Pursue Financial Support
Local partnerships can take many forms. Partners might provide in-kind donations such as a venue for the event, publicity, prizes for winners, catering/food for the event, and volunteers for the selection or event planning committees. Partners can also assist with promoting the award and recruiting girls to apply. Affiliate coordinators may create a letterhead template to establish an identity for your Affiliate. Use the sponsor letter, letters to schools, letters to universities to recruit partners to your cause as either a letter or email guideline. The Award Presentation can be used to educate sponsors about the urgent need for more young women in computing and technology, and how the award supports that goal.
Sponsors and partners can be recognized via the Affiliate Award Webpage, the promotional materials, in press releases, and recognition at the award event. The sooner a sponsor or partner comes on board, the more exposure they will see. Use the customizable sponsor packet to recruit sponsors. NCWIT recommends that sponsors pay for expenses directly, rather than passing money back and forth. This reduces the accounting burden and saves money by not passing funds around. For example, a sponsor might host the catering for the event, provide the event venue in-kind, or directly purchase prizes for the award winners. More information is available in the Budget section under Award Preparation.
At minimum, local affiliate awards are expected to recognize award winners in a public ceremony where each awardee receives her trophy and swag (both provided by NCWIT). Each awardee will receive a trophy to take home and a trophy will be sent directly to the school.
Additional Affiliate Award expenses include publicity expenses, any additional prizes for the awardees (not required), and hosting the award event. Determine which budget items your organization will pay for and those for which you seek sponsor support. There are many ways to mitigate costs, from adjusting prizes, to changing the venue for the awards event from a hotel to a university or corporate partner site, or seeking in-kind donations. Whatever you choose, it is important to make decisions early before asking for support. Be ready with a firm budget in mind. Here are small, medium and large budget scenarios.
Suggested 2nd Paragraph: When planning the budget for an event, remember the focus of every ceremony should be on Girl Recognition which is easily achieved without cost. For recognition, consider additions that will draw attention to and support for the young women being honored. Examples include individual introductions of award recipients and guests, reading short bios for each recipient, maintaining a focus of inspiration and motivation throughout all speeches and planned activities. (Change this however we like, but important to note focus should be on Girl Recognition and NOT prizes, very pertinent to budget planning.)
SAMPLE SMALL BUDGET
This budget assumes the award event is for 25 winners, most bringing two guests (65) plus 15 spots for committee members and other supporters. The $10 per person cost is for a dessert or afternoon tea event, and that the award event location is provided at no cost. Starred (*) items can often be gotten through in kind donations.
SAMPLE MEDIUM BUDGET
This budget assumes the award event is for 25 winners, each bringing two guests (75) plus 15 spots for committee members and other supporters. The $20 per person cost is for a lunch or breakfast event, and that the award event location is provided at no cost. Expenses are based on selecting 25 awardees, giving cash awards, and hosting a reception for 80 at your own or a partner's site. Starred (*) items can often be gotten through in kind donations.
SAMPLE LARGE BUDGET
This budget assumes the award event is for 25 winners, giving larger cash awards, and hosting a reception for 90 at your own or a partner's site.
Managing the finances of the Affiliate is the responsibility of the local committee. NCWIT does not have the accounting capacity to set up funds and reporting for an ever increasing number of Affiliates. Also, keeping the money local ensures that any funds left over can roll over to the next year. See the Affiliate application for full details. Since the Affiliate is not a legal entity, we recommend selecting a fiscal agent from among the members. Ideally this organization should be a nonprofit or academic organization, so that any corporate donations can be accepted (it is hard for a corporation to donate something to another corporation). NCWIT recommends that sponsors pay for expenses directly, rather than passing money back and forth. This reduces the accounting burden. For example, a sponsor might host the catering for the event, provide the event venue in-kind, or directly purchase prizes for the award winners. For example, in the Bay Area, Google paid for the event site and catering, and Intel purchased Visa gift cards for the winners. All expenses were shared by the sponsors and paid via their individual accounting processes.
Affiliates are encouraged to apply for the Affiliate Assistance Fund.