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How to Score More Funding for Your Competition


Judge / Dancer
[SIZE=small]Let's share our experiences, tips, and advice to help make sure competitions get the funding they need to put on a great show. [/SIZE]

[SIZE=small]I'm thinking as I go along here, but I used to serve on a sponsorship committee at a bank where I reviewed funding requests from all types of organizations and event hosts. Here are some of my tips from the "inside", geared toward approaching medium-size corporations.[/SIZE]

1. Ask the right person. Most likely, your dollars will come from the company's charitable foundation, a community development budget, or an Asian- or Indian- business development budget. Don't just send a sponsorship packet to your cousin's uncle's neighbor's friend hoping they'll get you some money. Find out what programs or budgets exist within the company that would be able to help you, and get an introduction to the decision-maker.

2. Do you research. Find out what the company's target market is, what organizations and events they've sponsored in the past. For example, the bank I was at was focused on commercial lending and business banking. They had no interest in advertising at an event with mostly students or young families in attendance. They would be, however, interested in being able to connect with Indian business owners...

3. Get creative. Offer to cater your sponsorship benefits to their needs. I can't stress this enough. Find out what catches the organization's interest and focus on that. Put yourself in the company's shoes and build a business case for your event. Some companies may just want to purchase an ad. Maybe they don't want to give you $1,000 this year, but they'll test the waters with a $250 ad purchase. Take advantage of any opportunity to build a relationship, and work to expand it each year.

4. Register as a non-profit if you can, or partner with one. For a company to use "charitable" dollars, they have to cut a check directly to a registered 501(c)3 and they will ask you for a Tax ID #, documentation, etc. Non-profit status just opens up more budgets that a company can potentially use money from.

5. Start early! Most budgets are set in October or November the year before. From my experience, most dollars were already used up by February. (Start NOW for 2016!)

6. Be proactive and follow up, follow up, follow up.

7. Get a Board. I'm not sure if anyone has tried this before, but having a Board of Directors with some big names in your city could help you pull in the dollars. If they do nothing else but offer their name and photo on your website, having some well-respected leaders in your community could help you establish validity. (Basically, like name dropping)

8. Provide a professional sponsorship packet in PDF form. It should be aesthetically pleasing, SHORT, CONCISE, and focus on the benefits to the sponsor. I recommend 4-5 pages max (Cover page, 2 sentences about what bhangra is, 3 sentences about your organization, 5 bullet points about this year's show, 1 page about benefits, and 1 page with a 3 sentence conclusion and contact info. If you had strong sponsors last year, mention them.

I'd suggest 3 different versions of your packet: 1 for larger companies, 1 for small businesses (restaurants, boutiques), and 1 for professionals (real estate agents, doctors, etc.). The strategy for each will be different.

I'm sure I'll think of more later... would love to hear some success stories and more advice from successful organizers or sponsors!


J Wong

sumeetj said:
how about a post on how to raise money for your cash poor team
1. Team plasma selling
2. Team kidney selling
3. Team prostitution
4. Team drug trafficking
5. Team human trafficking
6. Assassination

Just need to think outside of the box