With an abundance of organisations, charities and NGO’s out there, considering how and where to start securing a concrete sponsor might feel overwhelming at first.
Fear not! We’ve collected the most important information you need to know when interacting with potential sponsors and put it in the following step-by-step guide.
The first step to winning over a corporate sponsor is identifying who is likely to be interested in your overseas placement.
Here, be sure to use location to your advantage and keep it local. Contacting a social enterprise or outward-looking humanitarian group in your local community – perhaps a church, social club or rotary club – gives you something in common from the start, and appeals to their objectives of serving their local area. This has proven to be a great help for past students.
You can benefit social enterprises and humanitarian groups too; having representation from a healthcare student or professional could really help their brand and publicity. You should make sure they’re aware of that fact.
However, with the above in mind there’s no harm in contacting large national, or multinational companies. Just remember that these companies likely receive thousands of similar requests every year, and as such are extremely selective.
USE YOUR CONTACTS
Another way to find yourself a potential sponsor is to use your contacts – or even those of friends and family. Don’t underestimate the power of social media here; platforms like Twitter and LinkedIn are ideal places to start conversations – both were designed with networking in mind.
Once you’ve found a promising organisation, it’s time to get personal. Find out who deals with sponsorships and how to contact them (phoning and asking who to email is a good way to go about this) and make sure you understand exactly what the company does, and why. This will help you tailor your proposal to their interests, and build a solid ground for any further communication.
Tell everyone you know that you’re looking for sponsorship. It might annoy them temporarily, but might also open doors you had no idea were there.
Expand your reach by using social media. Don’t forget to use any relevant hashtags; you never know who’ll be paying attention to them and what this might lead to.
Use the facts
Getting attention for your cause requires painting a vivid picture for the reader. There are few better ways to do this than by presenting cold, hard facts. There are plenty of enlightening, attention-grabbing facts about healthcare in the developing world - just be sure to use legitimate sources!
USE CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
Corporate Social Responsibility - or CSR - refers to a company’s impact on the world at large, and usually revolves around environmental, economic, and social issues.
Having a positive impact in the above areas and presenting this to the world is something that every company wants to do, and recognises as incredibly valuable. Pitching your cause with this in mind and explaining to them how sponsoring you could, very practically, improve their public image will certainly help in your request for sponsorship.
Explaining that Work the World takes its ethical responsibility very seriously and works alongside local communities and hospitals might be another way you can appeal to open minds. You can read more about this here.
FINDING THE RIGHT WORDS
Much like writing a personal statement or job application, the first email or letter you send needs to command the attention of the reader straight away. Tip: If you’re sending an email, make sure the subject is clear and prompts the recipient to open it.
Once opened, the first paragraph should be short and to the point. Start with details about yourself and your placement. They’ll want to know why you’re taking it, how it will benefit yourself and the local community you’ll be placed in, and, most importantly, how it will benefit them as an organisation.
Here are some ideas you might want to mention:
- Brand yourself - companies will love it if you offer to advertise their brand. Wear their t-shirts, put their logo on your blog, show off their products.
- Get social – Integrate them into your social media accounts: link to their website, use their hashtags, mention them, re-tweet, share – do whatever you can.
- Become as asset - Offer to commit your story to their business when you get back from your trip. Let them know that they can freely use your story in their marketing materials and advertisements. You could provide them with photos and writing about your trip, and even extend the offer to include things they might want you to do while you’re away.
- Get exclusive - Tell them that you won’t partner with any other brands if they offer you the full amount required.
KEEP IT CLEAR
Be clear and keep to the point. How much money are you looking for? What are you going to be using it for? Do you need supplies? How will you be using these? These are all questions you should pre-empt and answer before they’re asked.
Spell out how many other students will be joining you, what WTW provide, and how under-resourced the hospitals you’ll be working in are.
Feel free to contact us to request any materials you might need to help make your case more persuasive. We’ve prepared a quote that you can use to get you started:
‘Work the World is the leading provider of tailored healthcare electives and internships. Recommended by international universities and NGO's, Work the World's highly structured overseas placements are designed to help students gain experience treating diseases and advanced pathologies that are rare in the Western world. They also provide students with the opportunity to witness the challenge of global health delivery first-hand, and where appropriate, use skills acquired in their training to support healthcare staff overseas.’
- Rob Giddings, Head of Operations - Work the World.
more than money
Just because some companies can’t provide a cash injection, it doesn’t make them redundant. We’ve listed some company types that might help whittle down your kit-list or give you items for under-resourced hospitals.
- Airlines - Contact airlines to see if they’d be able to offer you a free flight, or up your baggage allowance if you’re planning on taking supplies on your trip with you.
- Travel Gear Companies - If you don’t already have things like a backpack, mosquito repellent and trekking shoes, get in touch with companies offering these products and see if they’ll donate the necessary items to help your cause.
- Medical Supply Companies - All of our partner hospitals are under resourced. If you want to help them by taking supplies across with you, we’ll let you know the needs of the department you’ll be working in. You can then contact medical supply companies and ask them to help fill any gaps the hospital has.
- Retailers – On placement you might have the opportunity to visit a local orphanage. The children here will most likely need toys and clothes. Get in touch with as many relevant retailers and see if they’re prepared to make a donation.
You’ve got a wealth of options in front of you - the trick to success is to make the most out of them. Remember that most companies are going to say no - don’t let it get to you. Keep at it until you strike gold.