What is the best way to find sponsers?

Over the past few years, my team has been struggling to find sponsers. As the new team leader for next year, I want to find out what the best way is to find sponsers that will be reliable for years to come. What is it that we need to do to prepare for a meeting with a potential sponser? Also, we have had trouble motivating new members to realize that we need sponsers and to put the time in to actually get them. How would we motivate them?
Any help would be much appreciated.

While we are only in our second year, I’ve learned a lot about finding sponsors over the last few weeks. This is due to the fact that we only had three weeks to raise funds to attend the nationals. So far, we’ve raised 16k. For us, I think sponsorship comes from dogged, non-stop phone calls. We’ve contacted approximately 75 different businesses ranging from advertising companies, engineering companies, insurance companies, contracting companies. . .basically any type that we could think of. We even contacted casinos but they didn’t provide funding to school activities (go figure).

I used the same script every time and I started off with whoever answered the phone. I kept a Google Doc opened and recorded the company, who I spoke to, their contact info, when I talked to them, what they said, and who was the primary contact on our side of the line. If I got a voice-mail or left an email message I would wait three days and try to contact again. If this failed more than once I would shift to finding another person to contact in the company.

When we finally got someone on the phone, they would generally connect me someone higher up than them and I would start the process again. Eventually, I would get a message that they were discussing it and would get back to me. I then expanded my contact time to one week and called back. Rinse and repeat.

Another good suggestion is the website http://www.jigsaw.com. This site aggregates many names from major companies around the world. I used this site to find the contact of the CEO for a major company in this area and sent him a (very brief) email about our club. To my surprise, I got a reply the next day and he said that he wanted to give our club $7500. Not too bad for a quick email.

Now, what we are trying to learn is how to develop long-term sponsors. We’re going to work on that after the Championship.

Good luck.

I’m still confused. What did you mention to these top-brands CEO?

Copypasted from another similar thread:

I’d recommend taking a look at the FIRST Fundraising Toolkit-- a lot of work was put into it, and it covers a wide variety of situations.

It can be found here.