SVG File-02

How To Get Sponsors For A Fundraising Event: Step-By-Step Guide

Author: Adie M.
how to get sponsors for an event

So you've planned the perfect fundraising event. Now it's time to find the sponsors. While this can be daunting, it is completely manageable if you know what to do. We have broken everything down for you so that you can find sponsors to help you continue the good work you do.  

How To Get Event Sponsors In 6 Steps

Here are six simple steps to follow to find sponsors for your fundraising event. 

1. Determine Your Event Plan 

You can't approach sponsors for a fundraising event if you don't know what this event will be. It's always a good idea to have a clear picture of the event in your mind. This will make it easier for you to sell it to potential sponsors and answer any questions they may have about it. 

Chances are, there are certain fundraising events that you hold every year. Annual events are great for building the event's reputation over time. However, you don't want to fall into the trap of simply repeating the same events every year. You want to approach all events (even annual ones) with a fresh set of eyes. 

You should also consider trying out new fundraising events. It's great to try out new things and see what works and what doesn't. New events can be a great way to grow your support base. 

Check out these Fundraising Event Ideas to inspire you. 

2. Identify Potential Sponsors 

Once you know what your event is going to be, it's time to identify potential sponsors for your fundraising event. Event sponsors are businesses or individuals who support your event in some way. This support could take the form of a financial contribution or even goods and services. 

Start With Your Local Businesses 

Local businesses are a great place to start looking for potential sponsors. The local community usually forms a large chunk of its customer base and target market. 

Therefore, they are always looking for ways to establish a positive identity and build a good reputation in the community. Supporting your fundraiser is a great way for them to do so. 

Consider Companies That Have Some Sort Of Crossover 

Now it's time to think about businesses that have some sort of crossover with your organization. Think about companies that have similar missions or values. These are more likely to support your cause. 

You should also consider companies that are in the same industry as yours. For example, if you are building or restoring houses, a hardware store would be a good sponsor. If you are in the animal welfare space, consider reaching out to a pet store. 

Look Into Businesses And Individuals That Have Sponsored Similar Events And NPOs 

Nowadays, so much takes place online. Many businesses and individuals that have sponsored fundraising events and supported NPOs will post about it on social media. 

Do some digging around and see which businesses and individuals have sponsored similar events. These are more likely to sponsor your event, and are worth approaching! 

Remember To Include Your Previous Sponsors 

Don't forget about businesses and individuals that have sponsored your previous fundraising events! If they have sponsored a similar event of yours before, chances are they will do so again. This is especially the case for annual fundraising events. 

Remember, you ideally want to build up good relationships with your sponsors so that they will keep coming back.

Two hands holding black paper heart 

3. Create Donation Tiers To Cater To Different Budgets 

Don't fall into the trap of focusing only on the big sponsors. Even the smallest contribution matters and you don't want to exclude anyone. 

Each year, more companies are feeling a sense of social responsibility. In fact, an estimated 78% of Americans believe that companies should aim to do more than just maximize their own profits. 

Give your sponsors different contribution options by creating donation tiers. Each tier will involve a different contribution size and level of recognition at the event. 

For example, a $300 donation could give the sponsor 2 tickets and a program listing. A $10,000 donation, on the other hand, could give the sponsor all of this plus an award and branding at the event. 

The goal is to cover a wide range of donation sizes without overburdening your sponsors with options. Try to stick to about three to five options, and ensure that the difference between the lowest tier and highest tier is substantial. 

Don't fall into the fundraising mistake of only accepting monetary donations. Your local restaurant, for example, might contribute by catering for the event. Make sure that you can account for non-monetary donations in your tier system. 

Remember, the donation options should correspond to the type of event. A fun run, for example, will target smaller donations than a fancy gala. 

4. Ask Your Potential Donors For Sponsorship 

Now it's time to approach your potential donors and ask them to sponsor your fundraising event. There are many different ways you can approach them. The most common ways are by phone, email, or social media. 

Regardless of the route you take to approach your potential sponsors, you must always tell your organization's story and describe the role the event plays in it. It's not enough to merely ask for support. You need to explain how this support fits in with the organization and your overall mission. 

5. Honor Your Sponsors At The Event 

You will always have to honor your sponsor in accordance with their donation tier. However, it is always a good idea to do something extra to make them feel special and valued. 

Get creative! Make goodie bags with their names printed on them. Find little gifts that relate to the fundraiser and/or its cause. If you have a photo setup, use a background that has all your main sponsors' logos or names. 

6. Follow Up After The Event! 

The end goal is to establish good relationships with your sponsors at the event. Donor retention is the secret to successful fundraising and this is important for sponsors too. 

You want to build lasting connections and encourage them to support your future endeavors. Make sure you follow up after the event. Send out a personalized email. Post something on social media. There are many ways you can follow up and make them feel appreciated - so get creative! 

Team high-fiving

Final Thoughts 

If you follow these simple steps, you should encounter no problems in finding sponsors for your fundraising event. Sponsors are out there! All you need to do is find them. 

For more information, check out our Nonprofit’s Guide to Event Sponsorship