Getting businesses to help

Approaching businesses for sponsorship may seem daunting but it needn't be, you have great value to offer a business. A huge amount of corporations run corporate social responsibility schemes and understand the importance of getting involved with charity and fundraising events. Here are just a few things that you offer to businesses:

  • Great public relations within the community
  • Develop loyal customers
  • Inexpensive advertising
  • Potential tax benefits of donating to non-profit organisations

When you approach a business remember to highlight that an alliance between them and your SBS fundraising event with provide value for both organisations. Highlighting that you are offering a good marketing investment will draw in attention.

Who to approach

The first step to gaining sponsorship for your event is to research possible prospects. When considering businesses to approach, think about the values of the charity and the event itself - what businesses share those values? Some businesses are very keen to show their environmental credentials or love for animals and wildlife.  If you are holding a sports event you could contact a sportswear company; or if a social evening then perhaps an off-licence?

Thoroughly research the potential companies before you approach them for sponsorship. Some companies may already be heavily involved in charitable donations and sponsorship. Check the company's website out to see whether they are already affiliated with a charity before you make contact.

How to approach

Once you have selected a company you wish to approach, the next step is to prepare a pitch. Knowing your facts are essential - understand the charity well and be prepared for a grilling. You should also have a firm idea of what you expect from the firm and what kind of contribution you are looking for. Remember to highlight the benefits of sponsorship for the business, such as great PR and cheap marketing. This is a two way deal, and there's no such thing as a free lunch, business see sponsorship as a marketing tool, the bottom line being profit.

There are plenty of ways that corporation can take part in sponsoring your fundraising event:

  • Cash donation
  • Gift donations
  • Offering staff to help run the event
  • Advertising the fundraising event and charity
  • Matched giving - the business may match any donation given to the charity

Affiliating with a business is a great way to not only boost the profile of your event but help raise that all important cash. It costs nothing to approach a business, remember to be passionate for the cause and approach it as a business deal.

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