Securing Corporate Support
By Lynn Calder
As a nonprofit, you try and secure a variety of funding from different sources. Sponsorships from corporations and businesses make for a great partnership—with added benefits of marketing exposures from your nonprofit for the sponsor.
Securing sponsorships is no easy task. In every community large corporations and small businesses alike received hundreds of requests for sponsorships or donations.
How do you make your nonprofit stand out?
Our five simple tips can help you create a standout package for potential sponsors.
- Exposures and Benefits
Look at everything your organization can offer a business in terms of how they can better market themselves to your constituency: signage at events or in your building, logos on apparel, social media exposures, recognition in printed materials, newsletter spotlight, information tables at events and links on your organization’s website. Consider your organization’s tools and opportunities that can present the sponsor to your members and friends.
- Create a compelling opportunity
Consider your nonprofit’s events and activities during a calendar year. An annual package for all events may be worthwhile if you have four or less major programs a year. If you have one signature event, break out different aspects of the program for sponsorship opportunities. Then map out your tiered levels of sponsorship and benefits.
- “To Go Menu”
Once you determined your sponsorship levels and benefits, it is time to create a compelling piece. Include brief information about your organization’s mission, history and programs. Have a clean and attractive design with images from your events or activities. Make sure you have printed materials that can be handed out to prospects and a PDF that can be emailed and posted on your website. Consider this your “To Go Menu” of sponsor benefits.
- Assemble your Dream Team
Personal relationships help secure sponsorships. Cold calling will only get you so far (and probably not far at all). Talk to your board about their recommendations for prospective sponsors and ask if they are willing to reach out to their contacts. Provide them with letters, e-mail scripts and information on the sponsorship opportunities to make “the ask” to their prospects.
- Due Diligences
Hooray! Sponsors are secured. What’s next? Be sure that your organization follows through on each of the benefits of sponsorship outlined in your materials. Send sponsors invitations to your programs. E-mail them photos and a thank you after your event. Conscientious follow-up will help ensure that your sponsors return next year.