So you’ve established a booster club, obtained a 501(c)(3) exemption, and are ready to start fundraising. Thus far, you’ve relied mostly on parents to generate funds for the club, which has gotten you off to a great start. However, parents can only give so much, and you’ve got big aspirations for your club. 

Thousands of booster clubs have found themselves at this very crossroads. The natural solution is to find a few MVP donors who can make large one-time (or recurring) contributions to your club and the athletes it supports. 

The question is, where do you find these five-star donor recruits? Here are a few tips to help push your fundraising efforts over the goal line once and for all.

Always Start Local

The first place to start is in your own backyard. Businesses located in your neighborhood are most likely to support your club or activity. After all, there is a good chance that they have relatives who have attended the school.

 If you are lucky, they will have attended the school themselves. As a result, they’ll have even stronger emotional ties to the institution and its teams.

Reach out to the organizations in person, via phone, or through email. You can also use social media messaging. While a personal request is best, the other options are less intrusive and minimize feelings of pressure. 

Keep in mind that local businesses get a lot of inquiries from other nonprofits, like recreational or city league sports teams or even the school itself. Be polite, and remember that it never hurts to ask. 

Why Local Donors Are the Best

Local donors are emotionally connected to the community. As such, they are more inclined to donate. 

Additionally, you’ll be able to speak to the person making the decisions. You can approach a local business owner directly. This means there’s no chance that your message gets lost in translation. 

Mobilizing Local Business Owners

There are lots of ways to mobilize local business owners to action. One of the best approaches is to create sponsorship tiers. When you offer sponsorship tiers, you won’t have to ask business owners to give a specific amount. 

Instead, you can present each tier’s price point and highlight the benefits that the business owner will receive in return. They can use this information to make an informed decision regarding how much to give.

What About Corporations? 

Corporations can be a great source of grants or donations, too. However, the process for requesting donations in this way is more formalized. You’ll need to ask someone to research corporate grant opportunities and then submit a written proposal to be considered for the available funds. 

Taking Action

Now that you know where to find donors for your booster club, it’s time to act. Make a list of local businesses that you believe would be reliable donors. Then, form a sponsorship tier system. When you do, make sure to offer definitive benefits to businesses so that they’ve got plenty of incentive to partner with you.

After that, all that’s left to do is ask. So get out there and start earning funds for your club.