Introduction to Fundraising
It’s nearly impossible to host a serious hackathon without money. That said, landing quality sponsorship is manageable if you break the process into small steps and give yourself plenty of lead time. The more practice you get approaching and negotiating with potential backers, the better you’ll become at the art of fundraising.
One thing to keep in mind as you work your way through this process: sponsors are like investors — they want to see you’re serious before they give you capital. In the same way you wouldn’t approach a VC without a product prototype, don’t reach out to sponsors until you’ve got evidence that your hackathon is well on its way to happening: a confirmed venue and time, pre-registrations from students, etc.
When you’re finished reading this section of the guide, we strongly recommend watching our fundraising webinar: Raising Sponsorship - A Workshop by MLH.