The way the economy has been for the last few years (although it is seen to be improving) has seen many nonprofits missing out on sponsorship dollars; now is the time to look at how to work toward re-gaining sponsorship for your nonprofit.
As we know sponsors look for value for their sponsorship spend; as we know all sponsors are being more cautious, and are looking for ways to garner more return from their participation.
The old days of simply approaching a business and asking for sponsorship has gone; there’s a real need now to be able to fully demonstrate where the sponsors money will go, how it will be managed, who will benefit and what the medium to long term results of their giving will be.
Before you embark on seeking sponsorship it’s a good idea do a stock take; check that you have everything in order and can answer the questions potential sponsors are likely to ask of you.
Setup a check list, ask yourselves these questions:
- What are your organization’s demographics?
- Who participates with your organization and why?
- Where are the people you help? Where do they live, work and play?
- Are the people you work with single, married, young, old, families?
- What corporate sponsors have you worked with, had before?
- What income generating ideas have you used in the past, how were these realised and what were the benefits to your organisation? Can any of these be used to help promote your sponsors?
- Do you have testimonials from corporate sponsors attesting to the value of your organization?
- What is your marketing/communication process like; do you have methods to keep in touch with those your organisation works with as well as with supporters? If so what do you use? (e.g. newsletters, emails etc)
- Are you monitoring what other organisations offering the same or similar services as you getting in the way of sponsorship?
- Do you promote, talk about your sponsors? If so how? If not how will you change this to ensure your sponsors are acknowledging them for their support?
- What marketing materials do you use, and will you make an effort to feature your sponsors in all marketing and communications processes?
- Do you talk to the media about your sponsors?
- Are there opportunities for you to help current and prospective sponsors to work together, to help them do business with each other?
By answering these questions you will have be better prepared to be able to approach and answer the ‘hard’ questions today’s sponsors want answered. There will be other questions, they will want answered, you will need to be ready for any that you may not have thought of.
If you approach sponsors having the answers to their questions before you even get started you will be on a better footing to gain their support.
Remember, most sponsors will want to know ‘what’s in it for them’.