So you have decided to do a casino party fundraiser! While you will make significant dollars from ticket sales to the overall event and even from the purchase of chips to play the games throughout the evening, the real key to generating income for your non-profit will be through obtaining sponsorships.
The more successful fundraisers obtain individual table sponsors as well as a lead or title sponsor/s for the entire event. This may seem challenging to those non-profits that do not have a dedicated development department that is used to doing fundraising. However, if you give yourself enough lead time and with a bit of leg work, getting event sponsors can be achieved. Here are a few tips to help you based on experience…
Use Your Existing Network – Begin by engaging your board members as well as employees, volunteers, and existing partners to determine what connections they may have in the local community. Ask them to provide introductions to potential sponsors or join you in doing a presentation.
Do your homework – This applies on many levels. To begin with, know what your potential sponsors are looking for – name recognition, attendance numbers, association with your non-profit, etc. Tailor your sponsorship packages to their needs!
In addition, see what kind of businesses other events are recruiting for sponsorships, and research ideas for sponsorship opportunities – casino table sponsor, the title sponsor, food and beverage sponsors, etc.
Obtaining Media Sponsorships – Getting a media sponsorship is a great way to help spread the word about your event. Exercise caution here as they may want some sort of exclusivity preventing you from developing a border marketing plan. In general, this is a great way to save if you have a limited advertising budget and media outlets will look for opportunities to engage with the community in a live setting, It will not, however, generate direct revenue.
Detail Sponsor Benefits – While each sponsor have different needs, and it is key to understanding your relationship with a specific donor, you will still want to outline a list of potential benefits companies will receive from sponsoring your event. Benefits can range from exposure to potential customers and media at your event to inclusion in event signage, advertising, social media, and viral marketing efforts, on-site sampling, VIP passes, and special recognition.
Customize Your Pitch – As previously stated, it is important to do your homework and know what your sponsor is looking for. Develop a strategy rather than a single sponsorship template, this way you can create a unique package that compliments the prospects brand and business goals.
Manage The Relationship: Once you get a sponsorship, be sure they are treated well! Dedicate a point person on your committee or team to ensure all agreed to obligations are met. This can range from obtaining sponsor logos to getting approval on collateral materials and press releases. Managing communications is key to having a successful sponsorship but also in cultivating a future donor.
Event re-cap & THANK YOU – once the event has concluded don’t forget to send a thank you to your sponsors. Emails may be nice but a handwritten note goes a lot further! You will also want to send them under a separate cover or email an event re-cap that outlines the success of the event including event attendance, money raised, press coverage, copies of ads, event photos, etc.
New Jersey Casino Parties has had over 30 years of experience in helping non-profits cultivate sponsorships and manage donor relations to achieve maximum results from events hosted with us. Give us a call or email us to see how we can help you with your next fundraiser.