Besides the obvious financial aid procuring a sponsor can provide, Science Fair Sponsors can help generate interest in your school’s science fair on the part of the community, parents and students. Corporate sponsors, who are generally able to give more than individuals and small businesses, may also provide enough financial support to give kids individual budgets for their science fair projects and experiments.
While getting a large sum of money from a single large sponsor is certainly the simplest way to administrate a sponsorship, it’s not the most common or the easiest. You’ll want to be sure you contact and solicit sponsorship from many different types of organizations, including smaller businesses, larger businesses, non-profit organizations and government agencies. You can create different “levels” of sponsorship to encourage organizations to give more. Usually, sponsorship cash is traded for visibility and advertising in materials that support your Science Fair. For example, people who contribute $100 or less may get their names mentioned on a page in the back of the Science Fair Program. But companies or individuals that contribute $5,000 or more may get their logo on large banners advertising the Science Fair outside the school, or hanging in visible places within the community, or in advertising in the local newspaper for the event, or a company mention in articles in local newspaper about the event, or any combinations of these types of things. The more value you can offer for each level of sponsorship, the more interest you will generate for those higher levels.
Once you’ve figured out the structure for your sponsorship program, you’ll want to make your school science fair as attractive as possible to would-be sponsors.
1) If your school doesn’t already have one, create a web page on your school’s website for your science fair. Include photos and stories on past winners and be sure to highlight the student’s enthusiasm and ingenuity. Include information on the science fair, like how long it’s been going on, and what the goal of the fair is, particularly for students. Include all the information on the sponsorship program and contact information for enquiring about becoming a sponsor. You may even want to include information on the participants for the coming year (once you know who they are) and any special programs or themes that may be part of the science fair, or any special guests or judges that may be visiting. This will help companies evaluate whether it is worth sponsoring your event or not.
2) Put together a flyer outlining your science fair sponsorship packages. This content can be very similar to the website, but keep it short and to the point, and do not include extra information on the fair itself. For that information, refer them to your webpage by placing the URL in the flyer.
3) Put together a list of companies that your school does business with on a regular basis. This would include food and drink companies, utility companies, product supply companies, student textbook companies, etc. Ask people on the school’s staff who deal with these companies to distribute your sponsorship flyer to their contacts, or, get the contacts’ names and distribute them yourselves. Companies who are already doing business with you are more likely to become a sponsor than those who do not.
4) Go to your local chamber of commerce and find out if they can provide a list of all the businesses in your area that would be interested in sponsoring your event. The list sometimes costs money to purchase, but if you are with a public school or non-profit organization, you can sometimes get them for free. Distribute your flyer to these organizations, as well.
5) Make a list of big companies and check their websites to see if they are able to sponsor individual schools. If they do, contact the appropriate people within the companies and ask if they can contribute money or time. If they can’t do either, ask them if they might be willing to contribute a prize, like a microscope or telescope.
6) Get the local paper to do a story on your science fair. Most local papers are always looking for good stories to write. Work with the editor to come up with a great article and be sure they include the sponsorship information (the very least would be a link back to your webpage to find out more about being a sponsor).
7) Ask your students to take home the flyer and distribute it to their parents. Sometimes, parents work at companies that are willing sponsors, particularly if their employees have children involved in your science fair event.