View Full Version : How do you get sponsors?

11-05-2008, 02:36 PM
Can anyone help me with information regarding getting sponsors for a home haunt? It is run by our Girl and Boy Scout Troops and all proceeds go to the kids for their activities. I have always provided everything for the home haunt--I buy new props each year, feed the kids when they're here working, bought a 10 x 12 storage shed to house everything in, etc. As we grow bigger each year, it is becoming more and more costly for me to keep up with everything. Any suggestions on how to get some sponsorship help would be greatly appreciated.

Kevin Dells
11-05-2008, 06:37 PM
Since your running a yard haunt it will be a little tougher to get sponsorship to begin with. Bigger haunts can and usually barter tickets to the event to lure sponsors.

Not putting your yard haunt down in any way, matter of fact from what you listed it sounds impressive. But you don't have a larger size event that draws large crowds therefore needing tickets.

What i could see you doing is maybe try and ask your local grocery store where you purchase all your ghouls grub to chip in some food donations.

Local hardware stores or companys that require pallets are good sources for wood.

You will not get any large chain superstores, i think we all try and end up with the same story. "Corporate won't allow it, you can send in the paperwork but they probably wont answer"

BUT we do buy cull lumber from Lowes for 50% off, keep that in mind. You may have to ask if they have any. They hide it in the back at our Lowes.

If any haunter does have Lowes or the Depot as a sponsor please mention how you did it. I think everybody would be interested in that.

And im sure you do already ask the parents to pitch in.

Haunting Copy
11-06-2008, 12:49 AM
As simplistic as it may sound, you might consider running a classified ad, asking for donations. The newspaper may agree to run the ad for free, as well.


11-06-2008, 05:07 AM
your haunt sounds pretty sweet, got any pictures or a site?

well i got a question,
im going proffesional next year what are some tips to get sponsors to agree to donate money of supplies.
anything we should mention in our letters and emails to them?

11-06-2008, 05:10 AM
We had our local newspaper donate adds of our Haunt for sponsership plus Pizza Hut donated cups, napkins and a few pizza's for the constuction crew to be on our list of sponsers. To mention a couple. Not much but it adds up.
This is when we were a home haunt with donations as an enrty fee.


11-06-2008, 10:00 AM
Well I don't own a haunt so I can't really give advice on how to obtain sponsorship for one, but I do produce special events and have learned a thing or two about sponsorship. If you look at some major events and take a look at their sponsor packages, you'll see that people get creative with the different things they can market to the sponsors. Don't stop at just offering free tickets. Think of anything else you can offer.

If it's not a major event you might be limited since there isn't a lot of exposure to be offered. Sponsors these days are not so much looking for the charity to give money to as they're looking for a major event to give them more exposure. The charity factor certainly helps, and might influence a sponsor in their decision, but you need to offer more than just a tax write-off. Some options are including tshirts with sponsor packages. Maybe make an official haunt tshirt that only sponsors will get. Although you could also try to convince a tshirt printer to donate their services. Then you also have merchandise to sell at the event. Another thing that won't cost you anything is giving sponsors the option to skip the line. Maybe have a hospitality area just for sponsors with free food and drinks, and of course get the food and drinks donated too.

Some of these things might be overkill for your event, and it might just be best to consider in-kind donations...that is a sponsor donating a good or service instead of directly donating money. One thing to do is create different sponsor levels. Allow everyone to get a chance to be a sponsor. The low level sponsors can get free tickets and the higher level sponsors can get whatever you can give them. Tickets, merchandise, hospitality. Perhaps have a night when you're open to sponsors only. Also be sure that all the tickets you give out free are even numbers. Companies can give out tickets to employees and their families.

Make sure your big sponsors are included on all advertising. Instead of saying "the boy scouts and girl scouts present -your haunt here-" say "pizza hut presents -your haunt here-". That would be the title sponsor, and they should be paying the most for that right. And at the end of the event run an ad in the paper (even better if the ad is donated) listing and thanking every single sponsor.

Get creative and figure out what you can give out without really costing you more money. I've even seen sponsor packages for conventions where the sponsor could put their logo on the electronic room key at the hotel.

11-06-2008, 12:59 PM
For a haunte drawing 4 to 5 thousand people, what reasonable expectations can you expect for a dollar amount a sponsor should or would give.

What do they get in return?

Haunting Copy
11-06-2008, 09:36 PM
For a haunte drawing 4 to 5 thousand people, what reasonable expectations can you expect for a dollar amount a sponsor should or would give.

What do they get in return?

Good question. I'd like to know the answer to this, too.

Mike Krausert (Nightmare New England) is a guru-type person when it comes to sponsorships. He'd be a good one to ask. :)


11-06-2008, 10:03 PM
I've always said that Mike should write a book or do a video about this exact topic! One can dream... -Tyler

Front Yard Fright
11-06-2008, 11:09 PM
We do a yard/garage haunt and have a list of about ten different sponsors that do stuff for us. My dad is quite the networker so getting sponsors for us is pretty easy.

Just tell them flat out what you're doing and ask if they'd be willing to help out. Being in a small town, people are all really supportive of our attraction so it's really nice to get others involved. We have Domino's Pizza that puts fliers on their pizza boxes, we have a construction/storage company that gives us tons of free junk wood as well as a deal on a storage unit that we store all of our stuff in during the off season. We have a comic book/novelty shop that is giving us t-shirts for all our volunteers, Burger King fed our actors one night, Nestle gave us tons of free hot chocolate... And there's more that others have done.

Try and give your sponsors as much exposure as you can (As others have mentioned) We have their logos and names on our garage door (AKA our "Sponsor board" :p) we are putting the logos on our shirts, and they get mentioned on our site too. Just help them out as much as you can to return the favor.

We've had a lot of good luck with sponsors so I'm hoping you have the same luck!

11-07-2008, 08:16 AM
For a haunte drawing 4 to 5 thousand people, what reasonable expectations can you expect for a dollar amount a sponsor should or would give.

What do they get in return?

Thanks for the compliments Sarah and Tyler.

There are many factors involved when it comes to approaching potential sponsors. Attendance plays a key role but is not the determining factor (in my experience) in landing a sponsorship.

During the "off season" I will be teaching at several conventions, and sponsorships will be one of my topics once again.

I am contemplating on writing a book or handbook that covers the basics of approaching Sponsors.

I have had tremendous success with sponsors at Terror on the Fox over the years including our Title Sponsor Oneida Casino. I have worked with the Casino very closely over the past eight years and have learned a lot from their marketing team.

This was the first year for Nightmare New England and we were able to get several large sponsors who played key roles in different aspects of our event.

I will post information on the classes and the different conventions where I will be teaching.

Take care,


11-07-2008, 08:20 AM
YES! I'll be attending these seminars for sure... this will be awesome. -Tyler

11-07-2008, 08:20 AM
I am contemplating on writing a book or handbook that covers the basics of approaching Sponsors.

I think that would be a great idea. I know I for one would buy it, and I'm betting there are many others.

11-07-2008, 10:32 AM
You may also check with equipment sales places, such as a place that sells Tractors or farm equipments. they get these items in in large wooden crates. they have to be boarded up from being shipped from overseas. These large pallets will
have plywood on them. If you ask you maybe able to get those for your building materials. Plus it saves them the cost of having a dumpster or transfer station pick it up. Also during the season, ask to put flyers in their windows.

If flyers are made, I would suggest getting the sponsors printed on them as a appreciation. I would ask for their approval first of the sponsor, but they should be fine. You can also hand out their store coupons. If a store puts out coupon ads, maybe the could give you some special one for your event. x amount of candy products or pops/soda.

I like the idea of Dominos putting the flyer on the pizza boxes, nice touch. Our haunt gets Dominos, and cough drops, if we buy x amount of radio adds then the radio station will either match ads or give extra on air plugs if DJ's go thru it.

All you can ever do is ask. and is doesn't hurt to ask. Don't expect too much when asking. some places may be more willing to give you a check instead of going thru other hoops to help. $100 there, 500 there, 75 from over there, it all adds up even in small amounts. So go in thinking a small amount and you may get surprised and get more than you thought.

As mentioned, go in, state your objective and for the causes if any, and I'm sure you'll get extras from anywhere.