While undoubtedly effective, fundraising events make raising money more complicated. Organizers are tasked not only with funding a cause but the event too. Even garage sales have costs! If you’re lucky, your organization will handle the initial financing but this isn’t always the case, for example if you’re representing a non-profit. Fortunately, having an event also widens the opportunity for raising money because events provide unique experiences that people flock to see. And where people go, brands follow.
To be part of an event, companies are willing to become sponsors. Sponsorships have been events’ greatest financial boon and it’s no different for fundraisers. But convincing a corporation to help your event can be a challenge. Fortunately, here are a few tips to increase your chances.
Know your audience
Your biggest leverage in convincing a company will be the people that will attend your event. Companies are looking for either a big crowd or a specific niche of people and your event needs to offer one or the other. If you can’t provide a crowd (or even if you do), it’s crucial to know exactly who will attend your fundraiser. Learn the number of the anticipated audience, their age range, gender, and even socioeconomic status.
Know the company
Companies have their own motivations for sponsoring an event. They could be building their brand by associating with one of your event’s key messages, marketing to your guests as prospective clients, or simply supporting your cause because they believe in it too. Understanding which motivation drives them will help you increase your chances. Research their vision, beliefs, and target markets and locations too and determine if your fundraising event will appeal to them. Always customize your pitches to appeal to their unique situations.
If you can leverage personal relationships, do so. Make a list of targeted prospects from your and your team’s list of contacts. Some of them might know companies that you haven’t researched yet. Try to approach prospective sponsors personally with people they know to increase your chances yet again.
With enough sponsors, you’ll be able to hold your event and help your cause even more. However, sponsorships aren’t the only way to raise money before the event. You have other options that you can investigate.
Events that offer an experience can get people to buy even before the curtain is drawn. Advanced ticket sales are easy to provide, especially with various options for online transactions. But aside from tickets, you can also offer exhibition space to companies, who might want to link their experience with yours.
Sometimes, a ticket isn’t needed. A unique vision is enough to get people excited enough to provide initial funds. Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have proven popular in the Philippines. Aside from being source of funding, it’s also a great way to test the popularity of your event.
But for all these to work, you need people to get people talking about it! You’ll have to raise awareness about the event and your cause through marketing and promotions. Fortunately, the tools can be found online. Read about it in the next installment of M2Live’s Series.