One of the most important components of planning a Derby Duck Race is sponsorships. Sponsors are the key to success for your duck race. So, how do you get sponsors for this quacky event? Here are some tips to consider when you are seeking sponsors for your Derby Duck Race and other fundraising efforts.
Allow Plenty of Time
We cannot emphasize enough that it takes time to secure sponsorships. We recommend allowing your organization 7-9 months to plan a Duck Race because the majority of this time is going to be spent securing sponsorships. Don’t wait until the last minute. The more time you put into it, the better it will be for your race. When planning your duck race focus on your sponsors first. As a first-year racer, GAME sends you a timeline to follow so that you can stay on track.
Form a Committee
Designate a few people to be a part of a duck race sponsorship committee. Their sole focus will be partnering with new sponsors in your community as well as maintaining current relationships. Oftentimes one person tries to “wear every hat” and do everything from securing sponsors to logistics to Adopting Ducks which leads to exhaustion. If you need to be involved in the sponsorships, make sure you have other people assisting in the other areas of your duck race so you can keep focused. Also, have multiple people in your sponsorship committee. This will lighten the load and bring fresh ideas and new perspectives when approaching new and current sponsorships.
Create a Prospect List
Think of all the businesses in your community who may have been involved with your nonprofit in the past as well as those businesses that you would like to partner with. Create a list. Even if a business has said no in the past, make sure to include them on your list. You never know, they might surprise you and want to be involved with a duck race since it is something different. Look for businesses that attract a lot of families (i.e. grocery stores or restaurants) and businesses that are related to your organization and cause. Also, pay attention to advertising in your community. If businesses are spending money on bus signs, billboards, street banners, etc. they might have some money to donate as a sponsorship too!
Before sending out any emails, letters, or duck feathers to your prospect list, ask your board members, staff, and volunteers if they know any owners or employees at one of these businesses. If they do, ask for a warm introduction by phone, email, or in person. Potential sponsors are more likely to open your letter or email if they have met you before through a mutual contact. Always remember, do not ask for money or present sponsorship levels in your first letter to them. Instead, let them know about your duck race and organization and tell them to save the date. Be sure to include that you will follow up with them with more information in the near future date.
Find a Media Sponsor First
Media sponsors are great to secure first. In addition, they can attract other sponsors since they will know your Duck Race will be receiving coverage. You can also include media mentions in your proposals as a sponsorship value. Some media may help you sell sponsorships and/or provide warm introductions as they already have a lot of connections in the community. If available, media can also help assist in the production of a duck race promotional video that you can show other potential sponsor prospects.
Remember to check our blog regularly for more tips on other fun elements for a Derby Duck Race!