By Erin Wojno, Fundraise for Meso Event Planner
Sponsorships are a key factor in the success of a Fundraise for Meso fundraiser. Our first 5K for Mesothelioma was a success totaling over $42,000.00. Sponsorships played an important role in this success.
When it came to fundraising for our first 5K for Meso we did our homework to figure out what potential sponsors would have the most impact. On a local scale, we decided to hit home with community members. We started by telling our story allowing people to relate to us and understand the importance of our event. Next, we offered them different levels of sponsorships such as Bronze, Silver, and Gold. Each level consisted of different benefits such as registrations, t-shirts for their company, their company name or logo on our official banner and a plaque if they were a top sponsor. We also offered our sponsors the opportunity to set up tables at our event, or to include magnets, pens, or coupons in the goodie bags handed out to each participant. We let each sponsor know how important and appreciated they were by supporting our event.
Another way we were able to obtain sponsorships was by utilizing e-mail. I was able to e-mail companies the same way I would approach them in person. I told them our story and invited them to be a part of our event. Attached were copies of our sponsorship forms, a personalized volunteer letter, and a flyer advertising our event. I began sending e-mails out 6 months prior to our event and sent a reminder email approximately 2 months out. E-mail was a very effective way for me to reach my sponsorships on a higher level.
Giving back and showing appreciation to a sponsor is one of the most important parts in succeeding. When a person or company donates $1,000.00 to your event, they need to know how their contribution is making a difference. The words “Thank You” can never be said enough. After our event, we followed up with our sponsors especially those who could not attend the event. We made sure the sponsor received the appropriate package and we sent them pictures from that day so they could physically see the success of their support. Another key factor in our success was the turn out we had the day of our event. We invited our entire community to participate in making a difference in the mesothelioma world. We used social media, flyers, and large signs around our town advertising our event. Last year we had over 200 participants come run and walk to end meso.
As we plan our 2nd Annual 5K for Meso on April 24, 2016 we have invited all of our same sponsors to return, reiterating the success they contributed to last year. We have also started to seek new sponsors in hopes to keep spreading awareness. We have already started advertising our event on social media and local restaurants have offered to advertise our event on each table along with the township allowing us to have signs along highways and developments. We are fortunate to live in a community that thrives off of giving back. We are looking forward to another successful year!
For more information about planning your own mesothelioma fundraising event, read our blog Fundraising February: How to Start Planning Your 2016 Mesothelioma Fundraiser or visit curemeso.org/fundraiseformeso.