When organising a concert, benefit or some other large event, you will need funding to cover the production costs. The average group or organisation cannot pay these costs alone, so typically sponsors step in and pay for some or all of the event. In return, the organisers may add the sponsor's name to event, put its logo on advertising materials, or provide other forms of promotion. This creates a win-win situation and you will have sponsorship to make your next big event happen.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
Create a list of sponsors you will be targeting. Consider approaching local and large businesses or companies having natural interest or association with the event's purpose. For example, a rock-concert organiser could approach music stores and companies selling music equipment. The more businesses you approach, the higher the likelihood at least one will say yes.
Write a letter to the potential sponsor introducing yourself, the event and its purpose. This introduction will help the company become familiar with you before considering whether to give you money. List your past experience and what you hope to achieve by putting on this event. An introduction also can be done in person, but be sure to have materials prepared to hand out about the event.
Analyse information about the demographics of the people who will attend the event and see the sponsor's advertising. Companies often target specific audiences, and if they believe the event will reach these particular groups, they will be more willing to sponsor you. Collect data from past or similar events, demographics of the community where it will take place, or do polling to determine who will attend. Quantitative data will be more persuasive than having just a general idea.
Prepare a budget detailing the costs associated with producing the event. Sponsors want to know their investment will be put to efficient use.
Present offers to companies and explain what they should expect to receive for sponsoring your event. Highlight your strongest selling points and emphasise the potential goodwill to be built within the community for supporting the event. Organisers looking for both small and large contributors can offer different packages to sponsors. Recognise substantial contributors as part of the official title of the event. Or, offer different sized banners depending on the sponsorship amount. Sell pages of advertisements in programs to be handed out to attendees. Let the sponsor know the advertising options and prices.
Send handwritten thank you notes after your presentation to acknowledge the prospective sponsors' time. State your interest in hearing their response.
Tips and warnings
- Be honest. Do not tease sponsors with items or advertising you cannot deliver.
- Be organised. Looking organised will allow sponsors to trust you more with their money.
- Do not fear rejection. By asking many sponsors, you will find the one perfect for the event.
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