Funding a Team

Funding Your Team’s Participation in the Massachusetts Envirothon

2015-2016 Grant for teams from Environmental Justice Communities

Your local community has many individuals, organizations, and businesses who are concerned about the environment and/or education.  They would be interested to learn about your Envirothon efforts and may be able to help you with the costs of your participation.

Who are these potential supporters and sponsors?  Start with a brainstorm of connections that you already have.  For example, think of people that you already know through your jobs or your parents’ work and community connections.  Perhaps your principal will have some ideas (This would be a good chance to help him or her understand what you do with the Envirothon, too).   Some suggested contacts are:

  • Garden Club
  • Your town’s Conservation Commission
  •  Land trusts
  •  A local business (for example, an environmental consulting firm whose work is  associated with the current issue)
  • Parents Association at your school
  • Rotary Club

How do you approach these potential sponsors?  Take the time to write a formal letter asking for their support, even if your potential sponsor is someone you know well.  This shows that you are serious about your Envirothon involvement, and that you recognize the value of the commitment you are asking.

When you approach a supporter/potential sponsor, you’ll want to give them a brief overview of your Envirothon involvement.  Here are some questions you should be ready to answer:

  • Who are you?  What school or organization are you representing?  Who is involved with the Envirothon team this year?  What grades are you in?  What are your possible college and career interests?  Who is your coach?
  • What is the Mass Envirothon and what are you doing and learning as an Envirothon team?
  • What are you doing to prepare for the station tests in soils, water, forests, and wildlife?
  •  What is this year’s current issue and what community research are you doing to prepare for it?
  • Are you attending workshops, going outdoors, visiting community sites, and/or planning a community service project as part of your preparation?
  • What is the Mass Envirothon event like?  How will you spend that day out of school?
  • How can they help?  There are lots of ways!  They might pay your team’s registration fee.  They might cover your transportation costs to workshops or to the Envirothon event.  They might cover the cost of a substitute teacher for your coach.

Potential sponsors should also

  • receive a copy of the Mass Envirothon fact sheet (MassEnvirothon_Fact_Sheet).
  • know that the winning team at the Massachusetts competition is eligible to compete at the North American competition run by NCF Envirothon. (www.envirothon.org)
  • know that sponsors are listed in the official printed program for this year’s event.
  • know that they can learn more about the Mass Envirothon and/or how to be a sponsor by visiting our web site  (www.massenvirothon.org) or by contacting Mass Envirothon committee chair Will Snyder at 413-545-3876 or wsnyder@umext.umass.edu.
  • get specific information from your coach about how to make a contribution to activities at your school.

Good Luck!  And don’t forget to tell us (massenvirothon@gmail.com) about who is sponsoring your team and what worked for you!