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for Sport Club Student-Athletes

How-To Guide

What is Cats in the Community?


Cats in the Community is a fundraising program led and run by students that gives local businesses the opportunity to donate money to the Chico State Sport Clubs in exchange for philanthropy work. Student representatives approach organizations in the community and offer the services of Cats in the Community. After the Sport Club and organization choose a philanthropy project, the organization provides the club members with T-shirts to wear while doing work. The shirts have the name of the organization on them, which gives the donor free advertising, while associating their name with positive action in the Chico community. Before the philanthropy event, the donating organization agrees on a given donation amount it will provide the Sport Club. The amount is approximately $10 per hour for each club member working but is negotiable. The goal of Cats in the Community is for Chico State Sport Clubs to create a positive working relationship with local businesses that not only benet Sport Clubs, but also the Chico community.

General Professionalism Tips


Phone calls and voice mail When contacting businesses and clients, make sure you have a professional voice mail, since many times they will contact you when you are in class or at work. Your voice mail should be straightforward, clearly identify who you are and be free of inappropriate language and comments. When leaving voicemails leave your full name, title (if you have one), the organization you are with and when and how they can reach you (your phone number). Have a professional e-mail address Make sure you have a professional e-mail address that clearly identies you. Your e-mail address should be your name, numbers and nothing else. A good example would be something like smith.john@gmail.com. A Chico State e-mail address is also an excellent choice. Dress professionally Always dress professionally when going to meetings and conducting business. Any time you are with a client you need to look the part, and professional attire will encourage people to take you more seriously. Men should wear slacks, a dress shirt, tie, belt and dress shoes. Women should wear a blouse or dress shirt, slacks and low heels or ats. A skirt that hits below the knees would also be appropriate attire. Punctuality and time management Always be on time to meetings or appointments. Punctuality and time management are essential to keeping good relations with clients and maintaining a professional appearance. Keep yourself organized When meeting with clients, carry yourself professionally and be organized. Remember to bring any materials and paperwork with you to every meeting in a business portfolio or folder. Hold on to any business cards you may receive as well.

General Professionalism Tips


Follow ups and thank yous It is a good idea to send a thank you or a follow-up e-mail after meeting with a business. Sending businesses reminder e-mails of upcoming appointments is also helpful. Contacting clients When making initial contact with a business, ask what the best form of communication is. Find out if they prefer phone, e-mail or face-to-face contact, and communicate with them accordingly. Poor communication can be a problem and makes you look unprofessional. If contacting your client through e-mail, make sure you have a professional signature that includes your full name, title, organization, e-mail and phone number.

How to Approach Potential Sponsors


The Time to Go The rst thing to keep in mind when approaching potential sponsors should be when to approach them. Workdays are best, especially between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Certain hours may be busier than others due to the type of business. Who to Speak With Ask to speak to a manager. They will have the most answers and the most authority to grant your request. If a manager is not in, ask when they will be and return then. Do prior research and determine who the manager is and when they might be in. What to Wear Dress professionally. Looking professional makes you more credible, and potential sponsors will take you seriously and trust that your organization is a good investment. What to Bring Come prepared. Bring informational material that highlights who you are, what you want and how they can contact you. People like it when they have something to hold on to before they make their decision. The brochure is perfect for this, but something with YOUR contact info would also be helpful. How to Act Always be cordial and polite. Do not hold up other customers, and thank the manager or employee for their time even if they do not currently wish to be a sponsor. If you establish a good relationship, then future opportunities may open up. What to Say When making your pitch, clearly highlight who you are and what you want, and incentives for them if they become a sponsor. How you sell your organization is crucial, so be delicate in the way you go about asking for their money. After the Pitch Follow up. Check back with the manager ve to seven days later and see if they made a decision. Businesses get busy and may sometimes forget about your proposal, so it is important to check back.

E-mail Etiquette
As the use of technology increases in the business world, professional e-mail etiquette is vital to positive communication. E-mail is often your rst form of introduction to a complete stranger. Give a great rst impression by following these basic guidelines. E-mail is a formal type of communication Always be professional in your e-mails. The person to whom you are writing receives many business e-mails every day and you want yours to stand out. Write as if you were talking to the recipient face to face. Use a professional e-mail address Your e-mail address reects upon you positively or negatively, so keep it classy. It is best to use your rst and last name. Example: Correct: john.harper@gmail.com Incorrect: soccerking42@gmail.com Know your target audience before you write your e-mail Before you even begin typing an e-mail, ask yourself, to whom am I writing? An e-mail sent to an acquaintance should sound different in tone than an e-mail sent to a complete stranger. Leave the To eld blank until you are ready to send It is easy to accidentally send an e-mail before it is complete. Avoid this embarrassing error by entering the recipients e-mail address just before you are ready to send the message. The subject line DOES matter You want the subject line of your e-mail to stand out from the rest and to clearly explain the purpose of the message. If you are struggling with writing a subject line, try summarizing the e-mail in one sentence. Then condense that sentence to about six words to create your subject line. Always check your subject line for spelling and grammar errors before you send the e-mail. If the subject line of your e-mail is incorrect, the reader probably will not take you seriously. Remember, spell check will not do this for you. Example: Correct: Wildcats looking for philanthropy support. Incorrect: Request for sponsorship.

E-mail Etiquette
What does Cc mean? Only use the Cc eld if you need to send a copy of the e-mail to someone that the e-mail does not address. But remember, the recipient can see the name and address of all the people who you Ccd. Salutations are Mr. and Ms. in rst e-mail Addressing a stranger for the rst time via e-mail is complicated, so play it safe. If the recipient is male, address him as Mr. If the recipient is female, address her as Ms. Some rst names are gender neutral, so nd out if you are unsure. After receiving a reply, address the recipient by the name they sign at the bottom of the reply e-mail. If the person signs it using their professional title, stick with Mr. or Ms. unless a title like Dr. is appropriate. Keep the format simple It is difcult to read large blocks of text on a computer screen so break up the paragraphs of the e-mail. Avoid the use of bullet points and numbers and do not use extravagant fonts. Stick with Times New Roman and Arial. Get to the point Explain why you are writing within the rst paragraph. If you do not get to your point quickly, the reader will lose interest. Do not use text abbreviations You should write to someone the same way you would speak to them. Always use complete sentences. Do not use abbreviations such as TTYL, OMG and BTW. Inform the recipient before you send an attachment Most recipients will not open an attachment from someone they do not know so avoid sending an attachment unless the recipient is expecting one. If you do send an attachment, clearly explain what the attachment is in the body of the e-mail.

E-mail Etiquette
Always proofread for spelling and grammar errors Before you send an e-mail, you should proofread it. Proofreading is different than just skimming a message you write because you are reading to look for specic errors. Spell check is very helpful and you should run it, but spell check does not catch all errors. Read your e-mail aloud before you send it Sometimes hearing what you have written is different than seeing it. Reading your e-mail aloud helps you catch content errors and x sentences that do not make sense. Having someone read through your e-mail before you send it is also helpful because the person may see an error you did not notice.

Phone Call Tips


Phone calls are an important method of communication that must be carefully monitored to be effective. There are certain things to keep in mind when making professional phone calls: Be prepared When contacting someone over the phone, make sure you are in a room that is quiet, where you will not be interrupted during the call. Always make sure you have a pen and paper nearby in case you need to jot down notes. Timing is key When you make a phone call it is also important to keep in mind that most businesses only take phone calls from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., so make sure you call within that time frame. Also, if you are making a call to the East Coast remember it is three hours later than California, so call accordingly. Have a professional voicemail When contacting businesses and clients, make sure you have a professional voicemail, since many times they will contact you when you are in class or at work. Your voicemail should be straightforward, clearly identify who you are and be free of inappropriate language and comments. In addition, always have an appropriate ring-back tone, if you have one at all. Watch the slang Likewise, watch the way you speak with a potential client when you call them. Do not swear, use slang or mumble. Speak clearly, professionally and cordially, and introduce yourself to whoever answers the phone. Leave the right message When leaving voicemails, leave your full name, title (if you have one), the organization you are with, what you would like to speak with them about, and when and how they can reach you (your phone number). Follow up After speaking with a business or leaving a voicemail, it is a good idea to give them a follow-up call a week later if you have not heard back

About Fact Sheets


Fact sheets are a tool to inform target audiences and the media about an organization. The subject matter of a fact sheet varies according to an organizations purpose. For example, if the womens lacrosse team is seeking funding, develop a fact sheet that lists the teams stats, how much money it cost to travel last season, philanthropy work the team has done and anything else a potential donor might look for. There is a standard format all fact sheets follow regardless of the subject matter. Here are some basic rules for writing a fact sheet: Print the fact sheet on Cats in the Community letterhead. Put all contact information in the top, right hand corner. The title should tell the reader what the fact sheet is about and the font should be bold and uppercase. Headings should go on the left hand side, and organize the fact sheet into logical categories. Utilize headings to break up and organize a fact sheet. Creative and eye-catching heading are also effective when used appropriately. Use dots, tabs, dashes and other bullets to organize and line up each fact. Facts are listed in organized, chronological order. Follow the order who, what, when, where, why. Include one fact for each bullet point. Single space facts that use multiple lines, but double space between individual facts. Use Times New Roman, 12-point font and do not exceed one page. See the example on the following page.

400 West First Street (Acker Gym #126) Chico, CA, 95929-0300 Phone: 530-898-5348 Fax: 530-898-4699 www.csuchico.edu/recsports CATS IN THE COMMUNITY ABOUT CATS The goal of Cats in the Community is to provide volunteer hours to the community through Sport Club philanthropic service. Sponsors agree to donate funds to a Sport Clubs annual budget, and in return its members do community service. ABOUT SPORT CLUBS Sport Clubs are student-organized, student-run competitive and recreational sports teams that compete against other universities. Competitive Sport Clubs include ultimate Frisbee, eld hockey, lacrosse, rugby, water polo and much more. In addition to involvement in the sport, these teams also provide excellent opportunities for student leadership. BENEFIT TO SPONSORS Sport Club volunteers wear shirts with the logo of the sponsor organization providing valuable free advertising, which associates the logo with a positive community presence. Sponsors provide manpower through the Sports Club that is sometimes much more valuable than money to a charitable organization. Customers see the sponsor as an active, socially responsible organization in the Chico community. Supporters donations have tangible results seen in the community.

Month X, 2009