Sponsorship Chasing

   This week’s story is about my next fundraiser. I first must thank Jeremy and Chelsea Jensen for coming up with the concept and putting everything in motion. The fundraiser will be a motorcycle rally in Pocatello. When we started talking about a fundraiser to help Pocatello breast cancer patients, Chelsea came up with the concept of the rally, the different towns to host the stops, and a list of businesses we could talk to about sponsorships. Chelsea made up a sponsor sheet that provided businesses the option of a cash sponsorship, or door prizes. But it’s important to note I helped also. Chelsea said we need to come up with a catchy name for the event. So my contribution is: Wait for it: “Bikers for Boobs!” What can I say, it’s a gift.

   I will begin by telling you about my experience with Chad’s Rental. Chelsea had someone stop in and was told the owner wanted to meet and get more information. I found out the managers name is Marty Hoge. I stopped in three different times when I drove to Pocatello, but never could catch up with him. I decided to call and see if I could arrange a time to meet with him. When I finally reached him on the phone, I introduced myself by saying, “Hi, my name is Shane Wilker and I’m with the Shannon Wilker Foundation.” “What’s this about?” he asked in an abrupt tone. “I think someone has already stopped in to talk about the fundraiser we’re doing in September. “I’m going to stop you right there. I haven’t talked to anyone, and I have ten thousand people want me to donate something every day.” Then he hung up. Okay, where to start? “Ten Thousand people every day? Really? Dude, I’ve been in your store. I’m not sure you get ten people in every day. Also, when I worked at John Deere, there were many time I had to tell an organizations we couldn’t support their event. So, I understand when a business can’t sponsor something. I always told them I admired what they were doing and politely explained why we couldn’t donate at this time as friendly as I could. First rule of business: Everyone is a potential customer.

      I’m happy to say, the rest of the businesses I talked to were very friendly and nice. The ones that couldn’t sponsor the event, were very courteous, and explained why they couldn’t help in a polite manner. I made sure to tell them I’ve had to do the same thing and I understood completely. The businesses that did sponsor mainly donated door prizes and were very generous. I told them how much I appreciated their support. Everyone respected what the event was doing and grateful the funds were staying local.

   The most rewarding part of talking to businesses is getting to explain what the Foundation is, and its purpose. I love to tell be able to tell everyone how rewarding it is to be able to help others even if it’s something as simple as a gas card. I explain how rewarding it is to do something that makes my Angel Shannon proud. I will always LOVE AND MISS YOU sweetheart.

Next week: Buddy’s Restaurant

P.S. Chad’s Rental could use some serious customer service training. Hey wait! I know a guy!