By now you know that prizes do not need to be large or impressive to have a successful editing contest. Still, you may need to secure funding or have partners provide prizes. It is important to begin the process of asking for grants or sponsorship several months before a large competition.
It is very easy to get funding from people in the scientific community because they recognize the value of Wikipedia and because they want the prestige of being associated with the competition. We are mostly targeting undergraduate students, 1st prize is 1,200 USD, so that is a lot of money for them. For a physics department, this is not a lot of money, but for a student it is very motivating. - PhysiWiki
WMF Grants can be used to pay for prizes and other contest related expenses.
Partners may provide prizes such as electronics, travel vouchers or even cash prizes for larger contests.