One of my favorite ways to make a modestly successful fundraiser into a highly successful one is to add sponsors ahead of the scheduled event.
I do not add sponsors, I have my candidate call for sponsors.
I work with my hosts to identify key individuals and thought leaders in their community. I then have my candidate call them and ask them to help sponsor the event. We call three weeks ahead of time so they can be listed on the invitation. But we do not stop calling! We will have our candidate call all the way up to the day before the event still asking for sponsors.
Sponsors who we add after the invites go out will still get recognition on the sponsor board (which I have at every event I do) even if they are not on the invitation.
Two important benefits from having sponsors:
- Makes the event financially successful before it begins.
- Listing sponsors allows others in the community to see who is supporting your candidate.
Remember when I talked about when to cancel a fundraiser? The main point from that post was you make the fundraiser successful BEFORE the event even starts. The way to accomplish that is through sponsorships.
Money in hand before the event starts.
Using sponsorships can really help boost the money you have come through the door. Once you have sponsorships committed, make sure the total will pay for the event costs. Then anything you net at the event goes directly to helping elect your candidate.
Social credibility from community leaders.
When someone receives an invitation for your event having the sponsors listed on the invitation immediately gives your candidate social credibility. Seeing the name of a well known local artist or a bank executive could encourage others to give your candidate a chance and come to the event.