Finding sponsors for a pageant can be very difficult and it constantly seems like you’re being told no. We completely understand how frustrating it can be so here are 10 ways to find pageant sponsors.  And remember, the best way to get anyone to sponsor you is to do something for them in return. Don’t forget to thank all your new sponsors!

1. Talk to family and friends

Your family and friends want to see you succeed and will support your goals.  Even if they don’t have a lot to give, every little bit helps.  Ask around and take spare change if they’ve got it. You can even set up a fundraiser like ‘Go Fund Me’ so your friends and family can donate directly through your profile! 

2. Send letters

Send letters to sponsors asking them to help you.  If possible, deliver letters in person while dressed professionally preferably in your Miss Teen Africa sash/crown.  Not all businesses are near you, and some may ask you to send a letter to their corporate headquarters.  Include a headshot with the letter and a little information about you in the letter so they know who they’re sponsoring. Download a sample letter here.

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3. Public speaking

You could emcee an event for an organization or promote their product in public.  Spend time in the store sampling products and talking to people about their services.  If you’re a good public speaker, offer to exchange your speaking services for a sponsorship.

4. Provide entertainment

Pageant girls have talents, and you can perform yours for a business at a local event.  If it’s a restaurant, offer to provide live piano music one night or sing the national anthem at the opening of an event.  This is a chance to showcase and practice your talent as well as gain a sponsor.

5. Handing out business cards

Many businesses that cater to pageant girls would love it if every other girl from your pageant got their card.  Offer to take a stack and hand them out there or take some to school and give them to friends.  Figure out who they target to sell their product and offer to connect them with a wider range of that group in exchange for a sponsorship.  They probably won’t say no to more business.

6. Model

If you are constantly winning modelling or photogenic awards at pageants, offer to be a print or runway model for a store.  Many dress shops have programs that allow girls to get discounts on dresses if they participate in a modelling campaign so ask around and see if you can find one.  Photographers might want to use your headshots for promotional purposes, maybe you can work out a good deal.

7. Use the Internet

The Internet has several websites that allow people to look for sponsors for beauty pageants. Some work better than others, but it’s worth a try.  Be careful not to post too much information about yourself on a public website.  On Facebook and Twitter, share a link or your letter to ask for donations from people you know.  You can email businesses or organizations to ask for sponsorships as well, just attach a PDF copy of your letter, a sponsorship form, and a headshot.

8. Tutor children

You have talents and intelligence that a lot of parents want for their kids.  Tutor younger students in your major, offer beginning instrument lessons or teach high school students life skills for managing college.  Find elementary school students and give them tutoring in all subjects or just for a specific test.  Use the money you make to pay for a pageant.

9. Have a garage sale

If friends and family can’t donate money, maybe they have some interesting items that they’d be willing to donate to a garage sale.  Get some gently used, quality items together and have a garage sale.  You can keep the profits as a sponsorship.  You could also organize a clothing or beauty swap among friends and charge a few dollars to attend.  It’s a great way to recycle things you don’t wear or use and then everybody gets something from it.

10. Patronize businesses

One of the best pools of potential sponsors is businesses that you already patronize. Maybe your favourite store wants to make a donation or the nail salon will give you a free manicure and pedicure for your pageant.  Ask places that you already patronize and mention that you’re a customer.  Most businesses set aside money specifically for sponsorships and they’re unlikely to turn down a paying customer.