How to Develop Chapter Sponsorships
Whether your chapter’s goal is to host an epic social or fundraising event or send all of your members to the International Career Development Conference, there is power in sponsorships.
Cold-calling and emailing random businesses is not the most effective method to receiving support; forming connections are. To gain and retain sponsorships, it is not just about the sponsor, it’s a relationship. One that requires cultivating and maintaining.
I received advice from a couple of relationship-developing experts at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas Collegiate DECA chapter who have been successful in obtaining sponsors from diverse organizations, a pageant, and even McDonald’s.
The first step is to embrace DECA as your brand. When you are networking, be proud in proclaiming that you represent your chapter organization. Use those elevator pitching skills to inform them about DECA and what you do. You’ll gain a new contact and perhaps they will be intrigued enough to want to learn more about how to be involved with your chapter.
Having a mentor is an extremely valuable thing for many reasons, but one of them is for guidance when it comes to situations like this. Give your mentor a brief overview about what you are working on and ask if they know anyone who would be interested in providing support, or if they themselves would like to help out.
Make time to explore. Join other clubs, volunteer, just be involved! Carve time out of your schedule to really be participatory. Your objective at this point should not be to gain a sponsorship; it should be to develop a meaningful relationship. This means that while you are going to ask them for support, be sure you have something to offer them as well, whether it be a skill set, members as potential job applicants, or volunteers for anything they may need. You must invest in order to witness a return.
Remember that when you do ask for the sponsorship to prepare supporting materials, like a presentation or supplementary documents. Show them you’re ready!
Best of luck on your relationship-building journey!
This article was written by University of Nevada-Las Vegas Collegiate DECA Vice President of Marketing, Michelle Le. You can follow UNLV Collegiate DECA on Twitter @UNLVDECA.