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Sponsors Make Prizes Possible

Jane Tuttle
Lawrence KS USA
Robin Rziha
Hoisington KS USA
From: LEAVEN, Vol. 41 No. 6, December 2005-January 2006, p. 136.

The 2005 World Breastfeeding Week Celebration in the USA featured individual incentive prizes for those who raised a predetermined minimum amount of money, as well as prizes for individual Groups that raise $750 or more. Incentive prizes are used so that individual participants benefit directly from the fundraiser, and so that Groups are rewarded for registering and participating. The prizes are especially relevant to LLL Leaders and members and over the years have changed to better meet the desires of the Celebration participants.

The top prizes for WBW 2005 included a Grand Prize valued at $1,500 and two First Prizes valued at $500 for registrations to the LLLI Conference in 2007, which will celebrate our organization's 50th Anniversary. Additional prizes for 2005 included $50 LLLI Gift Certificates for individuals raising at least $500 and for individual Groups raising a minimum of $750. For those participants raising between $300 and $499, a $25 LLLI Gift Certificate was the incentive prize while those raising at least $250 were eligible for a $15 Platypus Media (children's book) gift certificate. In addition to individual prizes, there were random drawings for which anyone who raised any amount of money was eligible. The prize list can be downloaded from www.lllusa.org/lllusa/kit/2005/Prizes2005.doc.

Prizes are made possible by the generous donations of businesses that pay to be sponsors. Medela was the 2005 Grand Prize Sponsor, and Lansinoh Laboratories, Inc. and Motherlove Herbal Company were First Prize Sponsors. Sponsorship is an ideal way to raise revenue to help underwrite the costs of any event—especially the World Breastfeeding Week Celebration. Besides making money for La Leche League, sponsorship allows us to build important relationships with businesses that support and encourage breastfeeding. Fundraising always has at its core, people and building lasting relationships.

Every year, deciding upon which businesses to ask to become a sponsor is one of the first decisions that the WBW Celebration planners have to make. We need to know who our target audience is and find businesses that target that same market. LLLI has at its core mothers and babies; our events are attractive to a variety of businesses and professions. Of course, LLLI also wants to be mindful that the businesses and professionals we approach are compatible with our mission.

Sponsorship levels are also important to the success of the WBW event. Different levels of sponsorship carry different benefits for the sponsoring business. The more a business donates for its sponsorship, the more benefits it can expect. It is important to be able to give the business an idea of how often their name or logo will be seen by participants. The WBW Celebration Web site has an internal counter to tabulate hits to the Web site. It allows us to provide a sponsor with an accurate count of how many times a sponsor's Web site is visited. Additionally, some businesses can implant an electronic counter into their Web link to see if people arrive at their Web site through a link on the WBW Web site.

Leaders can show their appreciation to the WBW Celebration sponsors by visiting their Web sites, and also by thanking them for sponsorship. This will let them know that their support of the WBW Celebration made a difference. Even if you aren't buying from a sponsoring company, it is a good investment to take the time to drop them a note expressing your thanks for their support of the WBW Celebration and La Leche League.

The WBW Celebration in the USA offers five levels of sponsorship with unique benefits for each. The top sponsorship level, Platinum, is a minimum of $3,000 while the Bronze sponsorship level is more financially-friendly to cottage industries. All of the 2005 WBW Celebration sponsors can be found at www.lllusa.org/lllusa/sponsors.html.

There is always the possibility that prize sponsorship alone will not provide the needed revenue to cover the cost of the incentive prizes. With an eye toward this possibility, the percentage split among La Leche League entities in the USA includes five percent for expenses. Sponsors for the WBW Celebration are important to the overall success of the Celebration because they make incentive prizes possible and lower WBW expenses.

As the WBW Celebration Planning Team of volunteers begins planning for the 2006 WBW Celebration, the Team will again be looking for the support of past sponsors and hopefully many new sponsors. Please send potential WBW sponsors names and information to Linda Parry, LPARRYLLL at aol.com or Pam Dunne, pameladunne at msn.com.

Resources

"How Can I Find Sponsors for An Event?"
www.nonprofits.org/npofaq/17/28.html

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