Campaign 101 Part 5: Money Matters

This is the fifth part of a six-part series written by Dave Dellenbaugh. It is the backbone of what we do here at Clever Pig. You might want to start at the beginning with Part 1: Getting Started. If you just can’t wait for all six parts, you may download the entire series as a PDF.

Creating a Budget

To organize a successful campaign, you need a budget. The dictionary defines a budget as “an estimate, often itemized, of expected income and expense for a given period in the future.” It’s essential to create at least a simple budget so you will know how much money you need to raise and how much you can spend. It is also important to have a budget that you can show to potential supporters so they understand exactly why you need money. Finally, a budget will help you decide your spending priorities when you don’t have all the money you want.

You’ll need to come up with your own line items that pertain to your campaign, but Clever Pig has some budgets on file on our Campaign Resources page.

Raising Money

Coins “For most sailors, a serious sailing campaign requires the support of another type of campaign – a fundraising effort that can be time consuming, personally uncomfortable and frustrating. If raising money is or is likely to become a necessary evil for you it should be given as much thought, effort and planning as your sailing regimen. Unfortunately, there isn’t much literature available on this topic – even though a lack of funds will put a quick and sure end to your sailing dreams. We have noticed that some people are extraordinarily successful fundraisers. Others, perhaps most, are a bit hesitant and uncomfortable when it comes to seeking financial support. The purpose of this pamphlet is to try to identify successful elements of a fundraising activity to support your “vision” of a sailing program. These same elements may also make the process a little easier and less intimidating because they 1) suggest a team effort with family and friends and 2) are borrowed from objective and familiar business practices . . . “

This excerpt is from an excellent brochure on fundraising that was created by the Oyster Bay Sailing Foundation: Raising Funds for a Serious Sailing Campaign

Tips For Fundraising & Sponsorship

Use any and all personal connections. Finding a sponsor is a lot like getting a job and getting into college. So if you know someone who can help, call them. Any time you are at a party, event, yacht club and someone says they want to help, say thanks. Get their card (have a file with all cards – they are not to be misplaced), and call them the next day or at the very least within a week. (E-mail is fine too). Pass on fundraising information.

  1. Follow up. Be annoying. Never say you will call and drop the ball. Send in your information packet and then follow up a few days later to “make sure it was received.” Call again within two weeks to see if there is someone with whom you can meet. If no response, call again. Go strong for three months; if no reply, move on.
  2. Have a fundraising packet ready. This should look professionally done, or it should at least have a cover. Included information: budget, corporate sponsor letter or individual donor letter, schedule/calendar, brief resume, photos, your contact information.
  3. Always ask for more than you need. If you ask for $10,000, you may get $5,000. People want to help you and see you succeed, but (almost) no one wants to fund you entirely by themselves, so they tend to under-give.
  4. Be well spoken and dress well when meeting a potential sponsor. Be yourself, but this is a time when it is better to be slightly over-dressed. Finding a sponsor means that you will be representing their company so first impressions (including how you act, look and speak) are very important.
  5. Say yes. If someone offers to help you find a sponsor, say yes and pass on your fundraising packet ASAP. It is also important to follow up after sending the information. After that it is a good idea to check in once a month for a few months.
  6. It’s not all about money. There are many more companies that are willing to give you product rather than actual dollars. Have lists ready of things you need and approach companies whose stuff you use – sunglasses, watch, boat hardware, sailing gear, etc.