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YoBob's avatar

Anybody out there had any experience raising large amounts of funding for a non-profit through sponsorships?

Asked by YoBob (12846points) March 17th, 2011

Ok, I have one of those wild eyed ideas that I would like to make a reality.

One of the great opportunities that the Boy Scouts of America offers is the opportunity for older scouts to participate in various high adventure activities. I would like to help a group of scouts fulfill their dream of the ultimate high adventure trip, space.

Basically what this will take is around $200K per seat. Of course, there is no way that most of the boys or their families can pull a chunk of change like that out of their pockets. OTOH, that’s really just a small drop in the bucket for many large corporate advertising budgets, and helping send a bunch of scouts into orbit has a very high cool factor, not to mention the type of thing that plays well in the press. I’m hoping I can talk a few major sponsors into being large contributors in exchange for the huge opportunity for great press.

Problem is, I’m not exactly sure how to go about being taken seriously by potential sponsors. I suspect it’s a bit more complicated than sending an email to somebody that says something like “Hey, wanna give me $200K to send a kid into space in exchange for some great press and a nice tax write off?”.

Anyone out there with real practical experience in soliciting large scale corporate sponsorship for a non-profit who might be able to offer advice?

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7 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Nice idea, You need to be set-up as a 501( c )3 “a non-profit” and have many years of history to be regarded as potential organization for sponsorship by corporate America.

marinelife's avatar

You will need some materials that show the sponsors what they will get for their patronage. Media coverage? Making a video of the scouts adventure in space to be shown on youtube?

YoBob's avatar

Thanks @Tropical_Willie. I’m hoping to get official BSA buy in for the project. They have a history that spans over 100 years. ;)

snowberry's avatar

Have you thought about submitting an application for a grant? Here’s an article about 10 colleges that offer free courses in grant writing.

Many colleges and universities offer degrees in grant writing. Or You might be fortunate enough to find someone who knows how to write grants. Get this part started, and finding people who want to help your cause may get easier because they’ll know you are serious, and you are not uninformed.

Regarding fund raising and scholarships, all it takes is one inspired wealthy person who knows other wealthy people with the same passion. Once you have found that person, it’s easier.

They are out there, but it takes a certain amount of glad-handing, lots and lots of your own money, time and effort, prayer, and even luck.

YoBob's avatar

@snowberry A grant is an interesting idea. However, aren’t grants generally given from established institutions to further their agenda? For example, colleges give grants to students with promise who have economic challenges, or the government gives grants to a particular researcher working in a targeted field. I’m not quite sure who to approach for a grant to fund a scouting high adventure trek—(the BSA comes to mind, but I doubt that they have $1.2 Mil to plunk down for 6 seats on a commercial space liner.

It’s certainly an idea worth following up on. Thanks for the suggestion.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Start with small local businesses, build a reputation with them. Once you establish a reputation locally, branch out to smaller regional businesses. Keep expanding until your nationally recognized.

It will take time to grow your base of supporters. I have worked for a nonprofit for 24 years, and been on the boards of several more.

You will not get large corporations to sponsor you until you have a 10–15 year track record. Unless you can impress the CEO or one of the directors with something your nonprofit did that their foundations can’t or won’t do.

snowberry's avatar

There is money available from the government, or I assume organizations that want to support worthy causes. The worthy causes are often non-profits, but I don’t know all the details. I do know that there are free classes, and plenty of information on what they are and how they work, Suggest you consider a free course to see if that might work for you.

Check out this link. PM me if this site does not answer your questions because I know a number of people who write grants, and I’ll ask them for you.

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