Fundraising with Edco, Part 4: How to Secure a Local Business Sponsorship

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Fundraising with Edco, Part 4: How to Secure a Local Business Sponsorship

Author - Edco


Brought to you by Edco - your partner in band fundraising

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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.

WHO to ask

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:

  1. A good first step in determining who to ask is to start close. Sit down with your band parents and ask if anyone has a personal tie to a business. Does anyone have any family or close friends they could turn to? Do any parents have employer matching programs that could benefit your band?
  2. Extend the circle a bit more to local businesses in the school neighborhood. What types of businesses surround the school? Are there any that students or teachers frequent?
  3. Round out your search with the entire community. It might help to visit your local community’s guide to businesses found on the Chamber of Commerce page. Also be sure look in local magazines and newspapers to see which local businesses advertise the most. They’ll be among the most receptive to your pitch!

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.

WHAT to ask

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.

  • Gold Sponsor - $500-$999
    • Team T-shirt: Name of individual business in medium font
    • Banner: Large name on banner (displayed at events and tournaments)
    • Website: Picture and link to Sponsor's website on sponsorship page
  • Silver Sponsor - $100-$499
    • Team T-shirt: Name of individual business in small font
    • Banner: Small name on banner (displayed at events and tournaments)
    • Website: Name of individual/business on sponsorship page
  • Bronze Sponsor - $25-$99
    • Website: Name of individual/business on sponsorship page

HOW to ask

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.

  1. Look online for the business contact information (phone number, address, email)
  2. Make your first reach out and ask to speak with the business manager.
  3. Set up a time to deliver an in-person business pitch.
  4. Deliver your amazing pitch and snag the deal!
  5. Follow up with a personalized thank you and be sure to keep in touch with the business as you move forward with the sponsorship.

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.


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