The breadth of your event will determine whether or not you need sponsors, and what type of sponsors you should look for. If you are doing a full day or half day event, you should put a lot of thought into your sponsors. For lunchtime or smaller video clubs, you might want to skip this section.
Focus on local partners when you can. Remember this is as much about delving into your particular food issue as it is about building a network within your community dedicated to improving the food system. Who is innovating with food in your community? Consider this an opportunity to connect with local organizations, schools, businesses, etc., who may be interested in sponsoring your event.
Suggestions for finding sponsors:
- Search online for other events in your area. Find out who’s sponsored them and, if appropriate, see if they will sponsor you.
- Think of stores, restaurants, shops in your local area. Walk, bike or drive around to remind yourself of what’s in your area. Have a printing company nearby? Maybe they can’t give money but maybe they would print your programs for free.
- Do any larger companies in the area have money set aside for local efforts? See if the large banks in your area do any work within the local community.
Many local companies will not have a budget to give you cash, but you can still ask them for inkind donations.
- Inkind donations include:
- food and drink
- design and layout
- press and media
- accounting services
- fundraising and sponsor outreach
- meeting space
- equipment and furniture
- website hosting
- supplies – paper, office supplies, etc
It’s important that your sponsors feel that you’re doing something for them so when you speak with local businesses, let them know how you can help them. Suggestions include:
- Putting their logo on your website
- Logo in your printed program
- Logo on stage, step and repeat, and other select areas
- Write a blog post about the company
- Agree to post social media about the company