Find an American National Insurance Agent
More Search Options

Log in to Client Services to Manage Your Account
  • Make a Payment
  • Report a Claim
  • Print ID Cards
Log in to Client Services to Manage Your Account

Never used Client Services?
Register Now

Insured2Go iPhone App

Using Car Shows as Charity Fundraisers - Part 4

The heart of your event is, of course, raising money for your cause! You need to figure out how you're going to finance the costs of the event while also earning a "profit." Are you going to ask local businesses for cash donations to offset the costs of hosting the show? Are you going to host fundraisers prior to the show to pay for the operating costs? Are you going to host activities at the show itself to raise more funds (i.e., silent auction, bake sale, raffle, food and drinks, etc.)? During the next two weeks, we will be discussing various fundraising options.

Cash and In-Kind Sponsors

Cash and significant in-kind donations are the most challenging type to receive. Most local businesses don't mind donating a small gift certificate here and there, but donating a large sum of money, or a product/service with a significant retail value, can be a different story.

The first thing you might want to consider, when starting your quest for sponsors, is brainstorming a list of businesses with which members of your committee, or your organization, have connections. Typically, businesses are more likely to donate to causes or groups with which they already conduct business or with which there is some type of personal connection.

Keep in mind the different types of sponsors you will need - a graphic designer for your promotional pieces; a Web designer to help you build a website; printers for the paper and printing necessary fliers, brochures, posters and other promotional pieces; restaurants for on-site food vending; hotels if you are expecting out-of-town guests; radio stations and TV shows for on-air announcements; auto-related companies that will resonate with your attendees (i.e., auto restorers, body shops, car dealers, car audio dealers, detailers); and other local businesses with which you have a connection. It's usually a good idea to limit sponsorship to one of each "type" so that competitors aren't sharing the limelight. In some cases, that can unfortunately cause animosity.

Next, you need to figure out what you can offer your major sponsors. Businesses love to give back to their communities, but they also want recognition and publicity to help generate new business. If you are able to solicit sponsorships from businesses who can give you free or low-cost print materials, or on-air mentions, you can recognize your significant sponsors through those outlets. If you have a website, or you print a T-shirt, incorporate sponsor logos into the design. You might also offer to let sponsoring businesses have a booth at the event to promote their business to car owners and spectators. And finally, you might offer sponsors complimentary tickets to the show.

Large companies will often require sponsorship requests and proposals to be submitted several weeks in advance of the event, so be sure you plan ahead! Draft a professional letter with more information about the basics of your show (date, time, place, etc.), the cause which the show will be benefiting, the sponsorship opportunities available and a deadline for finalizing a sponsorship.