One way of raising more money is by gaining support from companies and local businesses in your area. Schools are an ideal vehicle for local businesses to promote themselves. This is particularly true if the business in question is located close to the school. Families with young children represent a prime consumer market and therefore many companies will be eager to take advantage of this opportunity to promote their business.
Corporate support can come in 2 ways. The first and most obvious way a company can help you is by donating to your campaign financially. This type of donation is often referred to as a corporate sponsorship, and is often given as payment for, or in exchange for some type of publicity or advertising for the donating company. The second way a company or business can help you is by donating goods or services. Donated goods or services can be translated into dollars in several ways. Donated items can be used as incentives or rewards to motivate students to fundraise. Donated items can also be auctioned off or used as raffle prizes. You can read more about Sponsorship packages, the Online Auction, and raffle tickets in this guide.
Finding Corporate Support
Where do you start when looking for companies to support your fundraising campaign? A good place to start is to examine the parent body of the school. Are there any parents who own businesses or companies that might be in a position to help? Parents may feel a connection to your school and be more likely to offer help. A second technique for finding businesses to support your Fun Run is by "proximity to the school". Use a local map, or take a drive on the streets around your school. What are the businesses that are closest to your school? These businesses get traffic and benefit from being located close to your school. These businesses are often happy to gain publicity and/or to give back to the school. In addition to parents (or other people you may know) who own businesses, and businesses located in close geographic proximity to the school, a third source of corporate supporters is your school's suppliers and vendors. They appreciate your business, and will usually be happy to sponsor your Fun Run fundraising campaign, or to donate a good or service to the cause. Take a moment to think of all the suppliers your school uses; cafeteria and food, office supplies, gym equipment, computers and tech equipment, art and music, ... etc.
Certain types of businesses are well better suited to sponsor or donate to you campaign. Businesses that tend to work well are those that have high margins and operate locally. Some of the common business types that typically donate/sponsor are:
- Spas/Hair/ Mani/Pedi / Beauty salons
- Frozen yogurt shops
- Photographer services
- Local professional sports teams
- Fitness trainers
- Real estate agents
- Sports / hobby / specialty stores
Exposure for your Sponsors
Why should a company give you money? In some cases, business owners feel a sense of corporate responsibility. They simply want to do the right thing and give back to the community. In other cases, companies are more interested in how it will benefit their business. You can provide value to your supporters by giving them access to your entire student population and their families. The more exposure and value you provide, the more money you can ask for in return. You may want to offer different packages based on the level of exposure. For example, the bronze package will get your logo on the sponsors page of the website, and the gold package will get an insert in every student kit.
Here are some of the ways you can provide value to advertisers in order to get corporate sponsorships:
- Logos of sponsors can be placed on T-shirts.
- Logos can be placed on sponsor's page or premium location on the website, e-commerce receipts, etc...
- Logos of sponsors can be included in the student kits.
- Sponsors can be mentioned in all letters home to parents, newsletters, bulletins, updates, alumni letters, etc...
- Main sponsor may be mentioned in your press releases, radio interviews, and/or newspaper articles.
- Opportunity to sponsor post run water and/or fruit, etc...
- Sponsors may extend special offers and promotions (via student kit and/or website) such as; coupons, discounts, gift cards, 2/1 specials, etc...
How to ask for support:
When asking for support, first determine who is the correct person to ask. Ask to speak with the owner or manager. Appeal to the person's sense of obligation. Explain you are calling from your school, and how your school is holding a fundraiser for important and much needed funds that will be used for the students education and well being. Explain that you are asking businesses in the community to contribute whatever they can, and that in exchange you will provide them with access to your school population. Describe the various levels of participation and the cost for each. Remember to remind your potential supporters that they may also support your school by donating goods or services to the campaign.