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How to attract local sponsors for your production

How to attract local sponsors for your production

Two years ago, our amateur theatre group found that fundraising was becoming increasingly harder and ticket sales still more difficult to cover costs of a production let alone put some money away for a rainy day. This blog is designed to help you attract sponsorship effectively from local businesses and organisations to keep your organisation afloat.

Advertise sponsorship well

Most groups welcome sponsorship in whatever form they can get it but never advertise the fact that they are looking for it. Members are key routes through to top local business leaders who have the money to invest in the community and there are often local trusts who give grants to applicants who demonstrate work with youth and vulnerable adults in society. Here are some things you can try to advertise your need for sponsorship.

  • Put your offering on your website– everything from programme adverts to band sponsors with prices and details of what the sponsorship includes- think how it can benefit them not you
  • Share this page on social media and ask your members to disseminate it on their networks and within their friends and family. Most people know someone who would like a programme advert at least
  • Get an article in the local paper– lots of people read local press and if businesses are looking to support local organisations they will get in touch. It also raises profile of your forthcoming production to the general public as well.
  • Announce it at community events– big events can pull in lots of people so as well as avdertising your tickets, make sure you get sponsorship there as well. One well-priced sponsorship deal can get more money in than  a handful of tickets.
  • Put the word out early and then do a ‘late call’ to encourage a sense of urgency about it. The first call should be say 1 or 2 months before yOur deadline and then some urgent calls in the final two weeks usually gets urgent late entries in on time.

Give your sponsors options

Many businesses and organisations will have criteria to match sponsorship against to decide who to support in their local communities. It’s your job to put together sponsorship packages that adhere to these aims. Here are some ideas we had when putting together our packages here:

  • Production sponsor; mentions in all advertising and publicity for the event, logo on all posters and flyers, leaflets across the venue and as pull outs in programmes plus banners up in the auditorium and theatre corridors. Tickets to opening/closing night, champagne reception and canapés before the show. Regular mentions on social media and on the sponsors page of our website.
  • Band sponsor; promotional material in venue. Regular mentions on social media and on the sponsors page of our website. Tickets to night of choice and banner in front of the band in the auditorium if possible.
  • Youth members sponsor; this is an opportunity to sponsor young people to be able to take part in the production with full costume, makeup, set and professional production values. Regular mentions on social media, on our website and acknowledgment in our programme feature in this package.
  • Programme sponsor; inside cover
  • Programme sponsor; back cover
  • Programme sponsor full page
  • Programme sponsor half page
  • Programme sponsor quarter page

It’s important to include as many different levels of sponsorship as possible to enable businesses with all sizes of budget to support you however they can. You need to make it easy for them to do so.

Contact as many as you can

Phone calls can be time consuming especially if your committee mostly work 9 to 5 as well but it’s not the only option to get your sponsorship packages out there.

  • Calling businesses is always going to be successful because they have to deal with your call and you’ll often great through to the right department quicker than you would using an email or similar communication.
  • Mass emails to local businesses also cover ground fast but they don’t always have the personal touch that might convince people to contribute
  • Direct posts on social media- Tweeting and posting on organisation’s Facebook pages tend to be successful because it’s often their marketing department who picks it up.
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