It’s no secret that it’s pretty easy to spend more money on an event than the event actually raises. There are ways to avoid this, of course, but which way is the most effective? Two words – Corporate Sponsorship.
Corporate sponsorships are probably not a foreign idea to you, we’re sure you know. The question is how to do it.
Step One – Identify Your Prospects
In our opinion, one of the most important aspects of this step is to choose sponsors that fit with your organization’s cause and mission. This makes it more likely for those prospects to be secured as sponsors and it also makes it more likely for your donors attending your event to support that sponsor, making it beneficial for both parties.
Your board is a good place to start. The members of your board are likely to have a strong personal or professional network that they can utilize.
Competitors can also be a good resource for potential prospects. Now, we know what you’re thinking – we are NOT saying go after your competitor’s corporate sponsors. However, we are saying that you can look at your competitor’s corporate sponsors and think about who is a competitor of those sponsors (i.e. If your competitor has Coca-Cola as a sponsor, maybe you should look to Pepsi for sponsorships). Odds are, giving back to the community is part of that company’s corporate culture, they just need an outlet to do it in.
Step Two – Search for What’s Important
Other than being able to say that they are giving back to the community, what’s in it for them? Will it drive them more customers? What are their goals?
Chris Baylis has five great questions to ask a potential sponsor.
Who is your target audience?
How do you normally engage in sponsorship?
What does your target market value?
What are your sales goals for the coming year?
What’s the most important elements of a sponsorship proposal?
Try using a tool to manage your interactions with your donors!
There needs to be a benefit. Throwing in the event package and promotional package will make it worthwhile for your sponsor. Not only do they get to attend the event, but their company name will also get some time in front of the eyes of your donors and board.
Make sure it’s clear to your sponsor what they will be getting in return for their support. In addition, you want to make sure the dollar amount tied to your proposal is fair. Spend some time doing the math and really considering what you’re offering them. Ask other fundraising professionals you may have in your network.
It’s important to develop a solid corporate sponsorship strategy for your organization in order to raise the most money at your events. Do some planning and utilize this moving forward! Find what works for your organization and take advantage of that.