Sometimes it won’t be obvious exactly what needs doing/is wanted by your club or society’s members. Press for feedback from within your club or society. We suggest that you provide and publicise an email address for your members to send their suggestions to. Or set up a Facebook discussion thread and encourage your group members to post onto it. Once you have a nice bunch of proposals, put them to a club/society-wide vote! There is, of course, nothing to stop you from putting together more than one proposal. If you have lots of great ideas, share them. Let our sponsors see them and share them too. To some extent, the more you can come up with, the more likely a good chunk will get funded.
Aim to hold regular (monthly) meetings to discuss new ideas and review the progress of existing projects. This will remind your members that they can put their suggestions forward at every available opportunity. It will also give your students a sense of the new possibilities created by Sponsorcraft as well as the particular ambitions of your club or society. It is our belief that in the process of evaluating existing ideas, where they might take you and where you’d like to go, new ideas will come to the fore.
Finally, don’t be afraid to check out our website and blog for inspiration!
We don’t impose a word limit on these but it is advisable not to make them too long. Aim for no more than 800 words. In our experience, short and snappy proposals are the most likely to grab attention. Don’t get bogged down with endless graphs and statistics. As persuasive as they may be. Try to think of the most eye-catching things about your ideas and make them really stand out.
Here is a list of things to think about:
1) Think of a good title. We all know the old adage – you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. But how often do we really live by it? The better this is, the more chance you have that people will read the body of your proposal.
2) On a similar note, think of a suitable picture for your project. Make yourselves look like a group worth sponsoring. Amusing though it might be, a photo of last night’s alcohol-fuelled antics, for instance, might not be the wisest choice. Keep your clothes on! Some societies may prefer to work on a project video. The same applies here too, of course. Capoeira dancers may be excused
3) Timescales. These should offer you the amount of flexibility you need to hit your target. Try to be realistic. Unless your proposal and video are literally earth-shattering, you’re probably not going to raise £1000 in a week. £100-£200 per week is slightly more feasible at this early stage in Sponsorcraft’s (epoch-changing) history. Aim to get your ideas onto the website ASAP to give yourself more time to raise money. You don’t want to be stuck 3 weeks before a big event needing £500 worth of sponsorship! That extra month or two could make all the difference.
4) Finally, you’ll need to think of some appropriate rewards. These shouldn’t cost you too much and should, in an ideal world, be vaguely related to what you’re doing. A sports team could be offering signed balls or photos whereas a band might like to offer a copy of their latest CD. Think carefully about the kinds of unique (and affordable) rewards your society could offer. Plenty of people will sponsor your project philanthropically. Because it looks interesting to them or they’d like to see it work. But there are those who will be swayed by the attractiveness of the rewards on offer.
Oh and one more thing! Once you’ve got an idea of the rewards themselves, you’ll need to provide a few bits of information for the website:
a) A reward title.
b) A small description of each reward.
c) The minimum donation needed for a sponsor to qualify for each reward.
d) A quantity of each reward you’re happy/able to give out. (e.g. If you’re offering tickets to an event, is there a limit on the number of these available?)
Social Networks – Get onto Facebook, Twitter and get posting. It’s always good to get people you know to support your project first! It will give it an early boost in sponsorship and, hopefully, those friends and family will agree to promote it within their networks too. This is similar to what you’d do when raising money for a charity 10K run, for example.
Press – Use student newspapers and radio stations to get the word out. This is slightly more ambitious but likely to get a mention if the project is appealing to a wider audience such as putting on a firework display to mark a club centenary. Media attention will help you reach out to people outside your immediate friendship, club and college circles!
Blogs – These are an excellent way to communicate with friends and followers about where you’re at, what you’re up to, what targets you might have etc.
Word of Mouth – Tell all your society, college, alumni on Facebook, relevant university departments and local groups about your proposal. Direct them to your project page (they won’t need to be a Facebook friend unlike many Facebook-based proposals) and get them sponsoring!
Further advice: Establish initial contact with your university “Ambassador”. This is someone at your university who can help you with any questions that may arise. We are recruiting ambassadors now, so get in touch if you’re interested!