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For the Wikimedia Hackathon 2015 in Lyon, ¾ of the budget went to food and venue.
In some cases, some of the budget was used to hire a local part time event coordinator.
Consider adding someone to your team who is well connected to the IT community in your area and can help with fundraising. (This person may also be able to help with outreach to like-minded communities and other stakeholders, as well as local IT solutions.)
Leanings from WMFR, organizers of the Wikimedia Hackathon 2015 in Lyon
- Use Twitter by directly contacting the companies you think would be willing to pledge - works a lot better than writing them emails
- Contact partnership or Marketing or Public Relation department
- Especially international companies
- Mention that many enablers are coming to the event, might interest companies
- Ask foundations, mention Wikipedia
- It might also be to thank Wikipedia. It’s free and cool.
- Convey some urgency (only this year in this country, moves somewhere else next year)
- Asked Google for 10.000 € (got it)
Learnings from WMAT, organizers of the Wikimedia Hackathon 2017 in Vienna
- Universities of Applied Sciences (German: FHs - Fachhochschulen) were very open to sponsoring
- hard to reach out to companies where you don't know anybody (cold-calling)
- As a local Wikimedia chapter or group, it is generally a good idea to invest in a good network and potential sponsor relations - this takes most of all time and human resources.
- reaching out to MediaWiki stakeholders, people who use the software MediaWiki for their business, is a good starting point to establish future sponsoring contacts in the business world.
- We set up a special landing page on our website, where we could direct potential sponsors. There, we offered different sponsoring packages, from 500€ to 10.000€.
- Link to sponsoring materials (in German): https://www.wikimedia.at/hackathon/sponsoring/
- Sometimes, in-kind donations are easier to get than money.
- Look for collaborations.
Apply early for grants in your city or country. A large tech event like this is likely to be applicable for grants in various fields, like technology-awareness, women-in-tech or similar.