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					                  HOW TO… Get Funding and Sponsorship

Top Tips
   1. Find out exactly when funding application deadlines are.
   2. Make any application specific, detailed and realistic. Don‟t be vague.
   3. Sponsorship isn‟t only just about money – businesses may offer you products,
      services or even volunteers!

There are FIVE key ways that societies can obtain funding:
   1. A Account Money
   2. Annual Grant
   3. Societies Extra Fund (SEF)
   4. Membership Fees
   5. University of Sheffield Alumni Fund
   6. Networking with other societies
   7. Funder Finder Software
   8. Fundraising
   9. Think Global Fund
   10. Sponsorship

   1. A-Account money - at the beginning of the academic year, your society will
      have £30 in your society A account, to help you prepare for the Intro publicity

   2. Annual Grant - Money for the year - the time to apply for a chunk of money
      from the Union to help you with the running of your society - the application
      forms will be emailed out for allocation each September by the Activities
      Officer and Societies Committee who send application forms to each society.

    3. Societies Extra Fund (SEF)
    - top up's during the year! If you are running special events or in need of new
       equipment, apply to SEF (on the Union website) and Societies Committee and
       myself will assess you request for extra money.
    - Can be applied for online at the above address throughout the academic year.
       Applications are assessed by the Activities Officer and Societies Committee.
       You may be allocated all, part, or none of the money. The following
       reasonable expenditures are usually considered:
     printing publicity or publications to promote societies or events
     contributions towards entry fees and travel to UK competitions and
     hiring or purchasing portable equipment which does not need specific training
       to operate
     guest speaker fees

NOTE – Any applications must be clear, detailed and specific.
The SEF or Annual Grant cannot fund:
    Food or drink (including event refreshments)
      First class or international travel
      Membership cards
      Direct charitable donations
      T-shirts or hoodies
      Retrospective applications
      Applications from societies with considerable B-account funds

EEK – We’re in debt! Can we apply for funding?
Societies in debt are recommended to book a Repayment Meeting with Zoë Speakman
(Society Development Co-ordinator, Activities and Sports Zone) to discuss income
generation e.g. fundraising. Whilst societies are not given funding to pay off debt, you
may be helped with a good income generation idea.

   4. Membership Fees - every society should charge a minimum of £3 per year to
      each society member. These fees really do add up and are stashed in your B
      account, so you can spend it on anything you like for your society. Make sure
      you take membership fees and a list of those who have paid - so to your events
      you can tier the prices e.g. members £1, non-members £2, giving incentive to
      those who have paid their membership to come to events, and those who
      haven't, to sign up. Think about making membership cards (you can pay for
      this out of your A account), to foster affinity amongst your society members.

    5. University Alumni Fund
The Alumni Foundation channels donations from Sheffield Alumni (previous
students) into projects involving students and/or staff. Grants of £100-£2,000 are
available for sporting, musical, dramatic, cultural or other worthwhile projects.
Societies are usually advised to fundraise some of the costs themselves.

See the website above for a list of previous projects funded, deadline dates (3 per
year) and the application form.

   6. Other Societies! - By networking with other societies, you could share the
      cost of events

    7. Funder Finder Software
The Funder Finder Groups in Need (GIN) software is a package which will search for
grant-giving organisations willing to fund particular charitable projects. Your event or
project will usually need to benefit the local community in some way. If any matches
are found, your society will need to send applications directly to the funders.

      Be aware of the funders‟ application deadlines.
      Look at the sample letter in „A Student‟s Guide to Sponsorship.‟

Funder Finder is available on the Club Sport computer, Activities and Sports Zone on
a first-come first-served basis.

Note: Society members cannot volunteer with the under-18s or vulnerable adults
unless this work is supported by SheffieldVolunteering in the Union.
8. Fundraising
Fundraise with RAG (Raising and Giving) to fundraise for your society - as well as a
local charity. RAG can help you "Adopt a Charity" for the year, so you can champion
a particular cause, and rally your members behind the cause. You can claim back 40%
of all the money you fundraise to your society B account. Events like Spiderwalk are
designed by RAG to help you raise money for your soc!

*Please see the “Raising with RAG” leaflet.

9. Think Global Fund
The University is running an „Internationalisation‟ project which aims to give students
an international perspective – an essential skill which will help you prepare for life in
a globalised world.
The project has small grants of up to £200 to fund your society event, which has a
„global‟ aspect.

10. Sponsorship
It is worth approaching local businesses regarding sponsoring your society. If you
don't ask for money, you could ask for deals for your members, which you could tie
into your membership cards, offering more to your society members. Think about if
there are any national bodies or organisations who tie to your society. Local
businesses may want to sponsor your society from their advertising budget. They
might give you financial (money) or practical (food/printing/speaker) in return for
your advertising or using their services and/or brand. The Union‟s sponsorship policy
states that societies may display their sponsor‟s logos but are not permitted to
advertise their events or promotions. For more advice and an example letter, phone
call and email, see: „A Student‟s Guide to Sponsorship.‟

Companies only have a set advertising budget. They will want more for their money
so treat your sponsorship proposal as a business deal. Think from their point of view
and make sure you can answer all the questions they may have.

1. Preparation
Before actually preparing to attract sponsorship you need to write your objective.
Why are you putting on an event?
Here is an example of the same event with different objectives:

International food evening
Scenario one: get students to try the different types of international food in order to
increase awareness.
Scenario two: make money for society by selling stalls to local restaurants providing a
night of entertainment to students.

Both of these nights are the same event but have completely different objectives.
Once you have worked out your objective it will be easier to plan and organise,
including obtaining sponsorship.

Why and What?
Why do you require sponsorship? What kind of things might you be looking for in
terms of sponsorship?

Cash for equipment hire, publicity costs, catering hire, paying staff, paying a speaker.

Equipment; Food, drink, cheap travel, printing, volunteering of time/effort.

Remember that there are many different kinds of things that can be sourced through
sponsorship, try not to think simply in terms of cash…

So ask yourself the following questions before you start your campaign:

“What‟s my objective?”

“Why do we require sponsorship?”

“How much?” – Quantity of cash, equipment, duration of hire etc.

“For what purpose?” – Be clear on why you need what; be able to answer questions.
People like to know where their money is going or where their equipment is being

Once you have worked out what you are doing, what you want and how much you
need you can start planning getting your sponsorship.

Further on we will answer:
“Who could provide that sponsorship?”
 “Why would they sponsor us?”
“What would they get in return?”

Sales - The act of exchanging something for money

Sponsorship - to SUPPORT a person, organization or activity by giving money,
encouragement or other help.

2. Don‟t Sell Yourself Short

Whatever you want from your sponsorship whether it‟s money or equipment make
sure you don‟t sell yourself short but also don‟t push it!

Sheffield is home to over 50,000 students, 25,000 of which are at the University of

nb Companies are not going to give you money just because you sound in need or
because you‟re a student in a well-known society.

Don‟t be one of the two extremes:
“We can‟t sponsor you but here are some free sandwiches for 3 years activity. Please
put our logo on everything you do.”
“Please can we have £2,000 for sponsoring the football team? It‟s that expensive
because we are really good”

Companies will consider sponsorship as part of their promotional strategy for the year
and will be part of a years budget. Therefore treat your sponsorship appeal as a
business proposal.

3.     Who are you Going to Contact?

Now you know what your objective is, what you need to work out is who you are
going to approach.

Here are a few points to remember:

•       Make it all fit
Define your audience. Define the number and type of people that are involved in your
activity. Who is your club? What sort of students does the club attract? Include
everyone who may see your campaign including staff and non-students, companies
like to be associated to the University so the more exposure the better.

Once you have defined your audience it is easier to define who to approach regarding
the sponsorship. For example there is no point asking a fast food company to sponsor
a vegan society.

•        Research
You can‟t know too much about your client and the company. Understanding their
products, and the likelihood that students will be interested in them, is a good place to
start. Find out if they will be launching any new products, their seasonal promotions
and when they receive most of their business from students. Knowing when they plan
their budget is particularly valuable.

•        What will the advertiser get?
It‟s all about the benefits benefits benefits.
Why should a company sponsor you? How would it benefit them?

Here are some ideas of what you can offer them;
-Exposure to students (including awareness of presence, hours, rates, offers)
-Distributing their publicity
-Co-branding publicity
-Sanctioned emails to your mailing list
-Presence at an event
-People coming into their business, signing up to schemes, mailing lists, recruiting
staff, good PR, feedback – new ideas and suggestions.
-Your trade….and your recommendation

•      Marketing plan
Make sure you have a marketing plan ready to show potential advertisers what they
would get for their money. Here is an example of what the company might like to see:
-Logo on posters / flyers
-Stall in the Students Union building, footfall 10,000
-Activity at halls of residence
-Advert on the back of all tickets sold for event (if it is event sponsorship you are
seeking), which will be sold for the evening event from the Student Unions Box
-Coverage in Forge Press (print run 5,000)
-Coverage in Pick of The Week (weekly electronic newsletter showing subscribers the
best things in the Students‟ Union for a specific week)
-Link from the webpage
-Any other promotional activity.

4. Plan the Pitch

Now that you‟ve identified what you want, your targets and what you can offer them,
you‟re ready to make your approach. You should also have thought about your
approach method as part of this.

In Person:
Pro – More flexible, on-the-spot feedback, ability to negotiate, talk round subject,
more personal, more explanation, hard to dismiss.
Con – Scary! Time-consuming, could be expensive getting there, difficult to arrange,
might not be in a position to do a deal there and then.

NB Don‟t be over powering. If you are going to a busy shop make sure you have an
appointment. Some people don‟t like being disturbed in the peak time of their day.
Once you talk to the right person make eye contact, it increases trust.

Pro – Easy, cheap, professional, referring back, include contract, clear.
Con – Impersonal, easy to dismiss, no feedback, no response.

NB Always make the letter one page. Anything longer and people will switch off and
not read it. Make sure you address it to the right person not to someone who left a
year ago. If you do not address it to a specific person it will automatically look like
junk mail.

For an example letter go to appendix a

Pro – Cheap, easy, difficult to dismiss, ability to negotiate, more explanation.
Con – Slightly impersonal, can‟t provide detailed information, show pictures etc.

NB Make sure you are talking to the right person before you start your pitch.

For an example phone call go to appendix b
Pro – Cheap, easy, links to web-documents & attachments can be detailed, quick.
Con – No response, easy to dismiss, very impersonal, might not have the same IT

NB This needs to be shorter than a letter so make the content concise and think
HARD about the subject title.

For an example email go to appendix c

Pick which methods fit your personality. Some people may be good in person others
may be better on the phone. Remember everyone is different. Always be as
professional and organised as possible, impress them. Make them take you seriously –
but make sure you deserve to be taken seriously. Flash logos and suits won‟t help you
sell what is an ill-thought-out deal.

5. The Pitch

If you‟ve prepared properly you‟ll know your subject and you‟ll have anticipated their
problems and demands. If you feel like you know what you‟re talking about you‟ll be
more convincing and you‟ll be able to adapt your pitch on the spot. Identify at least 3
key sales points on which you will hang your pitch and be sure that these will hold up
and are appropriate to your purposes.

In terms of actually negotiating remember the following points:

-      Try not to be vague
-      Aim high (25-40% above the target amount you want)
-      Remember that you will not be successful every time
-      Mind you don‟t concede too much – walk out on a bad deal
-      Concede reluctantly but prepare to concede something
-      Adapt – be able to modify the pitch on the spot

Preparation = Knowledge = Confidence = Success.

Sponsorship packages

Instead of asking for one main sponsor why not set up a few packages such as bronze,
silver and gold. Basically think of a basic package and call that bronze then add more
and more incentives and activities to the other two packages. Most clients are more
likely to go for a middle package as no one likes to buy „Tesco value‟ but you can‟t
afford the „finest range‟ either, so you go with the middle option.

See appendix d for example packages

6. Following-up Sponsorship
Sponsorship should always be considered as a long-term relationship, not a one-night

•       Remember that successful or not, do not leave a sour taste in the sponsor‟s
mouth. You may wish to contact them and do business again.
•       If they sponsor you, invite them along, send a letter of thanks, and inform
them about how it went and what you might do in the future
•       Build relationships – invest in the future.
•       Even if they don‟t sponsor you, tell them what else you‟re planning for the
future, ask them what they might like to get involved in, keep them onside.
•       Tell them how their money has been spent in order to increase trust and build
•       Sponsors want to see value from their investment
•       Provide them with pictures
•       Provide them with a Press Pack – a copy of all the promotional material you
have done for their records.

After a sponsorship meeting get some feedback on how they found the campaign - did
it work for them? How could you improve the campaign from the advertiser‟s point of
view? No feedback is bad feedback, learn from mistakes and take all their opinions on

Please also remember that there are lots of clubs and societies out there looking for
sponsorship. A bad, rude, or clumsy attempt by one group may ruin that opportunity
for all.

DON‟T LIE. People will find out and your (and the rest of the Student Union‟s)
reputation will suffer and they may ask for their money back. Don‟t masquerade
under any false pretences, successful sponsorship campaigns are not about conning
people, it‟s about BOTH parties getting something out of a well-worked deal.

7. And finally…

Here are further pointers for you to bear in mind when attracting sponsorship:

Use open ended questions.
Would you like to increase the number of student customers?
Would you like to make more profit out of your student sales?
Would you like to increase your share of the student market?

List Benefits.
We are the only media owner with this kind of penetration.
We are the only people who can guarantee distribution.
Our knowledge of the target market is unsurpassed.

Eliminate negativity
RIP (Rest in Peace) words are commonly used in normal conversation, but can
undermine your sale if used at work. All these negative phrases can be easily
substituted with positive and more assertive equivalents. Try to listen to yourself
speaking to the client, and over time you will spot RIP words and be able to eliminate

Never allow a client to suspect that a job might be difficult for you, and never tell a
client that there have been complications, as it will adversely and visibly affect the
quality of your service. Adopt a proactive ‟can do‟ mentality, but don‟t give the client
unrealistic expectations.

Your personal appearance speaks volumes about you. Appropriate clothing and
grooming will command an air of professionalism, which will make it easier for the
client to trust you, and make it easier to command a fair price for your media. When
on the phone, sit upright and avoid drinking or eating. You give off body language in
your voice tone even if they can‟t see you.

Your body language speaks volumes about you. Engage in eye contact with the client
at all times, face them square on and eliminate any physical barriers (such as tables)
between you. Smile and adopt an upbeat and enthusiastic tone of voice (this also
applies to the telephone).

Be conscious of your non-verbal communication. Touching of the face is often an
indicator of boredom, self-consciousness or substance abuse (too much coffee or a
hangover, for example). None of these things is attractive, so avoid them.

Use learning styles. In short, the theory suggests that people learn best using one or
two of the five senses. They will tell you from time to time by saying things like I see
or I can hear what you‟re saying or I feel that.... You can use this information to tailor
your pitch accordingly; for example, you could post them information about your
product instead of telling them about it on the phone.

Above all, continually empathize with your client. If a stranger called you up at home
and asked you for £1000, what would you say? If you were sat in front of yourself
during a sales pitch, would you buy? What kinds of behavior would make you more,
or less, likely to do so?

Most importantly HAVE FUN!

Appendix a – Example sponsorship letter

Theresa Green
Marketing Manager
190 Rockingham St,
S1 4ED

25th May 2010
Dear Ms Green

Achieve your student potential.
One campaign. One big opportunity.

Now in its 12th year, Varsity continues to provide a gateway between local business
and Sheffield‟s 52,000 strong student population in all sporting aspects. Varsity gives
advertisers direct access to students at both the University of Sheffield and Sheffield
Hallam University.

Varsity has become a highly anticipated annual sports event between the Sheffield
Universities with over 40 teams competing. The competition reaches students as well
as the local community and is the biggest student participation event during the
academic year.

Since 1997 Sheffield‟s Universities have been competing against each other for the
Varsity Challenge Trophy. With the last few years ending up a draw, Sheffield
University will put up a fight to take home the trophy this year. Varsity is publicised
across the city with both Students‟ Unions working closely together to provide a
festival of sport to Sheffield .

Association with a Premiership football club, Sheffield Wednesday, where the finals
are held.
Coverage throughout February, March and April, both before and during the event.
Access all areas of both Students Union‟s in Sheffield

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact me.

I look forward to hearing from you,

Kind Regards

Andy Cox
Club Chairman
Tel: 0114 222 8540

Appendix b – Example phone call

Preparation – Knowledge – Confidence – Success. Make sure you have all these
elements in your voice and speech when you contact possible companies.
Example 1 – negative approach

Good morning. I‟m phoning from Sheffield University Students‟ Union Athletics
club. I recently sent a sponsorship proposal to you and wondered if you would be
interested in sponsoring our sports kit.

What would that involve?

You would pay for our kit and in return have your name on it for a year

Why would I like to do that?

It would help support our activities and raise awareness of your brand.

I will think about it

The problems with this conversation mainly arise from the lack of benefits that are
being put forward for the business. The student does not give enough information to
entice the manager to consider the proposal any further.

Example 2 – positive approach

Good morning. I‟m (name), phoning from the University of Sheffield Union of
Students‟. I‟m part of the athletics club and we‟re contacting local businesses to see if
they would like to work with us on a sponsorship deal. Did you receive a sponsorship
proposal, which I sent in the post?

I remember seeing something. What would it involve again

By sponsoring a club at the University, you are being endorsed by the Students‟
Union and your name will be communicated to over 24,000 students at Sheffield as
well as other Universities nationally as the team travels for competitive matches.

What would I get?

Well there are 60 students in our society all of which have a kit which we would carry
your logo on. Students wear these all the time not only to travel to matches but also
around the University, city and Students‟ Union therefore you will be exposed to
many more students demonstrating your support to local student teams. We will put
your logo on all promotional material, which we give out at the sports fair in Freshers‟
Week, the Refreshers Fair and other promotional events throughout the year. Would
you be interested in meeting up to have a chat about it?

May be can I get back to you?

This approach does not guarantee success - please use it as only an example. You will
get people who simply say no, which is fine but please don‟t get disheartened. Keep
going - It‟s marathon not a sprint! It‟s just a matter of finding the right business and
outlining the right benefits.
Appendix c – Example email

Emails should be shorter than a letter. Attach a marketing plan so if the addressee is
interested they can look into the email further.

Make sure you are contacting a public email address, which is readily available, i.e.
make sure you are not breaking data protection.


Subject: Achieve Your Student Potential

Dear Ms Jones

I am contacting you from the University of Sheffield tennis club. I am writing with
regard to our up and coming ball in March 2010. The event is a formal ball held in the
City Hall and tickets sell-out frequently. The event is the social highlight of the year
and is attended by 400 students.

If you are interested in becoming involved with this event please see the attached
marketing plan. If you would like any more information please contact me on the
below details.

I look forward to hearing from you and will be in contact soon.


Sarah Jones
Tennis Club Treasure
Tel: 0114 123456
Appendix d - Example of Sponsorship Packages

Gold sponsorship (£500)

Printed material
This package allows you to have an exclusive whole page colour advert in the centre
of the colour program which will have a print run of 2000.

The event tickets will bear your logo in acknowledgement of your sponsorship (print
run 200).

Digital media
Your company name and logo will be displayed on the plasma screens during the
event, as a single slide containing no other material.

The advertising for this event is primarily online. Your company name, logo, and
direct website link will be displayed on the Sheffield Students‟ Union website, and
committee and event‟s facebook pages (over 700 members). You can also send out a
personal e-mail to all society members.

Exclusive branded stall for distribution of your merchandise
There is only one „gold‟ package available, allowing your company to have
exclusivity in distribution of advertising merchandise. This will be placed in the
entrance to the venue to allow distribution during arrival, the interval, and after the
award presentation has concluded. There will be one large table and a backboard for
your display, and access to electricity if required.

Sponsored table
The ceremony is an event centred around large circular tables with 8-10 attendees.
This package entitles you to one „sponsored‟ table, bearing your company name and
logo in the centre.

Silver Sponsorship (£300)

Printed material
This package allows you to have a half page advert in the program, which will be
distributed to every attendee at the event which will have a print run of 2000.

The event tickets will bear your logo in acknowledgement of your sponsorship (print
run 200).

Digital media
Your company name and logo will be displayed along side the other silver and bronze
sponsors on the plasma screens during the event.
The advertising for this event is primarily online. Your company name, logo, and
direct website link will be displayed on the Sheffield Union website, and committee
and event‟s facebook pages (over 700 members).

Sponsored table
The ceremony is an event centred around large circular tables with 8-10 attendees.
This package entitles you to one „sponsored‟ table, bearing your company name and
logo in the centre.

Bronze Sponsorship (£200)

Printed material
An acknowledgement and your logo will be printed as „sponsorship‟ on one page of
the program, which will be distributed to every attendee at the event with a print run
of 2000.

Digital media
Your company name and logo will be displayed along side the other silver and bronze
sponsors on the plasma screens during the event.

Sponsored table
The ceremony is an event centred around large circular tables with 8-10 attendees.
This package entitles you to one „sponsored‟ table, bearing your company name and
logo in the centre.

Struggling… If you‟ve read the sponsorship guide, contacted businesses and are still
struggling to find a sponsor, book an appointment to see Libby DeFraine in the Union
Marketing Department:

*      New treasurer? Get the lowdown on society finances: „HOW TO… Be a

              Any questions? Contact the Activities Information Point:
                 0114 222 8620

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