For many nonprofits, sponsorship is considered a dirty word.
Soliciting sponsorships from local businesses and individuals is a vital part of many organizations' development strategy. Unfortunately, you're stuck competing against hundreds, if not thousands, of other nonprofits making the very same proposals every year. It's little wonder the vast majority of sponsorship solicitations are rejected or, more commonly, ignored.
How can you fast-track your proposal to the top of the pile?
In today's post, nonprofit board member and business owner Parker Pike shares his expertise from both sides of the table. He provides 3 steps you can take to amplify your cause with local businesses, plus real-life examples of success and missed opportunities.
Then, head over to our weekly podcast, Events with Benefits, for the full 40-minute episode all about strategic partnerships. (You'll also get a link to download a free worksheet that helps you accurately monetize partnership with your organization.)
Step 1. Decide if your organization should seek long-term partners and/or short-term sponsors.
The terms "sponsorship" and "partnership" are often used interchangeably to refer to a donation from a local business or corporation. However, the one you use can influence how the donor perceives your proposal.
- Long-term "partnerships" are more valued and respected from the donors' perspective. Using the term "partnership" shows you've done your homework and understand the business's long-term needs. Partnership implies a strategic, win-win situation in which you're adding value to their company with media impressions and a positive boost to their reputation, while they're adding value to you through financial support.
- Short-term "sponsorships" refer to one-time donations or strict "checkbook philanthropy." Fact is, not every organization has the capacity or need to develop long-term partnerships.