Raising funds for an event shares many similarities to raising equity for an enterprise wherein you are expected to persuade the financier to bet on the future of the company. And am sharing my lessons on raising funds for DTAC 2015 that will guide prospective fund raisers.
- REVENUE TARGET: Foremost identify what is your target to raise funds. Identify the upper and lower limit.
- EXPENSE HEADS: Broadly identify the expense heads such as meals, entertainment, printing, Newsletter for the event. And explore if any of the expense head can be directly sponsored by a corporate. Few corporates may like to pay for expenses rather than write out a cash cheque.
- TEAM: Get a team on the SPONSORSHIP BUS. Choose members who are passionate for the cause and philosophy of the event. They may not necessarily come from the sales or marketing background but are self-motivated.
- PLAN: Sit down with the Team Members
- SPONSORSHIP PACK: Create a sponsorship pack wherein various sponsorship value brackets and benefits will be scripted reflecting total amount to be raised.
- LIST One: Create a list of 100 potential corporate. Prioritize them and distribute among the team members with measurable target (Time and value).
- LIST Two: Create a list of 20 high value potential leads for Title sponsorship.
- SALES CYCLE: Identify the sales cycle time right from first contact to money in the bank. This is important to mitigate the risk. Normally for such projects sales cycle is 3 months and more.
- TRAINING: Conduct a training for the team members; share your sales pitch and likely target title within the corporate. Explain sponsorship pack with benefits, mode of payment, terms & conditions and what is expected from the corporate, post receiving the sponsorship amount such as logo, advertising message and other guidelines. Train your team members to handle OBJECTIONS – we don’t have budget; VP is out; we sponsored an event last month or a similar event; We don’t benefit from such event; This event has no value for us; We can sponsors X amount (Peanuts ) for Title sponsorship,; the benefits are not enough, my boss is not convinced and so on.
- BACK PLAN: Think and document a backup plan. Secondly when, how and who to raise the red flag when anything goes wrong.
- BANK ACCOUNT: Open a bank account and document the process to remit sponsorship amount.
- REVIEW MEET: Arrange a periodic meet with your team. The meet motivates team members and you will observe the most vital results come immediately after the review meet.
- NEGOTIATION: People will negotiate hence Create your negotiation bucket list
- CORE TEAM: Other than sponsorship team ensure everyone in the Core Team is acquainted with and contributes towards raising funds. They are your strongest allies to raise funds.
- VOLUNTEERS: Spread the word among volunteers for potential leads.
- CORPORATE TOASTMASTER CLUB: Go back to Presidents of Corporates Club and request funds. They are the soft target or let’s call it low hanging fruits.
- DISTRICT OFFICERS: Speak to and share sponsorship document with District officers such as Area and Division Governors.
- CLUB, AREA AND DIVISION: Take a speaking slot at Club level, Area level and Division level and appeal for funds and leads. Go back and remind them again. Show them how they can raise funds or identify leads. Do the thinking on others behalf.
- DIGITAL WORLD: Get your web site and Facebook page up. Use them to increase awareness and request for sponsorship. This is your 24×7 marketing engine.
- THANK YOU: Acknowledge in writing people who influence indirectly or directly to raise funds.
- Have a plan, a backup plan and time to raise red alert.
- Begin prospecting early.
- Request help, leads and ideas for raising funds from your toastmaster’s community and friendly corporate.
- Learn from the lessons of the past events. Speak to the last team who raised funds.
- IDENTIFY WHAT’S NOT WORKING: Go back review and revise DELETE what’s not working and focus on what’s working.
- Remember sponsors may commit and back out. Deal is not done until money is in your account. And when money is in the bank give your sponsors exceptional service and assure them of the value out of the event.
- Don’t be disheartened if nothing seems working. Adjust your SAIL because SUCCESS is round the bend.
Please feel free to add comment to improve fund raising.