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Freeman Cebu Business

Fund Raising 101- First Leg

BUSINESS AFTER BUSINESS - Romelinda Garces - The Freeman

Now events are aplenty. Long years of staying home and social distancing has released a hunger to circulate and be adventurous again. This has encouraged organizations to stir up the passion for activities and come up with different events to release the pent-up energies that were placed on reign in self-protection.

Organizing activities is no easy feat. Aside from having to choose what would feed the need of people to participate, there is that practical point of making one’s event suit the budget of the target public both as a customer and a benefactor. Oftentimes, the planners end up listing down sponsors who understand their cause and are willing to support their program. 

That is a good step. Clear directions show distinct intentions. Event organizers are there to make a profit. That is business. But the event source may have thought of the idea for a good cause thus the activity has to earn to pay both the implementation and the reach the target of an advocacy or festivity.

Indeed festivals are back on track as well and we are happy about this because it means our economy is waking up. Fiestas are festive celebrations and often costs a lot of money but local governments weigh its cost and the intent of stirring up the economy through tourism and encouraging investors to take a look at their place so as to open investments.

Whatever the occasion, or the reason, staging an event is bound to have its own expenses.  Thus the need to raise funds, to raise funds!  This where sponsorships are born.

In my exposure both as a fund raiser and as an evaluator of sponsorships, I have seen how one wins or loses in a bid for support.

Here are some of my thoughts on why.

In this day and age where information is just a click away, it is anathema to carpet bomb.  Now what do I mean by this?  Carpet bombing is when you send as many solicitation letters to whoever comes to mind without much thought on the recipients’ priorities of capacities. This may involve indiscriminate sending of request letters to whoever comes to mind.

When a solicitation letter or a request for sponsorship is made, never forget to put in the name of the person or the company you are writing to.  It is best to place the name of the person and his position if you are sure of the addressee.  But the title at least (although one should really find out if you are serious about finding support) should grace the beginning of your letter. 

In this computer age, where typing is not as difficult as using a typewriter, never place blanks with the intention of writing on the space when you know whom to address the letter to.  Placing blanks indicate that you have sent the same letter to others, and may discourage the sponsor from taking up your cause as he or she may think there are many others anyway who may be interested.

Placing blanks also brings in the danger of being sent to a company without even the courtesy of any addressee. I have received numerous letters like these and I tend to disregard them.  If they do not even know who they are seeking support from, why should a sponsor bother?

In fact, one should make a need and source list.  Not all needs are cash.  Some may be items that are available and can be borrowed for an event and a sponsor may be willing to lend in exchange for a bit of mileage or goodwill.  As you list your needs, you should likewise list your possible sources.  Do not ask what your sponsors may not be able to give.  For instance, you ask for an amount that is far beyond what a company may be able to afford.  Or you think since the company is big they always have a budget to share.  Remember, you are not the only one seeking their help and usually large businesses have a Corporate Social Responsibility arm that lists its priorities.

If you are raising funds for a low-cost housing initiative, then try asking suppliers of materials from those who have the supplies.  You may also research on the giving priorities of companies.  Most large corporations have a foundation and an advocacy they support.  If your project falls within the line of the priorities of a company or a foundation, you may have a better chance.

Be practical in your asking.  Look at the situation of the economy, and what may possibly have affected the business climate.

Immediately after the slowdown of the pandemic, some people thought that business was ready to bounce.  But some may still be dribbling, trying to regain their balance again.  It would be outrageous to expect so much after a catastrophe.  View the horizon.  But do not lose hope.  There are those who also want to take the opportunity to show that they are okay, and may want to support your cause.  So again, research.

 

 

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