Most business enterprises are self-sustaining activities in themselves. However, projects usually require some sort of funding from different sources. Some businesses might run projects from their internal funding. Some projects, though, might need to secure financing from sources like grants, donations or other investments. This especially goes for school projects, community projects, or projects by organizations for a cause.
- Corporate sponsorships. Oftentimes, big businesses and corporations agree to sponsor sporting events, cultural shows, educational programs, and even construction of establishments. These are usually done in the name of public relations and sometimes charity. Getting funding from corporate sponsorships would usually mean that the company logo and name would have to be included in your project's promotional materials like pamphlets, publications, streamers, and the like. If it is an event, sponsorship packages also usually include giving a space, booth or desk for the company to promote its products. If the sponsorship is for a charity event, a company can even claim it as a deduction from their tax liabilities.
- Fund-raising events. To raise money for a project being run by a community or school, a fund-raising event is also a good idea in getting money, and also raising awareness for your cause. Some good fund-raising events are sales, door-to-door solicitations, raffles, and other contests. Fund-raising requires a lot of legwork, though, and each member of the community or organization should be able to participate to make it work.
- Business grants. Another good way of getting your project sponsored is by securing a grant from financing institutions. Some funding institutions limit their sponsorships to certain kinds of projects, such as educational, infrastructure, community-related, and the like. Also, most institutions that provide grant financing might have some conditions on how and where you can spend the money.
- Government. If you can't find sponsorship money from private sources, then government funding might be a good option. Some local governments have a budget for projects that promote cultural exchange, or that help improve educational facilities. Local governments might also be able to coordinate with foundations and corporations to get you the funds you need to start your project.
- Formalize your proposal. As with any business activity, the above mentioned financing sources usually require you to submit a formal proposal, so they can better document and discuss the merits of giving you money for your project. You may include in your proposal the background of your group or organization, the reason you want to run a project, previous experience with raising money and running projects, and the target beneficiaries of your project. If you already have cost estimates, it would be helpful if you can provide cost breakdowns, so the potential financiers know what exactly they are paying for. Some financing sources might prefer to provide funds in partial, and in this case, they can also choose which portions of your project to fund.
- Report updates. Once you have secured sponsorship, be sure to provide your financial backers a regular report on the status of the project, the disbursement of their funds, and any other relevant milestones. This would help them better appreciate your cause, and would even be a good reference in possible financing in the future.
Running projects for a good cause is beneficial not only for the target audience. To most corporations, government entities and financing institutions, helping other people is also helpful to themselves, as they can use it as a marketing tool, to advance their own goals, and to help stakeholders.