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School organizations offer college students opportunities to learn what they’re passionate about and develop samples for portfolios and resumes. Figuring out how to get sponsors for school organizations isn’t quite as easy. However, with the right cause and determination, you can find ways to fund even the most obscure ideas.
Sponsors typically offer either financial help or exposure for the organization. You’ll find having a variety of sponsors is often the best option for the group’s long-term success.
How Do Nonprofits Get Sponsors?
Companies have many reasons for charitable giving. In a survey of corporations, 69% of companies said sales increased because of their social responsibility efforts. Businesses look for ways to give back to their local communities. Advantages to them include tax write-offs, positive brand image and developing relationships with customers in their area.
Ensuring your school organization has nonprofit status may be one of the best ways to get sponsors. Here are some of the ways you can secure funding for your group.
1. Start With Who You Know
Make a list of everyone your members know. Do they own a business? Perhaps they donate to a cause each year, and they’d consider yours for their current charitable cause?
The person who knows them should be the one who approaches them about school organization sponsorship. The two already have a relationship, so they can share why they’re passionate about the cause and how you might use the money.
2. Make It Mutually Beneficial
A sponsorship should be a mutually beneficial endeavor. The company funds shirts, supplies or other items for the school club and they get their name printed on the tee, in the program or listed on the website.
Approach sponsors with the mindset of what’s in it for them. You need supplies or money. What may not be as clear is benefits the company receives when sponsoring your organization.
3. Develop Relationships
Ideally, you’ll gain sponsors who support your school organization year after year. Look for ways to develop relationships with your sponsors. For example, instead of only approaching companies for funding, reach out to parents and family members for smaller amounts.
Can you have an annual dinner for supporters where they buy plates of food and eat with the group members? Such activities can become fundraisers in themselves. You can ask a sponsor to contribute a certain amount one time or each month of the year. One-time donations can also boost your bank balance.
4. Plan Your Elevator Pitch
At the doctor’s office, the other person in the waiting room is the CEO of a prominent local corporation. If you have an elevator pitch ready to go, you can tell them about your school organization and the need for sponsors. They may agree to fund your group.
Everyone on your sponsorship team should hone the elevator pitch and role-play using it in real life. Opportunities arise when you least expect them. If you’re prepared, you’ll be much more likely to find sponsors during your day-to-day activities and bring them into the fold.
5. Thank People
Getting caught up in fundraising and following your goals for the cause you support is easy. Remember to take the time to thank those who helped you grow your school organization. Send sponsors a quick note about how you used their funds and include a photo of your team working at what you’re most passionate about. Show them what their donation accomplishes.
Don’t Let “No” Get You Down
As you approach different potential sponsors, you’ll hear “no” or “not now” a lot. Don’t let the current failures get you down. Thank the person for taking the time to hear your pitch. Keep in contact and share what your organization is doing. You never know when a slot might open and the company may wish to sponsor a new group. They also might tell others about your efforts, and you’ll gain sponsors via word-of-mouth.