We all know that the B2B event ecosystem survives (and thrives) on sponsors. These cash injections unlock event value,and having sponsors brings an air of legitimacy to your event. But what about school events?
Believe it or not, there are plenty of brands who are ready and willing to sponsor school events. For many school events, increasing attendance is the top priority. But that causes some event planners to sleep on sponsors. Don’t do that! Sponsors can single-handedly transform your entire event, even in the education industry.
So, whether you’re a parent throwing together a quick event, a school looking to upgrade its next big fundraiser, or an event planning agency trying to put together the best event possible, finding school sponsors can help you hack your next event. Here’s how you do it.
Why Would Anyone Need a Sponsor for a School Event?
A sponsor is a company that gives your event money in return for advertising. So, they may give you $20k in return for your top tier sponsorship package (read here to learn about sponsorship packages). And as part of that package, your event puts their logo on your school’s event tickets or marketing material.
But do you need sponsors to throw a great event? Well... it depends.
Whether or not you need a sponsor comes down to one thing — money. The average sponsorship size is $12k. For most school events, $12k is significant. Throw together a couple of different sponsorship packages, and you can turn a bland event into the talk-of-the-town. The good thing is that 75% of sponsors are actively looking to sponsor events. The bad news is that you can’t use most of them.
How to Pick The Right Sponsor for Your School Event
Let’s be honest — picking a sponsor for a school event is a little tough. You have to pick brands that are ecologically responsible, honest, kid-friendly, and promote positive health which can be daunting.
Some schools choose to use parents as sponsors and that’s definitely an option. But, you won’t get as much money from parents as you would brands. Plus, you have to be careful about what you offer parents in return for their sponsorship.
Where should you start?
Local! Not only does sponsoring local businesses help generate income in your own city (which in turn, goes back to the school), but you don’t have to be as picky with local sponsors. To find local sponsors, just start emailing (or calling) local businesses. For proper brainstorming, we recommend using a mind map to visualize the outcomes you want and where you should start.
Ask them if they would like to sponsor your event and then tell them about your sponsorship packages. Be persuasive!
But once you’ve exhausted your local options, it’s time to increase the scope of your search.
How to Find School Sponsors
In the past, finding sponsors required schools to contact regional offices of major brands and walk their way up the ladder. In other words, non-local sponsors were almost impossible to secure. But in today’s brand ecosystem, finding sponsors is a digital affair.
There are a lot of websites and online resources to aid with finding event sponsors. But remember to vet them first. Always research values before you hang up a banner. School events have more internal and external pressure on them to find hyper-relevant brands that fit into the school image. If you sponsor a brand that has some shady history, you can find yourself running head-first into protests — and that’s the opposite of what you want.
How to Prove Your Value
Sponsors are going to want to know why they should sponsor your school event. So, you have to show them value. Here’s what you should leverage:
- Your assets: What can you offer them? Where will you put their logo? How will it benefit them? These are the questions you need to answer before you scout out sponsors. Because, chances are, they’re going to ask.
- Your competitors: How much are other schools charging sponsors? If you can figure that out, leverage it. Talk about how many more students you have or how much more valuable your students are.
- Your audience: Gen Z spends $44 billion a year. But they also influence over $300 billion worth of purchases from their family. That’s huge! You have an amazing audience. You just need to bring the data to show it.
- Data: Bring as much data as possible. Brands love it when you can prove your value with numbers.
- Target market: Bring your full school demographics and market place data so they can make sure this audience is who they are trying to reach.