Getting support from others
Organizations can be helpful for gaining access to free resources and support. Most often they are helpful for providing workshops, mentors, judges, volunteers, and even in-kind donations like venue space or laptops.
The difference between collaborating with organizations and your event sponsors is the exchange of money for services. Organizations that support your event are providing resources to your team for free with no strings attached.
For example, let’s say your team wants to give hackers access to a 3D printer at their hackathon. Your team could reach out to a local maker space to see if they would be willing to lend a printer and host an introductory 3D printing workshop.
The most effective way to get the support of an organization is to be specific with your ask and initial email. Below is an example for you to use a template!
Hello Imaginary Maker Space team! HighSchoolHacks is a 2-day hackathon for high school students in the Boston community. We have a hardware track to help high schoolers learn about the awesome projects you can make with both hardware and software.Specifically, we wanted to teach them how to use a 3D printer in their hackathon project. I know your Maker Space has several printers, would you be interested in lending a printer for 2 hours on Saturday and/or hosting an introductory 3D printing workshop on Saturday, June 20th?
Use a staff member's email or phone number over the organization’s central email address to maximize your chances of getting a response.
If you want to work with the organization next year, it’s important that you thank them after the event and provide them support in return when the opportunity arises. Too often hackathon teams are so focused on hitting their goals that they forget to thank and support the people that helped them along the way.
An organization is going to be much more inclined to help you again next year if you support their events or initiatives in return.