Sponsors are a great way to boost your financial backing while seamlessly expanding your message and are often a necessary tool for projects, events and other organisation endeavours.
However, the process to secure sponsorship continues to be a daunting task. To help make things easier, keep some of the following points in mind:
Just because a potential sponsor has money, it does not necessarily mean they are the right sponsor for the job. If your organisation, project or event values health and wellbeing, a cigarette company likely is not the best choice of sponsor.
Know your values and then develop a list of potential sponsors that align with those values.
Bigger companies like to sponsor bigger events.
If you are a small organisation or event, do not discount your local community businesses for sponsorship. Their financial backing may not be massive, but it is often easier to get a yes from a local sponsor who knows first-hand what you are achieving within the community.
Do not get caught asking for sponsorship without a plan on what your sponsor receives in return.
How will financially backing you help their business? How and when will their support be acknowledged? Is there an incentive to give you more? How will their money be used? Will the sponsor receive free entry or membership?
There are many ways to incentivise a sponsorship and the clearer you are on this point, the more success you will have with sponsors.
Just because a potential sponsor has not sponsored something before, does not mean they are not interested in sponsoring anyone. Get out there and ask. The worst a sponsor can say is no.
Sponsorship is a relationship. It is something that needs to be nurtured from the moment you tell them what you are doing and how they can support you.
Get creative with your ask. Get them excited about what you stand for — your cause, event or organisation. Send them a sample. Talk to them face to face. Connect your purpose to theirs — how can you help each other?
Most of all — do not take their money and disappear.
Keep your sponsors in the loop, make them part of the cause. The more you do, the more they will stay excited about supporting you. And when that happens, you may just end up with a sponsor for life.