Persistence is key: Getting sponsorship to attend a One Young World Summit

Ambassador from the Bahamas, Ashleigh Rolle has very kindly provided us with her advice on how to get sponsorship in a very clear and concise article. Ashleigh is an inspirational Ambassador who has attended three Summits to date.


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When seeking fundraising for one young world, you should realise that the earlier you start, your chances of attending increase tenfold.

Even though I sought out fundraising the completely unconventional way last year, by crowd sourcing, I normally take the traditional letter writing route, which for the most part actually works once executed correctly.

Take into account all of the local and international companies you have based in not just your city but the entire country and then try to get a hold of two things:

  • The date of when their donations committees meet
  • The date of when their fiscal year begins and ends

One Young World provides each of its candidates with sponsor recommendation letters, which makes your possible attendance at the Summit a bit more legitimate. However it is still up to you to actually make the effort to get sponsors on board. Along with your One Young World letter I think it’s important for you to create a profile of yourself explaining what attendance at the Summit would not just mean for you, but for their company. Convince individual sponsors what the advantages and benefits they would gain in sending you. Please note that when sending in letters, follow up is key.

Ensure that at least two weeks after sending in your letter you make a call following up on the progress of your request and whether or not they would like to assist you.

Take advantage of local traditional media like newspapers, local radio stations and even news stations. Coming from the Bahamas I realise that local media is always keen to do a story on a young person that’s creating a positive impact in the community. Combining this with the want to attend an international high-level Summit that’s advantageous for the youth of your country can only increase your chances of finding a sponsor with a local media story.

Attending local events like a chamber of commerce mixer is always a good way to network and seek funding in a social setting without coming off as needy. Most times sponsors love to see that you have the confidence and gusto to actually give a social impromptu pitch without coming off as a pushy 3am infomercial.

This route is actually a bit tricky because you are solely relying on your ability to read into a situation (i.e. is this the best time? Does this person want to be bothered?) So always be cognoscente of your surroundings when taking this route.

Whether you decide to crowd source, cold call, meet & greet, or write a letter it is important to realise that persistence is key. I guarantee that at least one of the companies you approach is going to say no before you even tell them what it is that you want. By starting this process early on and by being persistent you set yourself up not for failure but for the possibility to attend one of the greatest Summits and networking opportunities created for young people, One Young World.