Spirit gear has always been the perfect addition to any school program or activity. Now it’s also a...
7 Steps to Growing Lasting Community Partnerships & Funding your School Spirit Wear
More than ever, schools are in need of funds to serve and educate their students. Local businesses are also in need of new, creative ways to grow their customer base. Who knew spirit wear could be the solution!
In this blog, you’ll learn more about:
Spirit wear has always been an incredible way to generate pride within a school community. It’s also an incredible tool for raising funds (without asking your parents!), while providing immense value to local businesses. This kind of win-win-win is what true partnership is all about!
Booster is so excited to introduce the Community Partner shirt! These 7 steps will help simplify the process of collecting sponsors, so let’s get started!
STEP 1: DETERMINE YOUR FUNDRAISING GOALS
After you get a quote for your order, the first step is setting a fundraising goal. Set Your Goal high enough to cover your order cost and any additional funds you would like to raise. Remember, your school gets to keep all additional funds earned through your Community Partnerships!
STEP 2: CREATE PARTNERSHIP PACKAGES
Now that you’ve set your fundraising goal, it’s time to create sponsorship pricing levels. Lasting partnerships are all about thinking of others. The best way to interest businesses in your school is by first thinking about what you can give them! Here are some ways many schools recognize their Community Partners outside of shirt sponsorships:
- Shout outs at annual school events (Festival, fun run, etc.)
- Logos on PTA/PTO website
- Logos on social media channels
- Invitation to host an interest table at PTA/PTO event
- Logos PTA/PTO newsletter
- Logos on a banner in carline*
- Logos on student homework folders*
- 15% Custom Apparel discount with Booster Spirit Wear*
*Talk with your Spirit Wear Consultant about these options! We can make them easy for you!
We know that every community is unique, and price sensitivity can fluctuate. Therefore, some schools find it best to customize their sponsorship levels, while others choose to use our standard sponsorship levels. Check out our Partnership Package Resource to see a few examples based off of our recommended pricing. You might be surprised to see that it only takes a few sponsorships to reach your fundraising goals.
STEP 3: BRAINSTORM POTENTIAL SPONSORS
Now you’re ready to brainstorm potential partners. Grab a few members of your PTA/PTO to help you. Below are three suggestions for the most common types of partners.
EXISTING PARTNERS: Your school may already have long-standing relationships with local organizations. They will probably be interested in any new opportunities for them to partner with you!
BUSINESSES IN THE COMMUNITY: Think of businesses your PTA/PTO members have relationships with, as well as ones that are close to your school. Below is a list of the most common types of businesses that partner with schools.
- Construction / Engineering / Home Improvement
- Doctor / Hospital / Dentist / Orthodontist
- Fitness / Sports
- Real Estate
- Child Services / Education / Tutoring / Summer Camps
PARENTS OF STUDENTS: Many parents own, work for, or know of a business that would love to partner with your school. Many schools find their Community Partners just by sending home our "Letter to Parents" Resource (found in Step 4).
As you grow your list of potential Community Partners, we’ve created a shareable Google sheet to assist you in tracking your outreach to these businesses and sharing information across your team.
STEP 4: GO GET COMMUNITY PARTNERS!
Schools tend to be more successful at creating partnerships when they use a variety of communication channels. Use the three editable resources below to help you communicate your desire for partnerships within your community. In order to reach the most potential partners, we recommend using all of these resources. And don’t forget to follow-up!
1. Ask for help. Recruit a team of your fellow PTA/PTO members. This will take the full responsibility off of your shoulders and leverage your team members’ unique relationships in the community.
2. Divide and conquer. If each person on your team reaches out to two or three businesses, the success rate will be higher, more ground will be covered, and it will take a lot of pressure off you!
3. Be personal & specific. Add a hand-written note to your flyer, or a personal line in an email - “We’d be thrilled if you would consider a Premium Ad this year.” This may feel forward, but the power of suggestion is huge, and it can help you fill out all your sponsorship packages!
4. Follow up. Regardless of the communication channel, make sure to follow up with potential Community Partners. People require multiple touch points before they respond.
STEP 5: COLLECT PARTNER LOGOS
You have a committed Community Partner! Now what? We recommend asking for their payment to secure their placement (all money is given directly to your school/PTA/PTO). Then, ask for the business logo they would like on the shirt (and any other promotional items you might offer). We need high resolution vector art files for printing, as described in our Art File Guide.
STEP 6: EMAIL COMMUNITY PARTNER LOGOS TO SPIRIT WEAR CONSULTANT
Once you have your Community Partner logos, email all of them to your Spirit Wear Consultant, including your name-only partners. Please make sure your school name, partner name, logo size, and desired logo placement are in the email. Then we’ll send all of your logos to our graphic designer to add to your t-shirt mock-up after your order is placed.
STEP 7: THANK YOUR COMMUNITY PARTNERS
It’s a BIG deal when Community Partners commit to your school and sponsoring your shirts. We want them to know their support is appreciated, so we’ve created an editable Thank You Letter Resource for you to use. We also suggest ordering an extra shirt for each Community Partner!