When seeking sponsors from the business community, do you simply target all and sundry, or do you ensure those you’re considering are the right fit and appropriate to your cause?

Appropriate, as in alcohol and youth – isn’t a right fit, or fast food, aka KFC and health may not be an appropriate fit.

Sure, not all companies that offer to sponsor and organisation will want, or expect, their name up in lights; but the majority will want some form of recognition for the support they have given.

It’s this group that we should look at to ensure that they are the right fit; that they aren’t going to detract from the good work of the organisation; or leave a bad taste in the mouths of other supporters and, potentially the people the charity is aiming to assist.

There is a potential risk that one sponsor could cause the loss of other sponsors who may not wish to be seen to beside the other.

This is where a sponsorship plan and “rule book” is needed, and it should outline the types of business (and individuals) that an organisation will approach for support; what the sponsor may receive in return for their contribution and other facets of how sponsorship with be governed.

We see almost every school term children and their parents with boxes of chocolates trying to raise funds for school or extra-curricular activities. There has been discussion around this for some time; there’s pros and cons to this type of fundraising. And, yes the money these types of activities bring are greatly needed. But surely there’s a healthier way.

For example; recently Valerie Adams and Malcolm Rands of the ecostore featured in articles with a soap alternative to chocolate being used as school fundraisers; it seems a great way for fundraising without any health risks etc.

Yes, it is accepted that there will be occasions when an organisation will have no other alternative but to accept support from a company that perhaps could be seen as “inappropriate” – e.g. petrol companies, seen as being environmentally “bad”; but necessary for an organisation to reduce costs  by receiving free or cheap fuel.

But, where possible it’s important that there are no real or perceived negative connotations when accepting sponsorships. It’s important for your brand and, the sponsors brand that everything fits properly with any sponsorship type relationship.

See also:

Business partnering is a two way affair

What Drives Business Sponsorship?

Sponsorship – Answering the questions

Business Giving

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