Every year, corporations spend millions of dollars on cause-related marketing and event sponsorships. Unfortunately, many nonprofits don’t have a clue about how to approach a potential sponsor, prepare the information needed, and persuade a sponsor to join them in a mutually beneficial project.
Organizations that become good corporate sponsorship partners realize that sponsorship is a business deal, not a donation. They also learn that the skills involved in securing good corporate sponsorships are different from those that work in everyday fundraising.
Attracting Corporate Sponsors
Nonprofits that want to be successful with corporate sposorship must exhibit two qualities:
* Genuine interest in working with a corporate sponsor because they know the alliance will provide something of value for both organizations.
* Conviction that they are offering a good marketing investment to the corporate sponsor
Nonprofits need to price their proposal on its promotional value to the corporate sponsor. Sponsors want to exploit the commercial opportunities associated with an event, cause, or organization.
Use the following checklist to see if your organization is ready for corporate sponsorship:
* Do you have an established marketing effort in place so that you keep in touch with your constituents through e-mail, a website, events, newsletters, conferences, television, radio or print advertising?
* What do you know about your organization’s demographics? Is there recent information about who participates and why? Where they live? How far they drive? Whether they are repeat users? Whether they are young families, empty nesters, or teens?
* Have you worked with corporate sponsors before? Do you have testimonials from a corporate executives about the value of your organization? Do you feature those in press kits or other marketing materials?
* What is the competitive environment like? Are other organizations similar to yours getting corporate sponsorships?
* To gauge the effort involved in reaching corporate sponsors and meeting face-to-face, create a list of companies headquartered in your area. What do they produce, and to whom do they sell? Are there cross-promotions you can work up that will help them sell to one of your existing sponsors or team up with an existing sponsor?
* Are you a member of civic organizations made up of business people, so that you can gain insight and entrée into the business community?
* Is there an entrepreneurial spirit in your organization? Are new ideas welcomed, and do they receive thoughtful consideration? Have other commercial or revenue-generating initiatives been realized over the past five years
Attorney Karmen A. Booker has developed and e-book “Corporate Sponsorship Guide” where YOU will Learn:
* How to Draft a Solicitation Letter
* What Corporate Sponsors are Looking For in Charitable Events
* The Best Way to Approach Prospective Sponsors
* Where to Start
NOTE: Includes an 8 Step Guide and templates and samples of Corporate Sponsorship Solicitation Letters.