A guide to asking for in-kind sponsorship for Fetes and Festivals

‘In-kind’ Sponsorship is an alternative to cash sponsorship that your organisation could benefit from. Here’s how.

‘In-kind’ sponsorship involves goods and services; not cash.

Your school fete committee is bound to have a list of ‘stuff’ that’s needed with dollar values that, when totaled, have you wondering how you’ll see a profit. Stuff like:

  • coffee machine hire
  • electrician services
  • sausage sizzle food
  • promotional flyers
  • volunteering opportunities
  • graphic design services

These—and many, many more goods and services, including stall volunteers, could be provided by local businesses as ‘in-kind’ sponsorship.

Think ‘you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’.

Much like a straight donation, a sponsor wants more than to feel good about supporting your event. There needs to be a quantifiable ‘something’ in return: help to reach a particular market segment, raise its profile, and sell more of its products or services.  Stats on school or club enrolment numbers, catchment area and demographic breakdowns can help your case, as can examples of past success.

Sponsorship proposal essentials

  • Tailor a written submission to each potential sponsor.
  • Be mindful when approaching competing businesses – Do certain levels of sponsorship deserve exclusivity?
  • Be specific about what you want and what you can offer in return.
  • Direct your submission to the actual person who will make the decision, not Dear Sir/Madam.
  • Follow your written submission up with a phone call and ask for a chance to meet and discuss.
  • Get their commitment in writing.

8 things that make sponsors happy

  • Encourage loyalty to the sponsors within your group
  • Update the sponsors on event progress
  • Publicly thank, thank and thank again your sponsors
  • Be seen to be using the sponsors’ goods and services
  • Invite the sponsors to actively be a part of your fete – presenting a prize, drawing the raffle, giving a speech
  • Include your sponsors’ names in every media release and piece of promotional material – and send a copy to the sponsor
  • Do a ‘shout out’ on your Facebook
  • Live up to your part of the deal, without exception. Display signage, use the logo—whatever you said you’d do, do it well.

Keeping sponsors happy after the fete
Make sure sponsors receive a short report on the event and its outcomes, copies of any publicity, photos from the event and a letter (or certificate) of appreciation.