General Question

zahava85's avatar

How do I get corporate sponsors for a bike ride participant fundraising for my non-profit organization?

Asked by zahava85 (131points) April 28th, 2008

I work at a small non-profit and our ED is going to be biking 1800+ miles with a group sponsored by PEP. We’ve tried a few large corporations, but no ‘bites’ so far!

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11 Answers

nikipedia's avatar

Do you have any connections to big companies? Friends/family or their friends/family?

zahava85's avatar

Nope! We do reproductive justice related work, so somewhat controversial. We’ve come up with some great ideas, but so far only the smaller companies have been interested.

kevbo's avatar

a) What’s PEP?

b) Large corporations usually have policies related to sponsorships, the most developed of which require that sponsored events bring them some exposure and are somehow tied to the company’s mission. As your experience seems to indicate, smaller and privately held companies are much more loose with their giving criteria and expectations.

With smaller companies, it may just be a matter of convincing the owner or someone else high up on the chain that your cause is interesting/worthy, etc. With larger corporations, you’ll need to tailor your ask to demonstrate that your cause meets their giving criteria (sometimes you can find these online, but if not, just ask their PR person or their corporate giving person). Ask yourself, “which companies will benefit from exposure (i.e. what kind of people are being attracted to your “event” and whose customers are they) and/or which companies are aligned with your organizations causes? Also, how can you increase the contributing company’s exposure during the course of the event to make giving more attractive?

Another roadblock with larger corporations is that giving is often budgeted and mapped out once a year, usually with some flexibility, but not much. So that big pie that you imagine might have a slice left for you has already been distributed.

Best of luck.

zahava85's avatar

PEP is the Pro-Choice Public Education Program. And we’ve tried tailoring the message to the donors..but again, so far we’ve just hit roadblocks. Thanks for the ideas !

Babo's avatar

Offer them advertising!

zahava85's avatar

We are offering advertising, both on our website and on the jersey of the bike rider! Is there something we can do to make this advertising opportunity look more attractive to them as sponsors?

judochop's avatar

I work in this field. The best thing you can do is to get a hold of the marketing team for said company and see if they would like to sponsor the said event. If there is no marketing team then you should hit a public relations firm for help or hit up some magazines. If you are contacting magazines call the office and ask for the account managers for the said zine. When asked why tell them you are looking into large amounts of advertising, do not tell them you are with a NPO.

loser's avatar

its probably the pro choice thing

kevbo's avatar

Out of curiosity, I looked at the PEP Web site. I have huge doubts that you’re going to get any large corporations to sponsor. I just don’t think they’re buying what you’re selling.

IMHO, while the site and organization have legitimate purposes (e.g. ensuring that rights can be exercised and preventing STDs), the messaging is incredibly muddy and comes across as elaborate code for “basically, we’re for killing unborn babies.” It makes me think of NORML, which also has legitimate purposes that get lost in a smoke cloud that says “basically, we just love smokin’ weed!” Regarding your question, it doesn’t help much that the first girl on PEP’s Young Women’s Leadership Council professes to think about “dismantling capitalism.”

You’re much better off seeking money from private donors. At best, I’d say hit up women’s organizations in your area or women-owned companies. You might also try local “reproductive rights” healthcare providers. I’d also try to get money via internet-based social networks and sympathetic private foundations. Maybe if you can get the ear of your state’s social workers, you can get some traction.

boffin's avatar

Ask ‘em….

zahava85's avatar

Just to clarify, I do not work for PEP. The ride,however, is being organized by a woman who works there and the ride focuses on reproductive justice across the country.

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