Keys to Successful Sponsorships

  • Begin planning several months ahead for materials and event decisions. It can be difficult to get people to summer meetings, so try formulating the plan in the spring and completing the tasks in the fall.
  • Use your connections. Committee members might know someone who can be a sponsor. Small businesses can be supporters. It's not just large businesses that can contribute to your event.
  • Recognize the sponsors during and after the event.

Where: Phoenix, Arizona

Who: A small committee of providers and stakeholders reached out to local and statewide businesses and organizations for monetary sponsorships and in-kind donations of supplies.


The Arizona School-Age Coalition (AzSAC) succeeded in securing sponsors for Lights On Afterschool by forming a committee that was dedicated to getting the ask out. Sponsors ranged from Newman's Own Organics to the City of Phoenix, and in-kind donations of supplies from the school district, First Book and others. The committee was primarily made up of school-age providers plus others with a vested interest in children.

The Arizona School-Age Coalition and its partners conducted a Lights On Afterschool rally at the Arizona Science Center on Oct. 20, 2005. Brad Perry, a local television personality, emceed the event and Phoenix City Councilman Greg Stanton gave the keynote address. Brad Perry and Greg Stanton spoke about the importance of afterschool programs and asked youth participants to thank the adults in their programs for the opportunities they provide. They also encouraged the youth to tell their friends about the value of their afterschool experiences.

Music from CityJazz, a youth band from the Phoenix Center for the Arts, and dancing costumed characters (vegetable, fruit, dog and bear) entertained the audience. They also called attention to the afterschool proclamations signed by the governor and the mayors of Phoenix and Scottsdale and recognized winners of the statewide essay contest for children and youth. Youth attendess from afterschool programs participated in their choice of four science exhibits and each student received a goodie bag with an assortment of items provided by the Afterschool Alliance and various partners.

Sponsorship Successes:

The support from local business leaders in the community helped make a successful Lights On Afterschool event. Local presenting sponsors included: Newman's Own Organics ($500), Arizona Department of Education 21st Century Community Learning Centers ($1,500), City of Phoenix At-Risk Youth Division ($500 plus donations for goodie bags), Afterschool Alliance and Paradise Valley Unified School District (donations for goodie bags), First Book (a book for each child in attendance), Arizona Public Service (inflatable light bulb and light switch props for the event), AzSAC (printing, postage, gift certificates).

To secure sponsorships, they developed a committee primarily made up of school-age providers plus others with a vested interest in children. The Newman's Own Organics sponsorship was a "connection" situation. The business had made the funds available for a charity-of-choice by employees and the AzSAC’s Lights On Afterschool event was chosen by a Newman’s Own employee. The Department of Education and City of Phoenix were represented on the committee as well. In some cases a short proposal was written. Some of the committee members were also sponsors and helped achieve the goals by providing music and costumed characters to entertain attendees.

Sponsor Recognition:

We recognized our sponsors in three ways: a thank you letter, prominently placing their logo on the event invitation, and on a banner that was hung at the event.