Your club or conference committee needs to secure donations to support their events.
Staff members Amy Hornstein and Julia Rosof can help your craft a fundraising strategy and advise you on best practices.
Please review these guidelines before getting started on fundraising:
Develop Your Fundraising Plan
- Be sure your entire group is clear on your “pitch.” Clarify dates, location, and themes of event. When developing a theme for your event, keep potential sponsor in mind. If your theme is not relevant to sponsors, they will be less likely to sponsor your event.
- Develop a budget for your event. Start with a previous year’s budget and adjust as needed to reflect how much you anticipate raising. When coming up with sponsorship projections, research the industry landscape. If you're hosting a technology event and the tech sector is in turmoil, raising sponsorship will be much more challegning. Remember, you do not have to repeat what was done in the past. Your event can be smaller or larger or completely revamped. Sample budget
- Prepare a list of companies you want to target for sponsorship. Be strategic about your targets and research the industry and companies you're targeting. Again, it helps to know the landscape and current trends of the industry. Just because a company gave last year doesn't mean they'll give again. You will have more success if you can answer the question, “Why is this specific company a good match for my event?” The answer may be that you already have contacts at the company, or that the industry is a match for your event. Also ask yourself “Why is this specific level of donation appropriate?” It may be that your event offers the company special access to students for a higher level of sponsorship. A lesser amount may be more appropriate if you have a smaller event and need in-kind support. For instance a beverage company could make in-kind donations to a Consumption Function.
- Identify contacts at the companies you have targeted. Use your personal networks, Haas colleagues, CareerNet, alumni listed on @Cal, and former work colleagues. Enter your target list on the shared Corporate Sponsorship Tracking document. Email Program Coordinator Lucas Mollenbrink for the link. Here is an example of what the corporate sponsorship tracking document looks like.
- Schedule a meeting with the Student Affairs team (Amy Hornstein and Julia Rosof) and the CMG Account Manager that covers the industry you're seeking sponsorship from. They will review your target list and provide advice and recommendations. This initial meeting and sharing your target list is essential to your fundraising success.
- Develop a customized pitch for each target. Sample Sponsorship Menu
- Make initial contact with the companies you are soliciting by email. Sample email
- Within one to three business days, follow up with a voicemail. Consider leaving the message during non-standard business hours. Be enthusiastic. Sample voicemail message
- Prepare the next phone call and anticipate potential obstacles ahead of time and prepare a response.
- Follow up your email and phone call with another phone call during standard business hours.
- Be ready with a drafted email listing all the pertinent details to send while you are on the phone with your prospect.
- Be sure to solicit the donation on the phone as opposed to scheduling a meeting.
- Once a firm agrees to sponsor, review all of the steps needed to obtain payment promptly.
- Send the company an invoice. Sample invoice
- Once the sponsorship is confirmed, complete the Check Processing Form
After the Event
- Stewardship is important. Write thank you notes to each of your sponsors, speakers, and in-kind donors.
- Capture your fundraising insights in a debrief report following your event. Pass it along to future club leadership.
The MBA Program Office holds the right to access the finances of the student organizations it oversees to verify appropriate management of club and conference monies, and audits the books of two to four student groups each semester.
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