How to get a Sponsorship A direct approach is to seek sponsorships from relatives, community and school. While you could ask a few for a lot of cash, also think along the lines that “more for less” is a better route. Sending out 25 letters asking for a mere $10 to $25 from relatives, friends, former, teachers, church groups, community organizations, etc. can add up quickly and is certainly more realistic. There have been many cases of individuals never getting more than $25 from a person, but getting 30 or more donations. 30 letters won’t even cost you $10 to mail! Consider that in the business world, direct-mail marketing is happy with a 5% return rate. Since you are sending letters to people who know you (or know of you), your return should be better. But even if you send 50 letters ($20 in postage and copying) and get as little as 10% of them to donate $25, that’s over $100 gained! More importantly, if you use the targeted letter you increase your chances. When you plug all the positives that drum corps offers beyond the music and the marching, it is hard for people who know you to say “no.” Who to Ask Best results happen when you personally contact people. A smile, handshake, and live conversation go further than a letter in the mail. Let’s face it; it’s much harder to say no when they are looking at you. However, a letter with some good personal comments will go further than a blank form letter. And yes, a form letter is better than no letter at all! For family (Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Godparents, etc.), tell them marching with the corps is a great honor, and that only a hand full will get accepted, it’s educational, enriching, and rewarding. Don’t be afraid to let them know that the life lessons that you will come home with will benefit you for the rest of your life. For school organizations (band parents group, band director, other teachers, other school groups), tell them being selected to be a corps member is much like being into an Honors Band. You will spend the summer extending your musical and leadership skills, much like collegiate summer workshops or musical camps. You will be representing your school throughout the U.S. and Canada in front of a million people at shows and on PBS. For community organizations (Churches, VFW, Rotary/Lions Club, Chamber of Commerce), tell them drum corps is a positive youth activity. The corps is an honor to be a part of; you will be representing your hometown throughout the U.S. and Canada in over 30 shows in 45 days, including World Championships in Orlando, FL. The corps may be seen by over one million people and on the nationally televised PBS broadcast. Other Ideas: Another thought is asking the people that you or your family do business with such as: car dealerships, insurance agencies, real estate agencies, doctors, lawyers or anybody else that you or your family do business with. You and your folks do business with a wide variety of different businesses and perhaps it’s time that they return the favor. Whenever dealing with the professional element (such as those stated above), try to set up an appointment in which you can stop by their office and talk to personally. Even if they aren’t in favor of doing this for the upcoming season, be sure to thank them for their time and consideration. Also, be sure that after the appointment is set, that you are professional enough to dress accordingly as you will be addressing a professional and they will expect you to act and dress like a professional yourself. Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and ask yourself “Would I give money to this person?” Don’t be afraid to let them know that this money is tax deductible and how much it is appreciated. How it works 1.) Using the Sponsorship Letters, send as many as you can to those who might be willing to contribute money towards your dues. Be sure to include a personal note to everyone that you send a letter to. 2.) SEEK EARLY and SEEK OFTEN! The earlier you seek contributions, the sooner that money is turned in. The sooner it is credited to your account, the less YOU have to pay. 3.) EMPHASIZE that your name should be included on the sponsor check (on the memo line) when sending the check to be sure it is credited to your dues. As most corps receive many types of checks daily at the corps’ office. This will insure that the corps’ treasurer doesn’t mistake it as a random donation. We want to insure that this is credited to your account. Be sure the sponsor copies the letter before sending it. You may want to suggest delivering the check yourself (they should pay to the order of Blue Stars to make it easy for their tax deduction purpose). If you or your parents have any questions concerning this subject, please don’t hesitate to write or call the office (608-782-3219) or e-mail me at [email protected] I would be more than happy to discuss additional ways to help. Sponsorship Letter Dear __________________ I am proud to announce that I have been offered a position with the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps and am currently rehearsing with them in preparation for the summer performance season. It is quite an honor to be a part of this group, as they are one of the top drum corps in the country. I am working extremely hard to be a positive addition to the organization. The Blue Stars are world renown for their educational excellence and is one of the elite organizations in the drum and bugle corps activity, standing in the top 5 in the world since 1987 and placing 1st in 1989, 1993 and in 2001. The corps will entertain audiences throughout the U.S. and Canada during its 12,000-mile summer tour. As a member of the corps, I will spend the summer developing musical and movement expertise, but also self-reliance, discipline, leadership skills, and a strong self worth and work ethic. These are life skills, which cannot be gained through ordinary summer jobs, or weeklong musical camps. Character traits instilled through drum corps are the skills that separate the “good kids” from the negative youth and education stories you read about in news headlines. A typical summer in drum corps lasts approximately 50 days. During the summer months, a member of the corps will rehearse around 10 hours a day and perform about five times a week. The hours are long and the rehearsals demanding, but the payoff comes from the thousands of people who will watch and cheer for me during each performance. This could include up to a million people who will watch the televised broadcast of this year’s championships. This year’s championship event will be at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida. A drum and bugle corps travels daily throughout the summer, the costs of which are quite expensive. Individuals who choose to march in drum corps have to pay dues and fees for the privilege of membership. A summer with the Blue Stars will cost a member $700 in dues and fees, which cover instruction, transportation, housing and food. This cost is a large amount for a young person to bear alone. This is where you can make a difference by pledging your financial support. Any money you contribute goes directly toward my membership dues. Please help defray costs during our 40 + show tour by pledging what you can per show. Your contribution may be tax deductible, please consult your tax advisor. Thank you for your consideration. Your support will allow me to fulfill me dream of marching in a drum corps this summer! Sincerely, Please return this page with your tax-deductible contribution -------------------------------------------------------------Dear corps manager: I would like to sponsor the following individual who is a member of the 2003 Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps:_______________________________________ Enclosed is a check for $_____________ that is to be used only to cover this individual’s dues and/or fees. Please send a confirmation letter when you have credited his/her dues. Sponsor name: ________________________________________ Address: _____________________________________________ State/Zip: _______________________________________________ Phone: _______________________________________________ E-mail: ______________________________________________ ______ $0.50 per show x 30 shows ($15.00) ______ $1.00 per show x 30 shows ($30.00) ______ $1.67 per show x 30 shows ($50.00) ______ $2.50 per show x 30 shows ($75.00) ______ $3.33 per show x 30 shows ($100.00) ______ Other amount: $____________ Please check the desired donation level and send your donation to: Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps P.O. Box 2523 La Crosse, WI 54602-2523. Please make checks payable to the Blue Stars Drum and Bugle Corps. Please include the member’s name in the Memo section on your check. THANK YOU for your support.
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