A sponsorship is when a business commits money or resources to a nonprofit event or program. The company’s benefits are reaching a specific target audience, earning praise for supporting a good cause, and getting their name on promotional material. Moreover, by aligning themselves with purpose-based organizations, sponsors give their businesses a competitive edge beyond product and price.
Event/program sponsorship is the best way for organizers to ensure maximum audience outreach. It minimizes costs for the attendees while also adding value. Ultimately, for participants, sponsorship means opportunities to partner, promote, and participate with other businesses and stand in for each other’s needs. As a result, sponsorship is a win-win situation for the nonprofit, the sponsors, and the participants.
So what are the best tips out there to help you win your next sponsorship contract?
#1 Write a Winning Sponsorship Proposal
To recruit a sponsor for your event, you must first and foremost write a winning sponsorship proposal. To do that, you need to explain why your event is so great. Most importantly, your offer should demonstrate value to your potential sponsors. Experts agree that to make a well-rounded argument, you must include at least one aspect from the following areas- expected outcome, target audience, and marketing strategy.
To start and give you a good idea of what you must include, use a sponsorship proposal template outlining the format to request corporate sponsorship. For example, look for a template that contains chapters like event description, benefits for sponsors, sponsorship options, management team, and event terms and conditions. That is a time-saving and more straightforward way to create a professional sponsorship request for potential corporate partners, regardless of your event type.
#2 Understand Which Sponsors Are Right for You
When creating an event proposal, you must compile a list of companies and individuals interested in sponsoring your event or program. Do diligent research to understand potential sponsors.
Start by looking at their website, LinkedIn profile, and other social media accounts. Determine if your audience will be relevant for them. Then, learn what kind of events they have sponsored in the past. That can help you establish points of comparison for your event.
After establishing prospective sponsors, you need to identify the person reviewing and taking a call on your sponsorship proposal. To do that, start reaching out to people and learn whether they are the person in charge.
Once you establish a connection, set up a meeting to investigate your potential sponsor thoroughly. This first meeting is just exploratory to learn their objectives better and verify all the information you need. Then, equipped with all this in-depth knowledge, you can give your sponsorship proposal the final touches.
#3 Tell Your Organization’s Story and Pitch Your Event
You need to make your potential sponsors interested in you to win sponsorship. Share your nonprofit’s narrative and make it enthralling. Tell what makes your organization special. Be concise and focused and tell about the services you offer. In addition, share the success stories and demographics of your supporters and donor base.
Even more importantly, you need to master your event’s elevator pitch. Use it to tell your sponsors what your event’s about and why it is unique, why you are hosting it, and how they will benefit from it. Feature data to showcase essential insights from your audience. Finish your pitch with a sentence or question that leads the conversation in the direction you want. Also, ensure that your pitch is as natural as possible, flows into the conversation, and does not feel rehearsed.
#4 Think Long-Term
Once you have pitched your event proposal, do not forget to follow up promptly. As crucial as your upcoming corporate event may be to you, it is unlikely to be your potential sponsor’s main priority. For this reason, discuss your follow-up routine with them.
For example, agree on when and how to follow up with them and stick to it. This is a great opportunity that can go a long way in building rapport and securing event sponsors.
As this will not be the only event you host, work towards making this partnership more than a one-time deal. Retain your old sponsors and build a long-term relationship with new ones. Offer sponsors real value and keep your part of the deal. But remember not to oversell your event.
Also, keep a record of potential sponsors who have refused your offer. After all, you never know—they may be more open to sponsoring your events in the future.
No matter the size of your nonprofit, you are capable of securing a corporate partner for your next event. Use our tips and build a mutually beneficial relationship to increase your chances of landing a sponsorship contract and implementing a successful event or program.