Advertisements for Super Bowl 50 set a new record at $5 million dollars for a 30-second slot. Why would companies pay such an outrageously high amount of money for such a short period of time? Because the Super Bowl reached nearly 120 million people in the United States. Reaching new customers and staying top-of-mind is of big importance to companies, and they are willing to channel quite a bit of funds to achieve that.
This brings us to our latest topic in Fundraising 101: How to Secure a Local Business Sponsorship.
Business sponsorship is not a new way of fundraising for school groups - many sports teams have turned to sponsorship for years by designing uniforms with large logos included - but we’re here to tell you that business sponsorship is also a possibility for your band! In this guide, we’ll go through how to find potential businesses as well as what the “asking” process should look like by breaking it down to the who, what and why.
Determining which businesses to ask is probably the hardest part of the process. The good news is you have many options! Here is our recommendation of a quick and easy way to create your initial list of businesses:
Make sure to keep track of your list in a spreadsheet. That way, you can update the list with any relevant information, like number of reach outs, the contact information of the manager, as well as which businesses seem to be likely sponsors and which are definite no’s.
Once you’ve gathered your list, the next step is to, well, ask! But before you start calling/emailing away, you need to plan out what you’re going to say. How much money should you ask for? What would the business like in return? These are great questions that we’re here to help answer.
A sponsorship pitch should boil down to one of two things: a monetary donation or an in-kind donation. With an in-kind donation, the business provides either goods or services to help you reach your fundraising goal. Do not underestimate the power of in-kind donations! A restaurant could donate food, for example, that can be used either in a bake sale or for a team dinner. Or, a printing service could also donate its services by offering to print out stickers for the team. The possibilities are endless!
Businesses are usually quick to offer an in-kind donation if they can, but asking for a cash donation is usually a longer process. How much should you ask for? If the business says no to your initial amount, should you ask again with a smaller one? These questions can be avoided with a sponsorship level sheet. Sponsorship levels allow you to showcase all the ways your team can help promote the business - from t-shirt mentions, to website banners, to ads in concert programs. That way, the business can weigh their budget with how much promotion they would get to decide on their donation amount.
We’ve added a basic example of what sponsorship levels could look like below, but definitely add some spice to yours! A little personality (i.e. naming your sponsorship levels after the team name) goes a long way.
Let’s stop and reflect for a moment. At this point, we’ve gone over how to create your list of potential sponsors, and what should ask of them. Now, all that’s left is for you to go out and ask! Here are the basic steps to reaching out to your list of businesses.
If you want to learn more about how to secure business sponsorship and what a business pitch should look like, visit http://music.ed.co to view our resources.