FUNDRAISING – Business partnerships



TAs often turn to local companies for donated raffle prizes or Easter eggs, but that’s as far as the relationship

goes. Developing successful business partnerships that are mutually beneficial can bring greater rewards. Here’s how to find the right company and achieve ongoing support.

Find a partnership

that works Start by looking at your existing connections. Who will be easier to approach and more inclined to offer support? Ask around – do current PTA members, school staff and parents have any connections from which you can benefit? Next, search online for funding

and corporate social responsibility (CSR) schemes in your area. Check charity websites to see which companies already give support. Phone around businesses such as banks, insurers, supermarkets and utilities providers, which are generally known to help local causes. Are there any large corporations based nearby whose business is relevant to your fundraising objectives for the year? There are advantages to

approaching national companies, of course. They may have dedicated CSR teams, and more money to spend too. But large corporations

receive multiple requests every day, making it harder to stand out from the crowd unless you have a unique project or request. Local companies have a more personal connection to the community, especially if they have ties to the school.

Approaching a

business Aim to speak to the decision-maker. If the person you contact doesn’t have the authority to say yes or no, find out who does and the best way to contact them. A quick call to the company’s offices or some online research should provide the right information. LinkedIn is useful in determining who works where and their position in the organisation. Contact them by phone or

Form a rewarding relationship with a company and discover how both parties can reap the benefits

email or, if you want to stand out from the crowd, why not write them a letter? Clearly describe what you need and what you’re fundraising for. Suggest three projects the company might sponsor, at varying levels of commitment. Giving people a choice means they’ll be more inclined to pick one rather than say no altogether. Try to link your request to the company. Why are they the perfect sponsor? Remember that companies might

also donate products, provide volunteers, send guest speakers or run educational trips. Think about what’s in it for them

too. What you can offer in return for their support is crucial, especially in the current climate. Are you able to provide advertising on newsletters or social media, publicity at your next event or a logo on your list

of raffle prizes? Do your research and prepare some data: how many parents open school emails? What’s your school’s website traffic? How many people are in your Facebook group?

If you’ve already generated publicity around any current

fundraising projects or partnerships, use it to show any potential business partners what you’re capable of. Emphasise how companies that invest in the community SPRING 2021 37


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