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The Final Information to Securing Company Sponsorships


As a nonprofit group, you’re most likely at all times looking out for brand spanking new methods to safe income in your trigger, and higher methods to enhance upon current efforts. One of the underutilized sources of nonprofit funding is company giving⁠—and inside that subcategory, company sponsorships might be an effective way to go.

However what precisely are the alternatives accessible, and the way can your group go about securing company sponsorships to assist fund your mission? This information will offer you every part it’s good to know by exploring the next key subjects:

Partnering with for-profit companies can usually be one of the profitable and impactful fundraising methods for organizations of all shapes, sizes, and causes. And don’t neglect⁠—collaborating firms profit vastly as properly.

Let’s start our exploration of company sponsorships for nonprofits with the fundamentals.

What Are Company Sponsorships?

Company sponsorships are a particularly well-liked type of company giving program through which firms present funding or assets to nonprofit companions. This usually takes place within the context of a specific fundraising occasion, marketing campaign, or challenge.

For organizations seeking to diversify their funding sources by exploring new streams of income, sponsorships could be a great spot to start out. And there are several types of company sponsorships accessible, too⁠! These embody:

  • Monetary — A enterprise supplies a financial contribution to a nonprofit group.
  • In-kind — A enterprise supplies donated items or companies to a nonprofit group (these are sometimes, however not at all times, associated to the companies’ trade).
  • Media⁠ — A enterprise contributes by funding the promotion of a nonprofit’s upcoming occasion by means of paid promoting channels.

Whatever the type of sponsorship settlement between a company and a company associate, the widespread denominator is that the nonprofit receives some kind of help from a (sometimes for-profit) enterprise.

Who Advantages From Company Sponsorships?

Many nonprofit fundraisers seek advice from company sponsorships as mutually helpful relationships, which could even be thought-about a win-win state of affairs. The underside line is that each events profit considerably from collaborating within the partnership.

Let’s check out key benefits seen by the 2 main stakeholders in a company sponsorship relationship:

  • Corporations: Corporations that sponsor nonprofits sometimes aren’t doing so simply for the sake of altruism⁠—although that may be a significant element of the motivation. However these companies additionally obtain elevated model reputations and public relations boosts, elevated ranges of company social duty, greater ranges of worker engagement, tax advantages, and extra.
  • Nonprofits: As a nonprofit, you would possibly (understandably) be a bit extra targeted on this aspect of the partnership advantages. Fortunately, they’re plentiful! Organizations obtain elevated funding for his or her causes by means of company donations, together with distinctive co-marketing alternatives from working alongside their company associate!

In some types of company giving, there are much more beneficiaries to the partnerships⁠—for instance, the businesses’ staff or the nonprofits’ donors. Typically these are even the identical individuals! Staff are in a position to really feel an elevated sense of delight within the companies they work for when their employers participate in charity and different philanthropic alternatives. And donors are sometimes supplied with new methods to help their favourite organizations⁠—akin to by means of an upcoming occasion sponsored by an area enterprise.

The 4 Phases of Securing Company Sponsorships

You perceive some great benefits of company sponsorship participation, and also you’re able to dive in. However the place precisely do you have to begin? We’ve damaged the method down into 4 easy steps!

1. Figuring out Potential Company Sponsors

Earlier than you’ll be able to safe company sponsors in your trigger, you’ll want a place to begin. Who’re your group’s superb sponsors? Are these firms inside a sure trade, location, or worth set?

Your priorities in finding the proper sponsor can fluctuate based mostly in your mission, the necessity you’re elevating funds for, and extra. Listed here are 4 elements to think about as you craft a listing of potential company sponsorships:

  • In style firms with beneficiant philanthropic initiatives ⁠— Check out lists of notably charitable companies, and see if there are any that catch your eye. There are tons of free compilations on-line (like this one from Double the Donation) that may assist slim down your search!
  • Native companies in your neighborhood ⁠— Native companies usually love giving again to the communities through which they’ve established their very own roots. Make sure you attain out to the mom-and-pop eating places, salons, boutiques, companies, and retailers in your neighborhood for potential sponsorship alternatives.
  • Corporations you have already got connections to ⁠— Do loads of your donors, volunteers, or board members work for philanthropically-minded firms? Has a specific enterprise supported one in every of your group’s fundraising efforts up to now? These sorts of current connections might be among the handiest methods to get your foot within the door with potential sponsors.
  • Corporations whose missions align with your individual ⁠— In the case of choosing and securing company sponsorships, mission issues. When you run an animal rescue, you would possibly need to attain out to pet provide retailers. When you work with a nature conservancy, you would possibly goal environmentally pleasant companies that construct sustainability into their practices. When your values overlap as such, these firms can be extra inclined to help your trigger.

It’s at all times good to start out out with a prolonged listing of potential company sponsors. In any case, some will say “no,” and others you won’t even hear again from. And that must be anticipated! However if you present your solicitation group with a big selection of prospects, it could actually make rejections a bit much less discouraging.

2. Cultivating Enterprise Relationships

Like with any donation request, it’s vital to have an current relationship with potential contributors earlier than leaping into the precise solicitation of funding.

So, what are you able to do to start growing company partnerships? Take into account:

  • Asking a member of a potential sponsor’s group to take a seat down and chat with somebody out of your group, and talk about missions, values, and priorities.
  • Inviting a member of a potential sponsor’s group to go to your group’s facility for a behind-the-scenes tour.
  • Offering a potential sponsor with fundraising influence supplies akin to your annual report, Type 990, and extra.
  • Taking an curiosity in a potential sponsor’s enterprise, methods, and objectives.

Not solely are you prone to win extra company sponsors this manner, however it additionally helps set up a way of familiarity with every social gathering, and makes the sponsorship really feel relational relatively than solely transactional.

3. Making a Worth Proposition

Your group’s (or particular marketing campaign’s) worth proposition is basically the reply to the enterprise asking, “what’s in it for me?” As a way to actually be a mutually helpful relationship, the worth has to go each methods.

One of the widespread kinds of worth propositions is that of co-marketing efforts and improved model status. Right here’s an instance:

Let’s say that Linda’s Flower Mart supplies funding to assist set up a fundraising occasion for an area nonprofit of their neighborhood, Midtown Youth Middle. Now, Midtown Youth Middle will proceed to advertise its upcoming fundraiser by means of all of its advertising and communication channels. They need a big turnout, in any case, to gather as a lot further donor income as doable to assist bankroll their programming.

However don’t neglect the value-add for the flower mart, both! Linda’s firm’s brand is featured in all advertising supplies for the occasion as a key sponsor, guaranteeing a wider viewers is uncovered to her firm and can think about her companies for future flower wants. The day after the fundraising occasion, Linda meets a brand new group of keen prospects who report that they love procuring at native companies that proceed to provide again to their very own communities.

As you start crafting your group’s worth proposition for upcoming sponsorship asks, keep in mind that that is one in every of your most important promoting factors. You’ll need to present collaborating companies with ample benefits in order that they, too, see a return on their funding in your group.

Bonus tip! Understand that the profit to the company ought to not outweigh the profit to the group. If it does, the IRS could classify earnings as “unrelated enterprise earnings” (taxable) versus a “charitable contribution” (tax-free).

4. Making Your Company Sponsorship Ask

Now it’s time to make the precise company sponsorship request—and this may be probably the most nerve-wracking step within the course of for a lot of fundraisers. Nonetheless, it’s additionally a very powerful; you gained’t have sponsors if you happen to by no means ask!

As you get so far, think about the next greatest practices:

  • Conduct a number of observe runs of sponsorship request conversations earlier than you meet with the companies in query.
  • Have your company sponsorship ask conversations in individual when doable. This makes the assembly extra private and helps put a face to your group.
  • Use volunteers to make the precise sponsorship ask! These people usually are not being paid to say good issues about your group, and that may make a distinction for individuals and companies contemplating contributing. Nonetheless, you’ll need to help and put together your volunteers properly for the state of affairs.
  • Supply numerous sponsorship tiers that align with different-sized budgets. Many companies can be involved in supporting your efforts, however won’t be capable to swing the hefty price ticket of a prime sponsorship bundle.
  • Emphasize your worth proposition. That is the tangible profit supplied to companies contemplating a partnership and must be a fundamental focus of your conversations.

By incorporating the following tips into your company sponsorship technique, you’ll doubtless be capable to safe variety of prime partnerships. However keep in mind, it’s additionally important that your group is aware of how and when to take no as a solution. Some firms merely gained’t be capable to contribute on the time being⁠—however if you happen to depart your dialog on a optimistic notice, they’ll be extra prone to think about partnering together with your group sooner or later.

The way to Safe Extra Company Sponsorships: FAQ

Nonetheless have questions on securing company sponsorships in your nonprofits? Listed here are solutions to some widespread questions organizations have all through the method.

What ought to I do after securing a company sponsorship?

Let’s say you’ve come to an settlement with a company associate that has agreed to sponsor your group’s upcoming occasion. You may be asking your self, “properly, what now?”

After securing company sponsorships, it’s time to solidify your relationship with the corporate. Share assets about your group’s work, further engagement alternatives, mission success tales, and extra. Earlier than the occasion takes place, ensure each groups are on the identical web page with what precisely the sponsorship entails, together with logistics surrounding funding transfers.

As soon as the occasion concludes, you’ll need to proceed growing your partnership with the corporate. Sustaining a private relationship with those that helped you pull off your sponsored occasion after it’s over is crucial for displaying your appreciation for the corporate’s help. And as an added bonus, they’ll doubtless be extra inclined to associate together with your group on future endeavors!

How ought to we acknowledge company sponsors?

The methods through which your group acknowledges its sponsors will vastly rely in your nonprofit itself, the occasion or marketing campaign being sponsored, and the corporate you’re partnering with. For instance, if you happen to’re internet hosting a neighborhood occasion, you would possibly acknowledge a sponsor by offering them with a tent or different space to advertise their enterprise.

You’ll additionally need to remember the fact that some types of public acknowledgment could also be particularly specified by the sponsorship settlement between your group and the corporate you’re partnering with. This would possibly embody social media promotion, web site inclusions, area in tangible advertising supplies, occasion bulletins, and extra. Nonetheless, it’s at all times good to go above and past the required acknowledgment components to speak your appreciation to your company sponsors.

What are different prime company fundraising alternatives?

Company sponsorships are on no account the one type of company fundraising value trying into. In case your group is involved in further company giving packages (and notably these which might be straightforward to get linked with), we advocate the next:

  • Matching presents
  • Volunteer grants
  • Worker donation stipends
  • Payroll deductions
  • Group grants

To not point out, numerous types of company giving alternatives usually overlap! For instance, research present that 85% of the highest matching reward firms additionally provide volunteer grant packages for his or her staff. And if an organization has proven specific curiosity in philanthropy earlier than (akin to by means of any of the above-mentioned initiatives), they may be more and more inclined to take part in a company sponsorship together with your trigger.


Extra Company Sponsorship Assets

Now that you’ve got a strong basis of information regarding company philanthropy, the advantages to everybody concerned, learn how to find alternatives and suggest partnerships, and extra, you’re able to get began. However your efforts in securing company sponsorships on behalf of your group are simply starting!

Enthusiastic about studying extra concerning the important influence that company sponsorships can deliver to nonprofits like yours? Discover different prime company fundraising assets right here:

  • 14 Necessary Inquiries to Ask About Matching Items. Matching presents are one of the well-liked types of company philanthropy, and company matching and sponsorships go hand in hand. Dive into the significance of matching presents and learn how to improve your group’s income by means of this supply.
  • Company Philanthropy: The Final Information to Giving. Searching for further company giving alternatives to profit from in your trigger? Try Double the Donation’s full useful resource of suggestions, methods, instruments, and extra to make sure your group is ready to leverage this unbelievable income.
  • Is Trigger Advertising Proper for Your Nonprofit? Trigger advertising is likely one of the most impactful drivers of company sponsorships. Making a plan for this technique is crucial for partnering with firms that greatest align together with your group’s values and receiving important advantages in return.

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