As schools tighten their proverbial belts, extracurricular activities often feel the greatest squeeze. A drop in funding creates problems for costly school clubs and activities that depend on money from the school budget for their survival. When school funding fails to meet the needs of a club, the advisers and members can explore additional financing options, such as procuring sponsors. Students may find local or national companies willing to step up to the plate and provide the financial help necessary.
Prepare a plan for sponsorship. Before you actually start the process of seeking sponsors, you need to know what exactly you want from them. Work with administrators to develop a plan that includes the amount of money you hope to earn and what you plan to offer in return. By developing this plan upfront, you can answer a prospective sponsor's questions.
Sell advertising. Area and national businesses are often interested in sponsoring school events in return for publicity. If the event you are looking to fund will feature a program, sell ads in the program. Also, consider selling space in the back of the yearbook. Because yearbooks are a more formal publication, you can charge significantly more for the advertisement space.
Ask for non-monetary donations. Some businesses may be more inclined to donate products or use of company facilities. While these types of donations may not have been what you were initially seeking, they could still be quite valuable. Consider how you could use these donations to raise capital, such as selling donated pizza at a sporting event or school dance.
Contact area businesses and inquire about their interest in sponsoring an activity. Send at least one staff member and several students to serve as a face for the school. Ensure that the staff member in charge of the team is well-versed in the established sponsorship plan.
Research large corporations with branches in your community. Many large companies have divisions that handle charitable giving. These organizations often give funding to educational or community-enriching programs. Contact the customer-service department at corporations in your area to inquire about sponsorship programs.
Send timely thank-you cards to all sponsors. Strive to maintain a good relationship with sponsors as first-time sponsors can become habitual donors.
Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, Trails.com and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.