have other ideas, please e-mail me and share them with everyone else. I will include them as well. We can all learn from each other.
The most important thing to remember as you start this process is that you are developing relationships and a network of allies at the same time. Start with the people you know. And start early!!
Here is a simple check list of the process:
1. Write a succinct description of the event.
What is your event all about?
2. Describe your audience:
Who are they? Campus, alumni, students, faculty, all of the area schools, community etc.
3. List the benefits you can offer a sponsor.
- Sponsor banner at event
- Sponsor name on all ads announcing the event in local and school radio and newspapers.
- Sponsor name on all flyers
- Handout sponsor coupons/samples at event
- Join presenter and your organization at a special pre – presentation dinner.
- Free admission tickets for sponsors to give away to clients/employees
- Audio announcement at event of sponsor’s participation
- Sponsor name on program
- Sponsor name on opening credits of program
4. Brainstorm potential sponsors: Businesses that want to attract college students.
Campus book store, coffee houses, restaurants, car dealerships, grocery stores, sporting good stores, places students gather, college health services, on-campus club or department, local ally groups etc.
5. Communicate with the College Development Office
After an initial plan has been developed, meet with someone from the Development Office of your college for their feedback (They do this for a living!). Ask for feedback and/or suggestions on agencies/businesses that you are planning on contacting or should contact. Communication is critical and your success is dependent upon it.
6. Develop a simple public relations plan
Press release, media list, Internet exposure: Estimate the coverage and number of people that the coverage will reach (College Relations can be a great resource!)
7. Call potential sponsors
Ask first if you caught them at a good time, if not when to call back. Describe the event in a few sentences and say, “we would like to be your partner.” Ask for a meeting.
8. Develop a sponsorship package.
- Projections description
- Material from presenter
- Type and size of audience
- Sample poster
- Sample announcement
- Sample press release
- Media clips from similar events
9. Write a pitch letter
Paragraph 1 – In one sentence describe the event and say that you would like them to be your partner
Paragraph 2 – Describe your audience and the planned publicity/advertisement
Paragraph 3 – Say what you want and what you can give in return; describe benefits by using bullet points
Contact sponsor after event and relay how event went including: another big thank you to them, attendance, audience reaction, it’ll it be OK to contact them again in the future to help sponsor other events.
If you have more suggestions or other ideas, please feel free to e-mail me, and I will include them. We can all help each other.
Also, if you would like to talk to me about what other colleges have done, something you have taken up or bounce your ideas off me, feel free to do so.
″ Remember, no matter how small your organization is or how little money you have to put on an event, YOU CAN DO IT! Others have before you and SO CAN YOU.!! ″
Follow ME on Facebook