Why do people sponsor charitable events, are they doing it out of the goodness of their heart or is there more to it?
Surely sponsoring a charity event is a ‘business decision’ before being a philanthropic one – ask an accountant what they think about it, those I’ve spoken with have said – when clients talk about sponsoring events we ask them does it fit the business, does the opportunity to ‘invest’ show signs that there will be gains?’.
So I’m taking it that – yes, sponsorship is business first.
When you offer a sponsorship opportunity maybe you’re best talking as it being a ‘business investment’ might get you further. Perhaps talking about where their name will be seen, the reach your promotional campaign will have, will have more impact on them than simply talking about how their contribution to the event will be blah blah.
I’m not saying leave the ‘mush’ at the door, you need to give your story – what I’m saying is that when seeking sponsorship look it with a different set of eyes; use different language than you probably would in other ‘donor requests’.
Remember too, that sponsors become ‘partners’ in the event and, you need to take their wishes into consideration if you want to ‘win them over’; if they want XYZ above what you can offer them, look to see if there’s a way you can deliver or at least come to a compromise – it’s business after all, so expect to negotiate.