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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration


Last Updated: 6/22/2012

SAMHSA’s Resource Center to Promote Acceptance,
Dignity and Social Inclusion Associated with
Mental Health (ADS Center)

 

V. Walk Sponsorship

Who Should Be a Sponsor?

  • Develop a target list of 25 to 100 local companies and organizations that you believe might be interested in or easily capable of sponsoring the walk. This list should include:
    • Natural partners and allies of your group (pharmaceutical companies, HMOs, hospitals, health and human services organizations, medical group practices, and companies that have sponsored your other fundraising activities).
    • Companies and organizations that you do business with or support in some way, including your bank, landlord, accountants, and major vendors.
    • Major employers in the region that you have a relationship with or that might sponsor the walk as good corporate citizens.
    • Companies that other volunteers might be able to bring to recruit.
  • Keep the list relatively short (in the 25-100 range) since followup phone calls and meetings will be critical and time consuming. It is better (and less expensive) to keep the number manageable than it is to flood the market with hundreds of proposal letters. Quality proposals and quality follow-up efforts are what we recommend.
  • Try to turn your walk volunteers into sponsorship solicitors whenever possible. One of the truisms of volunteerism and fundraising is that people respond to people-which means that who your volunteers know may be more important than the cause in terms of getting volunteers and donations.
  • Let your supporters know from the beginning that people and companies they know might sponsor the walkathon. Give the volunteers the tools (sponsorship packets, sample letters, and letterhead and envelopes) that they will need to become a successful sponsor recruiter.
  • Sponsors generally come from:
    • The volunteer's employer (or another family member's employer).
    • A business associate of the volunteer.
    • The employer of a close friend of the volunteer.
    • Not all volunteers will have access to corporate support. However, it is appropriate for people who are employed and do have a network of family and friends to recruit a company or organization they know to sponsor the walk.

How Should I Start?

  • Draw up a top prospect list of 5 to 10 companies or organizations that you feel are your best prospects for sponsoring the walk. Hopefully one or two of these companies will be an easy "yes" and you will be able to report to others that you have been successful in recruiting sponsors for the walk.
  • Start with your best prospects first.

Creating a Sponsorship Request Folder

  • Attaining sponsorships is a key part of your fundraising efforts. A sponsorship request folder should include the following:
    • A formal sponsorship request letter (see example).
    • A walkathon folder with the following:
      • Three to five pieces of literature on the sponsoring organization and mental health issues.
      • One-page case statement about the sponsoring organization and why the walk is being held.
      • Fact sheet on mental illness, its prevalence, and the hope of recovery.
      • Sponsorship confirmation form.
      • Two-page sponsorship opportunities document.

The goal is to provide the potential sponsor with as much information as possible about the sponsoring organization and the objective of the walkathon.

What About Other Sponsors?

  • People who donate cash, goods or services, or support the walk in other ways should be recognized as sponsors of the walk based on the assigned value of their donation or support. For example, if a water company agrees to donate 2,000 16-ounce bottles of water with a retail value of $1,000, you should recognize the company at the appropriate sponsor-level for your walk.
  • Strong media supporters (TV, radio, newspapers) can be recognized as media sponsors of the walk.
  • Human services agencies that agree to support the event early in the process and plan to have a team in it or provide other volunteer support can be given recognition based on a mutually agreed value of that support (assigning value to volunteer support can be a little tricky, but generally you know who you want or need to recognize as sponsors of your walk.)

Sample—Sponsorship Confirmation Form

<<This form should be printed on walk letterhead>>.

Yes, we are proud to support the inaugural <<Insert city or town location of walk>> walkathon. We authorize the <<Insert Sponsoring Organization's Name>> to include our name or logo on all the materials printed for the event consistent with our sponsorship selection below. <<Sample dollar amounts provided>>

_____ Presenting Sponsor

$10,000

______Major Sponsor

$5,000

______Gold Sponsor

$2,500

______Kickoff Luncheon Sponsor

$1,000

______Silver Sponsor

$500

______Bronze Sponsor

$250

______Kilometer Sponsor

$100

Name: _______________________________________________________
Company: ____________________________________________________
Address: ____________________________________________________
City: _____________________________ State: ______ Zip: ______
Phone: _________________________________Fax: ________________
E-Mail: _____________________________________________________
______Our check is enclosed. ______ Please invoice me.

To insure that your company logo is included on the walker sponsor brochures and posters, please return this form to the following address by <<Insert date>>. Once this form is received, someone will contact you regarding the artwork for the walk materials.
Sponsoring Organization:_________________________________________
Address: ________________________________________________________
City, State, Zip: _______________________________________________
Phone #: _____________ Fax: #:______________E-Mail: ____________

Sample—Sponsorship Opportunities Sheet

Present Sponsor—$2,000

  • Sponsor listed as presenting sponsor of the walk on the front cover of all walker sponsor brochures and on event posters.
  • Sponsor's name and logo printed prominently on the top back of the walk T-shirts.
  • Sponsor's name mentioned prominently in all press releases produced for the event.
  • Sponsor recognized prominently in pre- and post-event mailings to walkathon supporters.
  • Sponsor recognized prominently at the pre-event kickoff luncheon for team captains and volunteers, including a banner display.
  • Sponsor's corporate banner may be displayed prominently at the start/end point of walk.
  • Sponsor may have an information booth/tent at walk and the opportunity to develop promotional campaigns tied into the event.
  • Sponsor's name or logo will be prominently displayed on the walkathon Web site.

Major Sponsor—$1,000

  • Sponsor's name or logo placed on front cover of all walker brochures and event posters.
  • Sponsor's name or logo highlighted on the back of walk T-shirts.
  • Sponsor's name mentioned prominently in all press releases produced for the event.
  • Sponsor recognized at the pre-event kickoff luncheon.
  • Sponsor's corporate banner may be displayed prominently at the start/end point of walk.
  • Sponsor may have an information booth/tent at walk and the opportunity to develop promotional campaigns (that do not conflict with any being run by presenting sponsor of the walk) tied into the event.
  • Sponsor's name or logo will be prominently displayed on the walkathon Web site.

Gold Sponsor—$750

  • Sponsor's name and logo listed in the walker sponsor brochures and on the event posters.
  • Sponsor's name and logo will be placed on event T-shirt.
  • Sponsor's name will be included in an event press release.
  • Sponsor recognized at the pre-event kickoff luncheon.
  • Sponsor's corporate banner may be displayed at the start/end point of walk.
  • Sponsor will have opportunity to have an information booth at walk.
  • Sponsor's name or logo will be displayed on the walkathon Web site.

Silver Sponsor—$500

  • Sponsor's name and logo listed in the walker sponsor brochures and on the event posters.
  • Sponsor's name and logo will be placed on event T-shirt.
  • Sponsor recognized at the pre-event kickoff luncheon.
  • Sponsor's corporate banner may be displayed at the start/end point of walk.
  • Sponsor's name or logo will be displayed on walkathon Web site.

Bronze Sponsor—$250

  • Sponsor's name listed in walker sponsor brochures.
  • Sponsor's name or logo printed on walk T-shirts.
  • Sponsor recognized at the pre-event kickoff luncheon.
  • Sponsor's name or logo will be displayed on walkathon Web site.

Kickoff Luncheon Sponsor—$1,000

  • Sponsors will be recognized prominently as the presenting sponsor of the walk kickoff luncheon, on the luncheon invitation, on the walkathon Web site, in pre-event mailings to team captains and volunteers, and at the luncheon. Sponsors also will receive the recognition given to silver sponsors as listed above.

Kilometer Sponsor—$100

  • Sponsor's name and logo will be placed on kilometer signs along the walk route.

Other Sponsorship Opportunities

  • Special Sponsorship Recognition is available for major donors of goods and services, depending on the cash value of the donation. For more information on sponsorship opportunities, please call <<Name>> at <<Phone number>>.

Sample—Sponsorship Request Letter

<<Insert Date>>

Name
Title
Company/organization
Address
City, State Zip

Dear <<Insert Name>>:

I am writing to invite you to consider becoming a sponsor of the inaugural <<Insert city or town of walk>> walkathon.

The <<insert distance>> walk will be held on <<date>> at <<insert location>>. A fact sheet in the right-hand pocket of the enclosed folder provides details on our plans for the event.

The goal of the walk is to raise awareness regarding the need for America to build a world-class treatment and recovery system for people with mental illness and to publicize the hope of recovery.

These efforts are important because millions of Americans, involving an estimated one in five families, are living with mental illness. (See enclosed fact sheet in the left-hand pocket of folder.) For example, of the approximately 1 million total hospital admissions in 1998, almost 262,000 (25.8 percent) were psychiatric admissions. Even more startling is the fact that the total cost of mental health services in the United States is now estimated to be more than $200 billion a year.

By supporting the walk, your company will receive recognition that will show your employees and members of the community that you are committed to backing the effort to improve the lives of people with mental illness. (The specific ways that our walk sponsors will be recognized are outlined in the sponsorship information materials in the right-hand pocket of the enclosed folder.)

Thank you for your kind consideration of this request for your support. We will contact you soon to answer any questions that you might have about <<Insert sponsoring organization name>> or the walkathon.

In the meantime, please feel free to contact me at <<Insert phone number>> if you need any additional information.

Sincerely,

Name
Title

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This Web site was developed under contract with the Office of Consumer Affairs in SAMHSA’s Center for Mental Health Services. The views, opinions, and content provided on this Web site do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or policies of SAMHSA or HHS. The resources listed in this Web site are not all-inclusive and inclusion on this Web site does not constitute an endorsement by SAMHSA or HHS.