Barista Magazine

APR-MAY 2019

Serving People Serving Coffee Since 2005

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77 www.baristamagazine.com thing with community work is making sure you're hydrated enough to go water the rest of the community." As Kat says, "Starting stuff is fun! Follow-through is, at times, less fun, but it is necessary. When you decide to start something, come through." In order to do that, you may need to reroute, take on help where you previously didn't need it, or fi nd a way to stop working with people who are making things diffi cult. How should you fund it? Running something like a closed Facebook group for your local barista community might not require any funding at all, but on the other side of the spectrum, some events or projects can take a lot of money to pull off. There are lots of different ways to get funding for your orga- nization, each with their own benefi ts. Many groups mix and match to get all the support they need. • Crowdfunding If you want to get an event, project, or organization funded, crowdfunding is a great way to gain community buy-in as well as funds prior to launch. It also keeps your brand differentiated from any other groups or companies. • Sponsorship Funding your work through sponsorship means fi nding brands you love who love you back and want to support your work by donating products, money, or space. It allows for cross-branding, which can be fun and help to engage a wider community. On the other side of that, it may also leave you feeling beholden to promote someone else's brand, which may make you feel like your group is advertising for someone else rather than promoting your work. It's important to fi nd brands you really value to sponsor you. The sponsorship can look like fun merchandise for a raffl e, a space to host your event, food or beverages, media coverage, or even cash. • Charging at events If you're hosting events like throwdowns, you can charge entrance fees that allow you to cover your costs and develop a pool of funds over time. • Member dues If you're running a group with specifi c membership and consistent costs, you can charge dues as part of membership. • Savings Some groups fund initial ventures from their own savings, then recoup the costs with proceeds from their efforts. What funding your group looks like Most groups use a mix of funding strategies and evolve over time as their organization grows and/or changes. Kat and Coffee People Zine evolved their funding model over time. "The fi rst zine was funded from my bank account, plus a little help from a few friend-owned shops as 'sponsors,'" she says. "Sales of pre- vious issues are a big chunk of how I fund each new issue." To supple- ment sales revenue, she accepts sponsorships from coffee companies and has recently started integrating carefully curated ads in the zine. Gender-marginalized community coffee competition Cherry Roast has honed its funding model over time as it's grown. "The event has mostly been funded by myself and Amethyst Coffee," says founder Elle Jensen. "But in recent years we've had a lot more sponsorship from mostly local coffee companies and, in 2017 and 2018, sponsorship from national coffee brands." Having grown into using sponsors, she TO FIGURE OUT WHAT TYPE of sponsor makes sense for you, think about what you need and who can fi ll that need. Food and Beverage: Get in touch with local restau- rants, cheese makers, breweries, roasters, and dair- ies you love and tell them about your event or group and why you think they would be a great sponsor. Equipment and Swag: Coffee companies love giving out swag for prizes. Whose brand do you want to rep? Get in touch and tell them about your event or group. Space: Think about how many people you're expect- ing, your electrical and audio-visual needs, and any accessibility needs that might be relevant to your group or event. Which space might be your perfect host? Get in touch and see if they're interested in giving you access for free or at a discount! Money: If you're running an organization or publi- cation that just needs capital, you can get in touch with brands that might want to sponsor you because of the brand association, in exchange for mentions and/or ads. If you don't have a specifi c point of contact yet, get in touch with your would-be sponsor's general contact email. When you do, explain who you are, what you're planning, and what you'd like from them to do it. Then, on the other side, tell them what you'll do for them if they sponsor you: social media shout-outs, mentioning their name a certain number of times throughout the event, and anything else you can think of to make it worth their while. W H O ' S Y O U R S P O N S O R ?

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