The Fire Fighter’s Guide to Getting Fundraising Event Sponsors


Events are a sure-fire way to bring in donations for your fundraiser. Putting on a fundraising event does require hard costs. These costs can be reduced or eliminated by fundraising event sponsors.

Research the Possibilities

What have other local events done with sponsorships? What opportunities would most fit your fundraiser?

Some sponsorships to explore include:

“Approach businesses you frequent: the local bar, gym, banks, dentists, restaurants, etc.,” says Laura Wisneski, the Associate Director, Community Programs at Operation Warm. “They will be more likely to sponsor your event (or host it) if they know you are a frequent customer.”

Promote the Benefits to Fundraising Event Sponsors

 Here are three benefits for businesses to become fundraising event sponsors. Share these benefits with potential sponsors.

  1. Business that give back are more attractive to both customers and their employees.
  2. Tax benefits. In many cases, a sponsorship fee may be considered a donation.
  3. Sponsoring provides the opportunity to gain exposure to new customers.

“Approach locally owned businesses/restaurants as much as possible,” Laura says. They are more likely to want to help out when the cause is benefitting their own communities. One additional benefit of looking locally? “There is much less ‘red tape’ to cut through than with a larger regional corporation. These corporations are likely have standard processes to complete for sponsorship and you may to go through several steps to get approval.”

Use Your Network Effectively

Networking can be one of the most effective ways to make connections to potential fundraising event sponsors. Here are some tips.

  • Start with your personal network
  • See if anyone on your team has connections that might be a good fit
  • Ask your network to make introductions for you
  • Follow up with “hot” leads.

kids in fire truck operation warm“Use your connections,” Laura says. “Fire Fighters are so well connected in the community, which is the key to fundraising. Ask around the department to see where family members work, because you have a warmer, more established connection.”

Bonus tip from Network for Good:  “If you want to win over a sponsor, you need to speak their language. Formulate your approach with one question in mind: What’s in it for the sponsor?”

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