I worked on my Seven Summits project for more than five years to get all necessary funds. It was very hard to try get sponsoring, train myself, organize the logistics…etc. I got many “No, we are sorry it’s not part of our sponsoring targets…”. But this never hold me back to knock the next door.
Based on my experience, those would be my advices to anyone looking to find sponsors:
You will never get a second chance to make a first impression.
- Prepare a good, professional presentation about your project, highlighting your assets and why someone, a company or an organization should sponsor you. Define what you can offer them in exchange of the funds, e.g. you promote the brand on your social media, you give presentations for free, a charity cause
- Get all the necessary details about the potential sponsor and make your demand as personalised as possible. There is nothing worst, than an impersonal letter.
- Make sure you have a significant presence in social media and you can provide the companies with some statistics around the different platforms.
- A No doesn’t mean a No. Try to call the person, who declined your sponsoring demand and ask for more clarification. You might ask for a personal appointment to share your motivation. This will definitely increase your chance of getting even if not the whole fund but at least a part of it.
Knock all possible doors.
- Many think about companies only when fundraising. That’s wrong. Companies have strict rules and complex processes for sponsoring athletes. Private people can easily sponsor you. Think about your birthday gifts. You can share your project with your family and friends. Tell them, that you would be very happy, that they would support you financially instead of giving you gifts.
- Family members and friends are likely willing to grant you a mortgage and without interest to achieve your project.
- Approach your employer. Having an aspiring mountaineer among the company staff is a great testimonial and brighten up the employer image.
The most important aspect in looking for sponsors is to stay motivated and never doubt on your project because of sponsorship rejections.