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  • Writer's pictureDarrell Stetler II

How to Find Community Partners for Your Trunk or Treat

Finding community partners for your Trunk or Treat can seem daunting, but with a bit of effort, you can secure valuable support to make your event even more successful.


Our church has hosted a Trunk or Treat for 13 years, and we've gained a wealth of experience in outreach to local partners.


Here's how you can do it too:





Finding Corporate Sponsors

Corporate sponsors can provide significant support for your event. Here’s how to approach them:

  1. Identify Potential Sponsors: Look for companies that align with your church's values and have a history of community involvement. Local branches of larger corporations are often good candidates.

  2. Create a Proposal: Develop a sponsorship proposal that outlines the benefits for the sponsor, such as visibility at the event, mentions in promotional materials, and positive community engagement. Highlight how their contribution can make a difference.

  3. Reach Out: Contact the community relations or marketing departments of potential sponsors. Be prepared to present your proposal and explain the impact of your event on the community.

  4. Follow Up: Persistence is key. If you don’t get a response right away, follow up with a polite reminder. Building these relationships takes time, but it’s worth the effort.


Engaging Neighborhood Associations or Watches

Neighborhood associations or watches can be valuable partners for your Trunk or Treat:


  1. Connect with Leaders: Reach out to the leaders of local neighborhood associations or watch groups. These individuals often have a vested interest in community activities and can help spread the word.

  2. Attend Meetings: Attend neighborhood association meetings to present your event and explain how it benefits the community. Personal connections can go a long way in securing support.

  3. Offer Involvement Opportunities: Invite these groups to participate in your event. They can host a trunk, provide volunteers, or help with publicity. Their involvement can enhance the community feel of your event.


Partnering with Local Businesses for Prizes

Local businesses can provide prizes, such as gift cards, that make your event more exciting:

  1. Identify Businesses: Look for businesses that are popular in your community. Restaurants, retail stores, and entertainment venues are great places to start.

  2. Explain the Benefits: When approaching businesses, explain how their donation can benefit them. Highlight the exposure they will receive and the goodwill generated by supporting a community event.

  3. Personal Visits: Visit businesses in person to make your request. Bring a letter or flyer that outlines your event and the specific donation you are seeking. Personal interactions can be more persuasive than emails or phone calls.

  4. Show Gratitude: Always thank businesses for their support, both publicly and privately. Acknowledging their contribution during the event and in your promotional materials can encourage future donations.


Our Experience and Tips

Over the years, we’ve successfully secured donations from local businesses, including gift cards, which have been a big hit at our Trunk or Treat. Here are some additional tips from our experience:

  • Build Relationships: Cultivate long-term relationships with your sponsors and partners. Regularly update them on your event’s success and express appreciation for their support.

  • Be Clear and Specific: When making your ask, be clear and specific about what you need and how it will be used. This helps potential donors understand the impact of their contribution.

  • Leverage Social Media: Use your church’s social media platforms to thank sponsors and partners publicly. This not only shows appreciation but also provides them with additional exposure.

leveraging social media to thank sponsors and create anticipation

Conclusion

Outreach to local partners doesn’t have to be intimidating. By approaching corporate sponsors, neighborhood associations, and local businesses with clear, compelling proposals, you can secure valuable support for your Trunk or Treat. This not only enhances your event but also strengthens community ties. Smaller churches should feel encouraged to take these steps, knowing that with effort and persistence, they can create a well-funded and exciting Trunk or Treat that benefits everyone involved.



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