Gaining corporate sponsors can transform any non-profit’s fundraising efforts. However, identifying these corporate sponsors and earning their support is a significant challenge. The following is the second tool for earning these valuable sponsorships. To read about the first tool, go back to Part 1.
Tool #2: Identify The Association’s Strengths
It is essential for associations to understand that sponsorships are not just a one-way street, with sponsors giving out money for a few banners here and there and a mention in a radio ad. The sponsorship needs to make sense for the business. Think about it this way: It is more logical for an athletic apparel company to sponsor a charity run than for them to sponsor a beauty pageant. In short, associations need to identify the reasons that businesses would want to sponsor their events or projects. What would make the association a lucrative marketing option? Here are a few sponsorship incentives for businesses:
- The association has an emotional mission that will resonate with a large group of people.
- The association hosts an annual fundraiser that is known to be successful.
- Businesses place value in their relationship with the association (i.e. they act as a regular supplier, they provide services to many of the association’s members, etc.).
- The association has a high number of members.
- The association is well-known and highly respected in the community.
- The association has an impressive following on social media.
- The association’s offices are in a highly visible area.
- The association’s members are in the target market for the business.
- A significant percentage of the business’ employees are association members.
- A business’ executives are association members.
- The association’s event or new space is closely tied to the business’ product or service.
While any of these incentives could bring in plenty of sponsorships, the strongest incentive will always be personal relationships. An association needs to identify if any of their members are CEOs, COOs, CTOs, CIOs, board members, or partners at a local business. This will always be an organization’s best way to get a foot in the door. Alternatively or additionally, associations should look at their vendors. If the organization has loyally purchased from a specific supplier or referred their members to a specific business, that vendor should be open to returning the favor with a sponsorship.
To help create a strong non-profit image that attracts corporate sponsors, offer a strong online donation platform like Process Donation. For more tools, read Part 3.