While there are plenty of non-profits who are deep in the sponsor pool, your fundraiser has a few aspects that set you a part.
First, you’re not asking organizations to purchase anything; you are actually giving them an opportunity to look really good in the community by sponsoring a healthy fundraising alternative for students. Second, you have a tangible fundraising goal. Giving local sponsors a solid number (i.e., "we are trying to raise $10,000 and we are a quarter of the way to our goal"), allows them to visualize how their donation can help.
Why local sponsorship? Because your Fun Run or Athon is a fundraiser that the community wants to get behind, you just have to show them how!
Perfecting Your “Pitch”
When you approach a local business for sponsorship, it’s best to have a sound approach beforehand. First, make sure you know your audience and be specific for each business, making sure to address their needs and well as your own. This will vary from business to business, but it is key to make a direct connection to who they are and what they offer. For example, if you approach a local gym make sure to emphasize the physical fitness aspect of your Fun Run and ways they may get involved through donating water bottles, towels, t-shirts, or just making a monetary gift.
You may also want to craft some written sponsorship materials (note: For our clients we provide some amazing template flyers for you to use and customize!). If you are wanting to create a query or solicitation letter, it is smart to address it to a specific person, which means you will want to find out who makes sponsorship decisions for each local business you plan to approach. Next, write out what your fundraiser is, what it will provide for the students, and tangible ways that the organization may help. Lastly, make sure to list the benefits for the business!
While many of these benefits center on publicity for the organization, it also provides a stage for the company to showcase whatever it is they offer, whether that's food for a restaurant, cars for a dealership, or shoes for a retail store.
Think of creative ways of incorporating local sponsors into your event, such as a food-sampling tent, a table that has kid's gym shoes, or a dealership that brings in classic cars for the community to come see while they cheer on the event.
The extent of the sponsor’s publicity and interaction with your event is completely up to you, but it can be a great selling point for their donations and support.
- Local restaurants
- Gyms/Fitness centers
- Sporting-goods stores
- Dance/martial arts studios
- Craft stores
- Video arcades
- Bowling alleys/driving ranges
- Major/minor league sports teams
- Toy stores
- Printing/copy shops
- Party supply stores
- Gyms/indoor sports facilities
- Doctors’/dentists’ offices
- Car washes
- Golf courses
- Retail stores