This past Memorial Day had a special meaning to us. My children’s band had their first concert in our backyard! What’s more, we found three sponsors for their concert.
Andy and Ally have been playing musical instruments for several years. At the beginning of this year, they decided to have their own band and recruited band members from their friends. Six kids who share the passion for music came together, playing trumpet, flute, clarinet, trombone, drum, and saxophone.
After months’ practice and rehearsal, it was a time for the band to have a spring concert. We did a lot of preparation work for this event—choosing an outfit for music players, inviting guest performers, designing the concert program, and coordinating the logistics. It turned out that we would have 10 performers and about 50 audiences.
At that moment, my husband and I started to think big—could we even find sponsors for our concert?
I know this may sound impossible. Who would sponsor a concert given by a bunch of kids in a house backyard? However, you would never know the answer if you never try. Before the concert day, we managed to find some local stores that provided us generous support.
Here are some tips on how to get sponsors for your event:
1. Make a plan
After we decided to seek sponsorships, we did not just enter a store and ask for support. Our whole family sat down and planned actionable steps and strategies, including what kind of sponsorship we were looking for, which stores to contact, what channel we would use to reach out to the potential sponsors, what message we wanted to convey, etc.
2. Be formal and professional
We wanted to make it a formal event, rather than just a fun family party. Even though it was held in our backyard, we aimed to make it formal concert performance.
We made a 4-page program including all the information of the concert, developed a formal letter that introduced our band and explained why sponsorship is needed. These documents were very important. Store managers need to know what kind of event this was and how well-prepared you were. Besides, the request should be reasonable and well-justified.
3. Identify potential sponsors
Our whole family did research on prospective local stores we thought might be interested in sponsoring this event. Since we’ve been living in this community for several years, we had some previous experience interacting with some stores. We made a short list of stores that were family/kid-friendly and relevant to the support we were looking for.
4. Know what we need from sponsors
We know exactly what we need from sponsors. One is monetary support for purchasing music books and other logistic costs for the band’s further development. Other support may be providing food for the audience at the concert.
5. Specify what we can offer in return
One question that potential sponsor might ask is why they should sponsor your event. One favor we offered was to put their store information and image on additional pages of our music program. Our audiences are all from the local area, they are likely to be their store customers. In addition, they would get a shootout from our social media and my blog. This would be a win-win partnership.
6. Be confident and sincere when communicating with potential sponsors
My 10-year-old daughter, Ally, played a key role in initiating the request to prospective sponsors. I was impressed with her confidence in asking to speak to the store manager and her sincere and respectful attitude when presenting our request. It is important to prepare some basic script, but more importantly is the way one conveys the message and request.
We were glad that among the four stores we approached, three of them agreed to support our concert in some way.
Our spring concert was a tremendous success not only for a wonderful night full of fun and music, but also for the invaluable opportunity to seek and collaborate with local sponsors.
These are our three amazing sponsors:
- Music & Arts – sponsoring program printing and music books
Their local store provides everything one needs for music, including products, rentals, lessons, and repairs. Their staff members are super friendly and helpful. Andy has been taking trumpet lessons there for two years. We love that store.
- Great Harvest Bread – sponsoring food for the concert
Their local store is filled with the aroma of freshly-baked bread. They bake everything from scratch, including all kinds of bread, cookies, and muffins. Everything is so delicious. When you enter the store, you get a warm greeting and a generous food sample, totally brightening your day.
- Seven Seas – sponsoring food for the concert
Seven Seas is one of the best Chinese Restaurants in Rockville, MD. Their seafood and noodle soup are must-tries. The restaurant is designed with elements of traditional Chinese culture, making dining a joyful experience. If you ever visit Rockville, this is the restaurant I high recommend.