You’ve probably seen corporate logos attached to large fundraising events. Whether it’s a city marathon or a glitzy gala dinner, well-known brand names are likely to sponsor the event.
Attracting sponsorship is a vital element of many fundraisers. Corporate sponsors help provide financial support to stage and run many events.
But what about small online fundraisersr? Can they attract sponsors too?
Absolutely! If you have a bit of extra time, even small community-based, online fundraisers can get businesses on their side to raise more.
Before we get into the how, let’s start at the beginning. What exactly is fundraising sponsorship?
Corporate or business sponsorship is where support or help is donated to fundraising campaigns or organisations. It may be in form of cash donations, donating goods or services, or free promotion across social media, radio, and TV.
Sponsorship is great for businesses as it creates a positive brand recognition and helps attract new customers or clients.
For fundraisers it can increase awareness about the cause, encourage new supporters or donors, and generate additional funds.
If you’re running a small, local online fundraiser it makes sense to approach local businesses and any corporates connected to the community.
While big national brands have larger budgets, you’ll be competing with LOTS of other charities and non-profits who are also looking fo help.
The great thing about running an online fundraising campaign is your overheads will be very low. There's no event venue to source, no catering or entertainment to hire, no furniture to organise.
The major cost will be your time.
This means the sponsorship funds you organise will go straight to your cause!
A bit or research will help you identify businesses that are most likely to say 'yes'. Local companies are more likely to want to give back to their community and raise their profile at the same time.
Businesses with a direct connection to your organisation are a great place to start. Does the owner of your favourite hair salon have children at your school? Is the local pharmacist a member of your sports club? People and businesses who care about your cause are much more likely to agree to sponsorship opportunities.
You'll be surprised at how many people you know who can help you find a sponsor for your event. This could be someone who works for a company that deals with sponsorships, or a business leader who is looking for new sponsorship opportunities.
Talk to your friends and family about your sponsorship search. See if anyone you know might be able to help you out. Social media can also be a good way to connect with potential sponsors.
Create buzz around your cause by getting coverage on social and mainstream media.
Local newspapers and radio stations are always interested in promoting local events. Drop them a line or give them a call and see if they’ll give your cause a boost.
If you know local people who are very active on social media, ask them to publish a few promotional posts about your fundraiser.
Word of mouth, especially across social media, is one of the most powerful (and easiest) ways to generate lots of interest in your online fundraiser.
While sponsors will be motivated to help your cause because it’s a great thing to do, business benefits make the partnership a mutually positive venture.
When approaching businesses or organisations for sponsorship for your online fundraiser, tell them about how their business will feature in your fundraising campaign. It’s a good incentive for them to participate and may encourage extra generosity.
Whether you’re running a simple donation drive or an online silent auction, there are lots of ways you can showcase your sponsors:
· Include their logo and website link or contact details on your digital fundraising website
· GalaBid’s online fundraising platform includes an information page where you can post information about your sponsors
· Add a note to social media posts or emails e.g. ‘This fundraiser is made possible thanks to our awesome sponsors…[insert business name/s].
· Add their logo to printed banners and posters
If your online fundraising campaign is likely to be on-going, try and find one or two sponsors who are keen to support your event every year.
This will save time in the future as you’ll already have key sponsors in place. No need to start afresh for every campaign.
Keep your relationship with your sponsor strong by staying in touch. Check in on them to see how they're doing and if there are any opportunities for you to help promote them.
For example, if your local car dealership is one of your sponsors, you can maybe promote their current deals to your supporter base.
Show your appreciation by saying ‘thanks’ to your sponsors.
Let them know how successful the event was and the importance of their contribution. How much money was raised? How will those funds specifically help to make a difference? Include event photos, highlights and press coverage.
Don't limit communication to immediately after the event. Send a progress report a few months later to show how the funds are being used and to keep your organisation front and centre of sponsors' minds.
Sponsorship can make a huge difference to your fundraising campaign.
Just because you’re running a small online fundraiser doesn’t mean you can’t get sponsorship. Think local and find businesses and organisation that have strong connections to your cause and your community.
Want to start your online fundraiser? Let's go!