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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.
Holding fundraising events has many fringe benefits for nonprofits: a chance to engage donors, promote awareness for your cause and have fun. But the #1 reason we have events? To raise money! The key to raising money is focusing on profits. As demonstrated above, that means netting as much revenue as you can while trimming expenses. On the blog we tend to focus on revenue generation, but today we'll look at one practical way to do both: securing underwriters for big-ticket auction items. Imagine being able to offer a trip to Bermuda in your auction and net 100% of the winning bid. Think your donors would be interested in Caribbean sand & sun right now? Check out today's post for an explanation of the process of underwriting, plus a quick video from benefit auctioneer Danny Hooper explaining how underwriters can help you offer incredible travel packages for free! So...what’s an underwriter? An underwriter is somebody, either a business or an individual, that agrees to pay the cost of a specific item in your event. This might be the catering, auctioneer, centerpieces, auction catalogs and more. The underwriter then becomes the official donor of that expense and receives recognition as such at your event. Any covered cost is a win for your organization, but underwriting a no-risk travel package offers a special opportunity for underwriters to see their investment grow and multiply in minutes, before their eyes. Here's what we mean.
At Winspire News, we hear from a lot of fundraising professionals and volunteers. Along with questions on auction best practices (how many items to include in the live auction, bestselling silent auction items, setting minimum bids and so forth), we've also gotten these: How do we address those who say, "I don't go to the auction and never will."? Are auctions really worth the time and cost? How do I refresh my 14-year event? Is it time to give it up and move on to another type of event? Perhaps you can relate.
If you've ever been part of a charity fundraising event, you know they can be costly. Sponsorships are a great way to offset expenses, give local businesses and individuals the chance to promote their brand, and build relationships. Recently we've looked at best practices to create a sponsorship strategy, write proposal letters and follow up with potential sponsors (see below). After all the hard work you've done to obtain sponsorships, today we'll conclude our sponsorship miniseries by discussing how to retain sponsors. How successful is your organization at netting satisfied returning sponsors? Check out 3 simple post-event opportunities that leave a great impression with sponsors - come next year, you'll be glad you did! Charity Event Sponsorship Series This mini-series is meant to guide you through the process of acquiring and retaining sponsorships to support your charity auction fundraising event. Part 1: The 2-Step Process to Securing Enthusiastic Event Sponsorships Part 2: 10 Easy Steps to Effective Sponsorship Request Letters Part 3: Do's & Don'ts of Charity Event Sponsorship Request Follow Up Part 4: 3 Easy Ways to Retain Event Sponsors 1. Send an event summary and thank you letters When the event is said and done, sponsors want to know how it went and, more importantly, how their company’s brand was positively impacted.
On Tuesday we shared 10 components of an effective charity event sponsorship request letter, plus rolled out the Winspire Sponsorship Kit templates that simplify the process from start to finish. So, let’s say you’ve written and signed your letters, printed out the forms and shipped out all your sponsorship proposals. Now what? Initial requests are only half the story. Now is your chance to maximize the impact of those letters by following up well with prospective sponsors. Securing corporate sponsorships is a big task, and event volunteers and committee members need to have an organized follow up strategy prepared as soon as letters are sent. To assist, read on for the fundamental do's and don'ts of pursuing charity event sponsorships. Learn how to best position your proposals for success—and even turn a "no" into an enthusiastic “yes"!
Event fundraising raises a lot of money in a short amount of time, but the annual gala and golf tournament can be expensive to run as well. Fortunately, securing sponsorships is a great opportunity to offset event expenses while giving companies the chance to promote their brand at your event. In a recent post, we looked at the importance of acquiring event sponsors, how to set sponsorship levels, ideas for publicity rewards and how to find like-minded potential sponsors. Today we will go over the nuts and bolts of your nonprofit's most important tool in sponsorship acquisition: the request letter! Check out 10 easy steps to craft a concise, enthusiastic and effective sponsorship proposal letter. Best of all, the letter doesn't need to take a ton of time. To assist, we are proud to unveil Winspire's latest free resource: a Sponsorship Kit! Click below to download the Kit with sample letters, forms and easy-to-customize templates that simplify the process from start to finish.
If you've hosted a fundraising event in the past, you know how important it is to find sponsors. Sponsorships can come from individuals, local businesses or large corporations, and many events rely on sponsor support through cash, volunteer or in-kind donations. No matter how many years your event has been held, many nonprofits have trouble getting started or expanding their reach. Fortunately, sponsorship done right is a win-win for both parties! Read on for the two best questions to answer before seeking sponsorships, plus practical tips for setting sponsor levels, brainstorming unique incentives and more.
One of the best ways to offset the cost of printing your charity auction catalog, as well as many other elements of your fundraising event, is to get corporate and/or individual sponsors to underwrite different parts of the event in return for recognition in the catalog. First, it's important to note that there is a slight difference between "sponsorship" and "underwriting", even though the terms are often used interchangeably: Underwriting: A donor pays for either all or a portion of an event expense directly. Almost any aspect of an event can be underwritten. An example would be finding a print vendor to pay for ALL printed materials, including banners, tickets, this catalog, forms, invitations, etc. Other sponsorship opportunities include a menu item, like dessert, or other aspects of the event like the centerpieces, the band or the booze. Sponsorship: A donor buys into a sponsorship package offered by the Nonprofit with the funds going directly to the organization to help offset event expenses. Examples include sponsoring a table for 10 or a "presenting sponsorship" where a donor would pay to sponsor - say - the live auction so it would read "The 2015 Live Auctrion, presented by XYZ". In either case, your objective is to defray the costs or expenses of your event by offering donors various incentives - such as verbal recognition or putting a company's logo on event banners or other printed material. You can offer a range of sponsorship and underwriting opportunities, each with its own level of benefits. [FREE TEMPLATE] Download the pre-designed 100% customizable Microsoft Word auction catalog template. One of the best places to offer potential sponsors some exposure during your event is in your auction catalog. If you haven't already, check out our professionally designed 100% customizable Microsoft Word auction catalog template, which includes space for you to recognize donors at the different sponsorship levels discussed below. So how should you structure the sponsorship and recognition options? Sponsorship Levels One option is to establish different sponsorship levels, each of which comes with its own level of benefits.