You’ve done it all at your school, I bet. Fall flings. Spring auctions. Dunk-the-principal carnival events. Enough bake sales to circle the world 15 times over with all of the cupcakes and cookies your parents have contributed.
And these are all great ideas. The best school fundraisers get people engaged and having fun in addition to raising money. One excellent way to expand your reach in this area is to start looking around your community for sponsorship partners.
Sponsorships are a great deal all around for elementary, Montessori, and faith-based schools. Your school gets money from the sponsorship arrangement, while your sponsors get exposure to potential customers in their target market (the kids and parents at your school). There’s a terrific “feel-good” angle for them to working with a local school – not to mention the positive publicity – and your kids and parents learn more about products and services that can be useful to them.
Finally, from both sides, working with partners in your community strengthens those community ties. If your area is one that’s experiencing a “buy/shop/stay local” renaissance these days, school sponsorships can be an integral part of this movement.
Sounds pretty good, right? But where to start? Here are 3 ideas to help get you rolling.
1. Start brainstorming potential sponsorship partners.
Think big here, folks. The pizza place and toy store down the street are natural places to start, but so is the office park chock-full of big companies that employ many of the parents at your school. Don’t limit yourself in your outreach efforts. How about that local orthodontics practice. How much would it be worth to them if you sent them just one new child that needed braces.
2. Start thinking of WIIFM.
“What’s In It For Me,” in other words – what do your potential sponsors gain as a result of partnering with your school? You want to make it seem so compelling that the deal is a no-brainer. The obvious benefit is awareness but you should make it very clear how much exposure the company name will be visible to families.
- Is it done in a classy way?
- Is it controlled?
- How often do the sponsors message get in front of families?
3. Create multiple ways to get involved.
You don’t tell the parents at your school that you want a hundred-dollar donation check from them each quarter or nothing at all (at least, I hope not!). You probably offer various ways for them to get involved, from volunteering in various capacities, to being room parents, to donating money, to sharing their talents in other ways. Get similarly creative and flexible as you start to think about sponsorship arrangements.
Consider giving the same corporate sponsor multiple opportunities to donate. Give them a menu of options!
I hope this post has opened your eyes to some of the ways a sponsorship arrangement can benefit both your school and your partners within the community.
Does your school partner with businesses in the community? How does this look and work at your school!?
Coming next time: Tips for getting your sponsorship program up and running and attracting great sponsors to your school.