Sponsorships are significantly different from conventional gifts in that they are basically commercial transactions with reciprocal advantages for both the non-profit and for-profit organizations involved. In exchange for making a financial contribution to an organization’s purpose (typically through donations), the non-profit organization advertises the sponsoring corporation’s connection to its cause, resulting in favorable publicity and a raised reputation for the sponsoring firm.
Both non-profits and for-profit organizations get access to their supporters and clients of their respective organizations, therefore extending their respective audiences. And, fortunately for non-profits, in order for a sponsorship to be lawful, the incentives to the sponsoring business must not outweigh potential benefits to the respective tax-exempt non-profit organization.
It appears to be a win-win situation, especially for charitable organizations!
However, because you’re dealing with a commercial transaction rather than soliciting money from supporters, the method for obtaining sponsorships differs from your year-round fundraising efforts.
With that said, how can you approach a potential sponsor?
Also, what sort of pitfalls you must know?
Let’s find it out.
1. Find the correct match for your non-profit
Carry out your research and look for sponsors that have a connection to your cause in some manner. If you partner with a sponsor that complements your organization, you are very much likely to reap reciprocal benefits from the connection; but, collaborating with the inappropriate for-profit might actually harm your organizational reputation.
Understand the demographic of your fans, as well as the kind of businesses that they would support.
It is preferable if the supporter base of your organization and the clientele of those potential corporate sponsors are complementary.
Take into consideration the reputation and ideals of the company with whom you are cooperating since they will impact your firm. Consider your options carefully. For example, if your non-profit organization promotes health, you should avoid partnering with a candy manufacturer or sugary cola business and instead collaborate with a business that places a high priority on wellness.
A conservation-based non-profit would be sensible to search for a sponsor that is environmentally conscious, and a wildlife or animal rescue organization would be wise to explore collaborating with a company that has an ethical attitude toward animals.
2. Provide benefits for your sponsors
Because it is not always evident how your sponsor would profit from your partnership, it’s critical to define specific incentives to persuade a company to join forces with you.
In general, firms can gain from supporting your goal because of the favourable exposure it generates, and your organization can assist them in obtaining this publicity simply by advertising the company on various campaign assets, websites, social media profiles, newsletters, and so on.
Bring in your existing press releases, press kits, and other marketing materials to give the company an idea of how their own company would benefit from your efforts.
Showcase that there is a successful marketing campaign in place by providing examples.
It’s also beneficial to give a clear picture of the demographics of the supporters in partnership proposals so that the business has a clear understanding of who their extended audience will be. Your intended audience is supposed to be similar in nature.
3. Create different levels of giving
If you are looking for many corporate sponsors, divide sponsorships into categories based on the level of assistance they provide.
The goal of reaching the top tiers or maintaining a specific level of support pushes sponsors to boost their total support in order to achieve this. In certain cases, each tier might be associated with a specific benefits package, which may include benefits such as advertising the company’s name on various products and offering tickets to special events.
4. Be creative when making proposals for new partnerships
It’s important to remember that sponsors may contribute more than simply money. They can provide in-kind donations, training for your employees, volunteers for events, and a variety of other services.
Engaging the business community with your non-profit organization in this manner may aid in the development of a long-lasting and fruitful partnership.
5. Never forget the strength of your personal connections
Before making your first approach, go out to your non-profit’s board members, staff, and even volunteers in search of seeing if they have got any business ties that you can use. Any firm that has a personal connection with you is far more likely to want to collaborate with you.
Request whether your connection will take care of the outreach for you directly, or whether they would be ready to make a follow-up phone contact to the company on your behalf.
6. Maintain very active, consistent, and strong communication with sponsors
Don’t forget to inquire about your business partners about what your non-profit organization can do in exchange for their cooperation. They will be grateful for your concern.
Your non-profit’s marketing staff can meet with the executive team of your sponsor to ensure that the company’s products and services are marketed in the manner in which it desires.
7. Be sure to thank them
In terms of thanking your sponsors, go the extra mile to impress them. The efforts you take will surely bring more benefits. Acknowledge the contributions of your partners at events. Also, you should thank them for using your media and marketing materials. Make use of social media profiles, your website, etc.
Also, mention their contributions on printed materials as a gesture of gratitude. It is a win-win situation for both parties.
Those are the main tactics you can follow to get sponsorships for your non-profit. Be sure to understand that it is more of a mutual agreement between the two parties to create a win-win situation.
The more you impress them, the more support you will get.
Be sure to give your non-profit’s website a professional, credible look. Pretty much any sponsor will abandon poorly designed, less credible websites. Make sure that your website is branded perfectly. All the content, design, colour scheme, and even the landing page must be designed according to a theme. That will create a strong first impression on your donors.