Having done quite a bit of research on how to find sponsors for our team in the 2010 Mongol Rally, we thought it might be helpful to write about the process for other folks in the rally, or similar adventures.
Step one – analysis. We read as much information as was possible on the Mongol Rally, including the main demographic, audience, marketability, legality, etc. Once we were confident we could easily explain even the most obscure details of the rally, we moved on. We even purchased and read the only book published by a former rally adventurer.
Step two – organize. We created an excel spreadsheet and brainstormed backwards, thinking about the items our team would need on the rally and then compiling a list of companies that might be interested in sponsoring us. Our spreadsheet was broken down into sectors, like ‘camping equipment’ for example, and then companies, like ‘REI’, and then their contact information so we can keep track of our correspondence with each potential sponsor.
Step three — proposal. We created a snazzy sponsorship proposal that compiled information on the rally, our team, our charity and then listed how sponsors could benefit by helping out our team and charity. Then we sent the proposal to the companies in our spreadsheet from step two.
Step four – press. While contacting sponsors, we also created a spreadsheet for potential press and media coverage, and set about contacting local and international media about our team and the event. After the creation of the proposal, we simply morphed the same document into a mini press kit for interested media affiliates.
Step five—website SEO. While all of this was going on, we maintained the website and blog, and did a bit of much-needed SEO, including some link building and revamping the landing page and Mongol Rally page of our site, gearing them towards the rally and securing sponsorships.
Step six – phone calls. While all of these documents and online work can go a long way towards endearing the team to potential sponsors, nothing is as meaningful as a phone call. We followed up all potential sponsor leads with calls, because in the end it is about people helping people, and the human element is the most essential one.
Good luck with your own fund-raising, and have fun!