Getting sponsorship for your student society might feel like an uphill struggle of sending out countless emails to generic company email addresses (info@…), making hundreds of fruitless telephone calls and dealing with uninterested company employees.
But equip yourself with our handy tips and it’ll make the whole process just that little bit easier…
1.Targeting the right business saves time. It sounds obvious, but approaching the right company makes all the difference. Make sure that they will have an interest in your sponsorship proposal and your society or club.
2. Ask yourself: what does a company want? If they are looking for graduate recruitment, then offer training sessions where members of the company can come in and meet students face-to-face. If they want to promote their brand, then offer to splash their name over your sport club’s kit, society noticeboards and correspondence.
3. Don’t just rest on the laurels of your university! Yes, you might go to a prestigious university, but companies will be expecting more. You need to really show them what you have to offer and how your society will them give a unique point of interaction with students.
4. Don’t be afraid to be creative. Think outside the box and ask them to sponsor more unusual things. You might want to take advantage of services or goods they can offer, rather than outright funds. If you look like you’ll be offering something different, the more intrigued they will be.
5. Contact the company first and try and wrangle yourself the details of someone you can contact directly. Think about giving them a short phone call before emailing, quickly introducing your society and asking if you can send them more information.
6. When emailing, keep your email concise, no one is going to read through a tome. They only want to spend a few seconds on your email. Tailor it to their company and perhaps provide a snappy bullet point list of how sponsoring your society is going to help them.
7. They are likely to be very busy, so be wary of that. Nevertheless, try to arrange a telephone meeting or even a face-to-face meeting. Before the meeting, draw up a plan of what you want to get out of the company and have a think about what they might want from you.
8. Sponsorship comes in many forms. Don’t just look for money, but other ways in which companies can support your society or club and make it great. They might provide drinks for an event, a training day, or offer other goods and services that will benefit your society.
9. If your club is affiliated with your student union, then don’t sign a contract unless it has been approved by your union.
10. Be confident. Don’t let yourself be walked over by companies; shyness and reticence is not an option.
There you have it, you’re going to need shovelfuls of perseverance, but the payoff is well worth the effort.