Intended to further an organization’s mission through financial support, corporate sponsorships are critical to nonprofit organizations across the globe.
It takes a lot of work to identify and engage sponsors. The first step typically involves knowing your organization’s needs and translating that into a compelling proposal that tells your story and communicates defined sponsorship benefits and criteria. Proposals should clearly highlight all of the business and philanthropic challenges a partnership with your organization could solve. Your proposal should also highlight the many benefits of being a sponsor of your organization. It is important to let your potential sponsor know they will get from investing in your organization.
Once your proposal is sparkling, find out the spending power and purchasing habits of your target market by doing a little research. What matters to them? Approach businesses who align well with your organization and don’t be afraid to reach out to long time business relationships and people in your own network. While you’re at it, be sure to also inquire with those folks about referrals to increase your pool of potential supporters. They can’t say yes if you don’t ask.
You may use whatever communication means available to solicit sponsors; however, we highly recommend a personal approach. Business lunches, meetings, and events are all fantastic opportunities to start up sponsorship conversations. Approaching someone in front of other business professionals will not only increase your audience, but can make it harder for potential sponsors to say “no”.
Keep in mind the best sponsor/nonprofit relationships are designed to be mutually beneficial. Sponsors provide financial support and nonprofits give sponsors the opportunity for positive public relations. Sponsor recognition is extremely important as it increases brand visibility, which in turn, increases their exposure and positively impacts their business growth.
While you are in the process of recruiting sponsors, you may find that people want to help, but can’t due to the expense involved. In cases like this, it’s important to get creative. One way to maneuver around such a response would be to make it more affordable. Consider offering to split up sponsorship fees into payments.
Sponsors are everywhere… you just have to find out what they want in return for their support. Your sponsor proposal is merely a starting point of your ask. Don’t be afraid to customize a sponsorship packages for your investor. If you can provide what they desire in a legal and ethical fashion, you can close the deal.
Having trouble finding and engaging sponsors? We can help! We are The Solution