Getting (Almost) Everything
A hall or hotel may charge a corkage fee for opening the bottles. That may make it cheaper to buy from them.
Several restaurants may give one dish each to a gourmet fair. Look for restaurants that are about to open, or are new. Make sure the hall isn't contracted to a caterer.
Not usually from printers - they are reluctant to give away their livelihood. Instead, look for businesses that own a printing plant of their own. Chain stores or major corporations, for example, have donated printing. So have newspapers, and priority classes in schools. Allow extra time, so the printer can squeeze a free job in between paying clients.
Other free items to pursue: raffle and door prizes, the services of advertising agencies, hotel rooms (especially on weekends) and restaurant dinners. Books, especially last year's coffee table art books, make popular prizes and are easy to get donated.
Businesses will often donate goods for garage sales and bazaars. Retailers and manufacturers will give end-of-line, shop-worn and second-quality merchandise. Some will contribute brand new, high grade products and services as well. Many department stores have reputations for extraordinary generosity.
Keep a sense of perspective. Don't waste precious staff or volunteer time working all day to get $25 worth of goods donated.
You can give a donor a receipt for goods received, but never for services. Further information on this, and other Revenue Canada regulations, is in the chapter on tax laws.
Some expenses must be paid in cash. Use someone else's cash!
Many organizations will co-sponsor an event with a non-profit. This frequently makes the difference between success and failure.
Large or small, groups may find a partner who can make it easier to produce a successful event. If this is your first time, you don't need to go alone.
A sponsor may be a business with a related product. Or a service club that is doing good work. Or another non-profit that will split the expenses and the revenue with you.
Radio stations can be valuable co-sponsors. They gain in public goodwill, and you gain from promotional services. Corporate sponsors who want publicity are attracted when radio station co-sponsors promise free air time.
Many radio stations are willing to do this as part of their community relations programs. TV stations and newspapers are much less involved in this sort of arrangement.
The station may offer a specified number of minutes of Public Service Announcements (PSAs). They may also arrange to have announcers mention the event during their broadcasts. Personalities may appear at the event as well.
Enrolling one radio station as co-sponsor usually does reduce your publicity on other stations. Make sure you chose the best co-sponsor. Pick a station that reaches the people you will want to reach. A hard rock station will not reach chamber music enthusiasts or senior citizens very effectively.
One classic example of radio co-sponsorship is the Soda Pop Castle. With this technique a local bottler of a popular soft drink donates dozens of cases of pop. The fundraisers build a castle or fort of stacked cases in a shopping centre parking lot or some other central area. A local DJ is then trapped in the middle, with broadcast equipment to do a radio show live from the site. Supporters set the announcer free by buying the drinks - usually at a discount. The proceeds go to your organization. If the castle is large enough, the DJ may be there for days - provide a bed, a portable toilet, and food!
Service clubs also make good co-sponsors. They can provide an army of talented volunteers ready to take on good work. Many have experience in fundraising, and can help a new organization learn the ropes. Since many service clubs are populated by business-people they frequently have the skills and contacts to sell tickets.
Some service clubs want part of the proceeds from events they co-sponsor, for their own charitable projects. Make sure all the details are clear beforehand.
Firefighters also have a remarkable reputation for generosity for a variety of causes. They are often willing to collect public donations of goods at their fire hall. Examples include used clothes for children, food for hunger programs, and even recyclable materials. In some towns, the firefighters will erect a tollbooth on a major road and collect donations from every passing car.
Some companies will donate samples of their products or services for your event. One or two large items are good as door prizes, or for an auction. They may offer enough smaller items for each guest, as a party favour. For example, a perfume manufacturer might provide a tiny vial of a new scent for each guest.
Other sponsors may allow you to show off unusual or luxurious houses or apartments. People will pay for a tour, or to attend a dinner party there, if only to see the interior of the homes.
Multiple levels of sponsorships are also worth considering. They provide opportunities to involve several sponsors. Each may give a different amount.
Call the largest sponsor a benefactor, for example. They may get the event named after their company or service club. Their logo would appear on a large banner in a prominent place. They might also receive 3 seats at the head table, passes for 10 people, and a full-page ad in the program.
Sustainers might be the next level. They may give 2/3 of the funds, and get smaller signs offering recognition. They get two seats at the head table, passes for 8, and a 2/3-page ad in the programme.
Three companies might share the honour of being the guarantors. Each could sponsor, for example, all the costs of one of three meals at a conference. Or they could sponsor one performance of a show, and so on.
Each level gets a little more recognition for their investment. All get good value for their money.
Caution is needed with this approach. Charities that put too much emphasis on the public relations benefits available for sponsors may find themselves competing for the advertising dollar. Usually, a non-profit deals with a donations officer who is interested in the value of the project for its own sake. Instead, you may face the ad department. There you have to prove the PR value of the event is greater than spending the money on ads. This can be difficult.
Major sponsorships can be worth thousands of dollars. Systems of matching non- profits with corporations are highly sophisticated.
For example, breweries, distilleries and wineries all take major roles in sponsoring sporting events. Tobacco companies have given to the arts. Pharmacies and drug manufacturers often host community health fairs.
Careful advance preparation is needed to arrange these major liaisons. The competition is stiff.
American Express Canada, for example, reportedly received 440 requests for sponsorship in 1987, of which 114 were for cultural events. Of these 114, American Express selected eight to sponsor, according to The Sponsorship Report, a Canadian newsletter. Here are excerpts from this newsletter, covering a speech by Gustavo Galluzi, president and general manager of American Express Canada. He was speaking to the National Conference on Tourism, Culture and Multiculturalism in Montreal, in April 1988. Many other businesses have similar policies.
Our motives for corporate sponsorship are twofold. We believe that sponsorship of culture and the arts is our duty as a good corporate citizen. We also believe that it is a worthwhile investment, especially where the event is of national or international repute and can increase travel and tourism.
Those organizations that receive sponsorship from American Express are ones that have a profile and image similar to ours. When you solicit future sponsors, it is crucial for you to find the right fit.
Although you don't have to know a company inside and out before you ask for corporate sponsorship, you do need to know a few basic things about the company before you make the approach. You must know the demographics of the consumers to whom they market - in other words, who the customers are, as categorized by income, age and geography.
In the area of sponsorship, the target groups of the cultural event and the potential sponsor must share similar characteristics. Unless they do, most companies will not chose to spend their limited funds on an event.
Moreover, the images of the cultural event and the sponsor should also mesh. Ensuring this is particularly tricky...
What can you expect a sponsor to do for you?
The bottom line for most requests is usually financial funding. Occasionally, only the use of the company name is sought.... If the fit is particularly good between the cultural event and the sponsor, the company may help you do your marketing. When this happens, the happy result is that the cultural entity's usually meager marketing budget (and sometimes marketing expertise) is vastly amplified.
So who were the lucky eight? In 1987, American Express Canada sponsored the following cultural events:
You may find it particularly useful to know how Canada's largest bank views sponsorship. The Royal Bank was a major sponsor of the Calgary Olympics. They also sponsor smaller projects every year. Here is an article written by a vice-president of The Royal Bank, explaining their procedures.
by Peter Case
Reprinted from Special Events Report
with permission of the author and publisher.
Before the Olympics, The Royal Bank of Canada, the largest bank in the country and the sixth largest in North America, created a model for negotiating implementing and evaluating sponsorship. Below, Peter Case, Royal Bank's vice president of advertising describes the model and the process the bank used to develop it.
A sponsor must have a sponsorship model; it is the only way to maximize sponsorship dollars.
We have learned that we cannot afford to assume event organizers know our sponsorship goals or the nature of our business, despite the fact that banking seems to be such a straightforward subject. To know the bank's goals requires an intricate understanding of our business strategies, priorities and trade secrets. The onus is definitely on corporate sponsors to develop criteria that not only help specific sponsorship needs, but also ensure sponsorships will work for the company.
With those thoughts in mind, we set out early last year to build a Royal Bank sponsorship model. We think we have succeeded because our model has since become critical to the bank's assessment, internal collaboration, negotiation and implementation of sponsorship activities.
Royal Bank sponsorships, such as our role as official bank of the '88 Calgary Olympics, are built solidly on our ability and desire to generate measurable business returns from sponsorship investments. That approach is an important departure from our earlier sponsorships, many of which were assumed for vague image enhancement reasons.
We define sponsorship as an external communications vehicle that, when integrated with the bank's marketing mix and promotional activities, produces measurable returns in support of business unit marketing goals.
Perhaps the most important word is integrated - with business unit goals and other marketing communications functions. We worked hard with groups in our organization to develop event marketing and sponsorship guidelines. This all-important, internal involvement helped us match business goals with sponsorship opportunities and derive business gains through sponsorship.
We formalized the business of de fining and exploiting event marketing opportunities last January when we appointed Patrick Kahnert, the bank's former manager of corporate communication services, to the newly created position of Manager, Event Marketing.
We had a wealth of previous experience in sponsorship from which to draw, but we found we really had not controlled our own destiny. We frequently failed to ask the right questions and we regularly bought properties that did not provide meaningful payback to the bank.
By dedicating a management resource to the task of building a sponsorship model - of negotiating, refining and applying it - we can ensure that control, focus and pay-back remain the backbone of our event marketing and sponsorship activities. We tailor-made the sponsorship model ourselves - we did not buy it - with help from some of the best event marketing consultants in Canada.
A Disciplined Sponsorship Evaluation Process. Kahnert spent considerable time counselling both internal and external groups that had sponsorship requests and proposals. While his frequent declines soon earned him the nickname Dr No, we stayed out of sponsorship until we had clearly identified value objectives, cultural parameters and evaluation tools.
Today, each sponsorship proposal that appears to have merit is first reviewed by us from an event marketing perspective - to see how it fits with other activities we're doing or want to do. We then circulate the proposal, with comments, to appropriate areas within the bank to identify specific marketing needs that would justify the investment.
By using sponsorship proposals as discussion points throughout the bank, we have added to our capacity to understand and support the marketing goals of various units. Indeed, we have an open-door approach to proposals because they enable the bank to define more clearly and precisely what sponsorship can or cannot achieve.
Because clear guidelines now exist, most decisions on sponsorship proposals can be made with a high degree of consistency by Royal Bank managers other than ourselves. We can act as advisers or catalysts in those deliberations, ensuring for the bank the key elements: control, focus and payback. The guidelines have been well received throughout the organization because they fill a huge gap.
To make sure we remember our lessons, we internally distribute regular event marketing status reports summarizing each sponsorship proposal and the reasons the bank either accepted or rejected it.
The common reasons we decline sundry sponsorship include: an unreasonable fee, too many co-sponsors, or organizers will not permit association of relevant bank products or services. Tickets and bank logo recognition are not enough to justify sponsorship.
Royal Bank Sponsorship Model. We now have a good idea of what event properties we should buy or create ourselves. Our evaluation model puts existing or prospective sponsorships to the acid test. It demands the articulation of specific business-generation goals, the identification of target audiences -including real names versus broad demographic statements - and setting of measurable sales targets.
Here's how it works. First, we identify the fit of proposals with our raison d'être - providing banking services. We'd like to think that if a major event is good enough to sponsor, it's good enough to bank with us.
Next, we flush out the marketing potential of a proposition, specifically in terms of product or service goals with a clearly defined target audience.
Then we look for specific business development and client relations opportunities. We are getting better at making sure events are of interest to our customers.
Although image enhancement is our fourth criterion, it is a vital consideration; an event's cause and its organization must be compatible with the bank's corporate reputation objectives. However, image enhancement as a sole reason for event sponsorship is more often than not a copout. I've seen very few arguments on behalf of image stand up to scrutiny.
If these criteria collectively provide the bank with measurable business returns, we move to the control box in our model - we negotiate maximum value for the bank. A relevant sponsorship niche must be available: appropriate exclusivity rights, right of first refusal, and a clear position for the bank to exercise control over the promotion of its products and services.
When we make a fee offer to event organizers - please note the use of the word offer - we base it on the potential business and marketing value to the bank. We don't always accept the organizer's notion of a reasonable fee. We want to be sure we can derive, within a specified time-frame, a reasonable return on our investment.
And then the key to sponsorship success begins - the implementation of strategies to exploit the rights we pur chased to meet specific objectives. The only elements restricting success in this vital step are imagination, creativity, money and time.
The sponsorship model in itself does not assure payback; that requires follow- through. A lack of follow-through is a major reason many companies walk away from sponsorships shaking their heads about whether they received their money's worth.
We applied our sponsorship model to our Olympic sponsorship. Besides marketing bank services to groups involved in the Games, including organizers, sponsors, suppliers, sport groups, athletes and spectators, we extended our role to embrace the bank's entire Canadian branch network. We accomplished the latter by offering Olympic souvenirs, and promoting and selling Olympic coins. Banking services and coin sales will liquidate the lion's share of the bank's investment in the Games.
As for business development, we used our involvement, in good measure, to get closer to our preferred clients. And the bank's reputation as the helpful bank was enhanced thanks to the commitment of our Alberta district headquarters and branch network.
The bank's sponsorship model fits the culture and modus operandi of the bank. It applies equally to our sponsorship of the Olympics and local curling bonspiels. This is important because not all sponsorships have to be corporate undertakings. Our event marketing program is able to be implemented at all levels.
While the sponsorship model is a solid foundation, it is not cast in stone. We are quickly learning to adjust our event marketing strategies.
We've also learned, the hard way, that a deal is only as good as the ability of both sides to do what they promised. Partnerships are not always made in heaven.
The Royal Bank of Canada has 1,467 branches In Canada and more than 1,600 operating units in 39 other countries. Assets at the end of fiscal 87 were $102.2 billion; international operations account for a third.
The Royal Bank of Canada
Telephone: (416) 974-5151
The Royal Bank information above was reprinted from Special Events Report. It and The Sponsorship Report are two useful publications you should know about. Both help beleaguered fundraisers find the right matches. They also help corporate representatives do their jobs better.
For more information on these newslettters, please refer to the Resource Guide at the end of this book.
A programme booklet can be help you in several different ways. A programme can be as simple as a piece of paper with information photocopied on both sides and folded into a 4- page booklet. It can be elaborate, multi-paged and colourful. No matter how modest or fancy, here's what to do:
§ 1 Thank donors and volunteers publicly in the program. The size of a donor's often gift relates directly to the amount of publicity it generates. Some business sponsors may appreciate free ads in the programme.
When inviting government leaders, diplomats, religious dignitaries, and other people with positions of honour, there's a right and a wrong order to list them in printed material. This affects the order in which they walk in a procession to the head table, too.
Always ask such a guest's office staff for the correct order of precedence or check with your local library.
§ 2 Include educational material about your work in the program. Everyone attending should learn more about your organization. This is especially important at events like casinos, where donors may not know your group very well.
§ 3 Tuck a donation request inside the cover. Some people may want to send in extra contributions. You might use a postage-paid reply envelope, if you expect people to send gifts after the event. Only a few will respond, of course, but they make it worthwhile.
§ 4 Get the printing donated. This helps keep costs low. Be extra sure to include a thank-you to the person or group who prints the program in the program itself. This can encourage more donations of printing. It also reassures your other supporters. Donors like to know that their gifts go to the organizational mission, and are not spent on printing. You must not only be a wise steward of their money, you must appear to be.
When a printer arranges typesetting, artwork, and layout of printed material for you, be sure to pick up the working material afterwards. With minor changes, it may save money in producing next year's programme, or on other printing jobs.
§ 5 Recruit new volunteers. Tuck a simple form inside the programme, possibly in combination with other response forms. Ask people who might like to volunteer to fill in their names and phone numbers. You might also ask what kind of volunteer work they'd like to do, or what their skills are. If your event is enticing, more people may want to get involved with you.
§ 6 Offer to contact people who want more information. One group reported a $10,000 corporate gift, resulting from a contact made at a special event. They provided a coupon marked please contact me with spaces for name and address.
§ 7 Ask for anonymous comments to evaluate the event. When asked face-to- face, people often say they enjoyed an event more than they did, rather than seem rude. An anonymous questionnaire gets more honest answers, and more detail.
How could it improve next time? Rate various factors, such as the room, the refreshments, the speeches, the entertainment. Don't rank them on a scale of 1 to 10, because people are often unsure whether 1 is the highest of lowest. Instead, ask people to circle one of Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor, Very Poor. Leave plenty of room for comments, too.
§ 8 Sell the program, especially if it is high quality. Fans at rock concerts, sporting events and art shows often pay top dollar for souvenir programs. Prices of $5 to $25 are not uncommon. This is only appropriate if the program is optional, and interesting enough to be good value for the price.
Here's how one group did it. The Hadassah Bazaar decided their annual sale was so large everyone needed maps to find their way around the bargains. The Toronto Sun agreed to produce the maps, add editorial copy, and sell ads. The reported result was a gross of $60,000, netting $40,000 on the map booklet alone.
§ 9 Sell advertisements in the program. Do this only if it's an efficient use of volunteer and staff effort. Ad sales people from a local newspaper or radio station may help on this. Be careful not to waste too much energy if the returns are low.
So many groups run special events that supporters in a community can feel overwhelmed. Which should they support? A challenge can add needed excitement. For people who enjoy the competitive spirit, it can add extra zip. Challenges can build spirit and loyalty - to a group, a school, or a community. They can also multiply the total money raised.
How do they work? A person or organization donates money (or goods) to your cause, and challenges others to match it. Challenges can go back and forth, raising enthusiasm and money for the cause. Here are examples of several different types you can use.
I challenge all the other motorcycle riders to bring a teddy bear for the kids.
South Side High challenges all the other secondary schools to a 24-hour fundraising dance marathon.
Announcements like these are often heard during telethons, on radio and TV. Service clubs, fraternities, sports clubs and high school councils often get into the spirit. Two cities can challenge each other, with the mayors' active participation.
Sam's Gas station will give The _______ Charity 50 cents for every person who fills up this Saturday using our coupon.
On 'Buck-a-Cup Monday' everyone who buys coffee for $1 at Mickey's Muffin Heaven gets a free muffin. All the proceeds go to ___________________
Petro-Canada did this on a large scale as part of the Olympic Torch Relay. McCain Foods redeemed discount coupons giving consumers a 50-cent discount on their products plus a 50-cent donation to an African water project for the Canadian Hunger Foundation, totalling $100,000. McDonald's franchisers regularly have fundraising McHappy Days. Many local merchants and small businesses will participate in similar efforts.
Joe will give $2,500 if someone else will.
A Foundation will give $75,000 if we raise $25,000.
Some people want to start the ball rolling. If they worry that the project won't raise enough to get launched, a conditional gift is perfect. If 100% funding isn't found, they are off the hook. Foundations are using this now to prevent non-profits from becoming dependent.
"The provincial government will give $3 for every $1 the public sends to victims of the tornado/drought/flood/fire."
Federally, CIDA will match donations for international development up to $9 for every $1 given. They will usually include provincial matching grants as well. That can mean $18 available for Third World work for every dollar residents in certain provinces give.
Our company will give $1 for every $1 one of our employees gives to the university.
Most common for university and educational institutions, matching grants are often available. The match varies from 50% to 200%. Usually the employee must fill Out a company form requesting the match.
Where can you get a list of companies that offer matching grants? Try the nearest university Alumni Affairs office. They usually have that data to get extra gifts from their own grads. They may be willing to share the information with you. IBM, Levi Strauss and Manufacturers' Life are among many companies that have offered generous matches.
Some companies also prefer to give grants to non-profits where employees are active volunteers. Ask your donors where they work!
The names and addresses of people who buy your tickets, whether for an event or a raffle, can be valuable. Those who support you once will probably do so again.
How do you get the names and addresses?
Door prizes are the most effective method. There should be more than one prize - perhaps a dozen or more. A greater chance to win will make people more likely to join in.
Simple prizes will do. They should be donated, if possible. Perhaps a local restaurant will provide a free dinner for two. A cinema might offer passes for the movies. A publisher could give a coffee-table art book. For more ideas, see Chapters 6, Getting (Almost) Everything Donated and 11, Auctions.
Petitions are excellent for advocacy organizations. They provide a list of names and addresses of people who feel strongly about the same issue as you do. Yet most groups never get in touch with these supporters. Tell those who signed what the results of the campaign were. Ask for their help for the next phase. This provides an opportunity to build a politically and financially rewarding relationship.
A guest book at the door works in certain circumstances, where other techniques may be inappropriate. However many people will pass it by, especially if there is a crowd at the door. Others may write illegibly, or leave only a partial address.
A fish-bowl draw can work at public facilities such as a community centre, library, swimming pool, gym, or an art show. Ask visitors to drop a business card into a bowl or box near the high-traffic areas. Provide paper and pencil for those with no cards. Offer prizes for a draw.
This provides you with added information:
What do you do with the names?
Contact people often - at least once a year.
Send a note right away. Within a week or two of a special event you can thank people for coming. Tell them how successful the campaign was. Ask for extra donations to reach the goal, or to launch phase two.
Within 3 to 4 months, write or phone to ask for help on different projects.
Invite them to the next special event. If they had fun at an annual event, 50% or more will come again. If you offer several events a year, it may be appropriate to invite people who attended one to attend others. Use discretion here. For example, you may not want to invite the entrants in the Pig-Out Pizza Eating Contest to your $175 per plate Gourmet Buffet.
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