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Over the last decade, corporations large and small, local and national, have sponsored sports teams, charitable events, and other exposure-oriented activities.

In our current economic state of survival mode and cost-cutting it is crucial for camp administrators to find ways of saving money while still offering top-notch programming. Camp sponsorship can quite possibly be the solution to enhancing camp offerings in a time of cost cutting.

Sponsorship is the vehicle through which camps can receive money or material items in exchange for using the sponsor logo/name on brochures, shirts, and banners.

Corporations (sponsors), in exchange for sponsoring camps, can find a unique and creative way to reach and connect with their markets.

Sponsorships in the professional sports setting has been the mechanism utilized to break through the clutter of traditional ads in order to reach a specific target market. The benefits of sponsorship are mutually shared between the camp and the corporation (sponsor).

Sponsorship is certainly not for everyone. Some camps want their children free from the already overwhelming amount of advertising to which they’re exposed.

If sponsorship is a viable alternative (and keep in mind it could be limited to certain programs or facilities) it’s important that the camp researches potential sponsors to ensure that they meet the mission, philosophy and values of the camp.

The Guide

The following guide to seeking sponsorship can provide camp administrators with the appropriate tools for finding the right company to get involved with their camp.

Start with a list of target companies: Administrators can start with local businesses (a florist or restaurant), then regional companies with larger budgets to even national chains and businesses, depending on the scope and nature of the camp. The list of potential sponsors should include the name of the corporate on along with a contact name, address, and phone number.

Narrow the search to viable sponsors: From the list of local, regional, and national companies camp administrators can then begin to determine which companies have taken advantage of sponsorship opportunities in the past.

Determine what the companies have invested in, including the types of sponsorship dollars spent and for which causes.

For example, does XYZ Company only sponsor charitable events for $2,000 per year or does ABC Company spend $10,000 on recreational activities in the local community. Understanding the potential sponsor allows the camp administrator to eliminate companies and, on the other hand, heavily recruit companies for sponsorship dollars or material goods.

The importance of gathering information regarding past sponsorship funding cannot be understated. Camp administrators can use that valuable information to create a more attractive sponsorship proposal for their funding needs.

Sponsor benefits: In addition to the list of sponsors, camp administrators should also consider the benefits the company will receive for sponsoring your camp.

From the sponsor’s perspective the benefits for sponsoring the camp must be clearly highlighted. Sponsors need to understand the exposure opportunities connected with the camp sponsorship.

Highlighted benefits could include the company logo in the camp brochure, which could reach 50,000 community members. Or, the company could be the title sponsor of the camp, like the ABC Company Arts & Crafts Camp.

Other benefits could include free camp tuition for five children of employees of the sponsor, or, as mentioned earlier, the company logo on banners and t-shirts.

In addition to the benefits, camp administrators can communicate to the potential sponsors the frequency (number of times) of using the company name and logo with advertising for the camp.

In addition, the sponsor should have a clear idea of the number of people who will be reached or come into contact with the company name and logo through the advertising efforts.

Camp Needs & Potential Benefits

In conjunction with outlining sponsor benefits, camp administrators must determine what the camp would receive in return for the sponsorship.

Camp administrators should explore the following questions:

• Does the camp receive money in return for the sponsorship?

• What will the sponsorship dollars be used for?

• When would the funds be needed? Create a timeline so the expectations to the company are clear.

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