Succeeding With Sponsorships
[Editor's note: This article is a summary of a presentation from Fund Raising Day in New York 2010, "Corporate Sponsorship: From Predicament to Partnership," which was hosted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals on June 11. Additional presentations and information can be found at frdny.org.]
An effective sponsorship program can help a nonprofit organization quickly turn chaos, like our country’s current recession, into a creative opportunity for success. To do so, a nonprofit must be able to articulate and demonstrate how aligning the mission of its organization or cause-related effort with the dollars and brand of a corporate partner will generate awareness, increase revenue and drive loyalty for both parties in a jaded marketplace.
Marketing your mission to the masses
The value proposition has changed. Sponsors want to be strategic partners. They want to fully understand a nonprofit’s marketing strategy and its actual impact on our communities. Sponsors want to know how partnering their brands with an organization's cause will enable them to gain leverage by expanding their customer bases or simply generate good will following a crisis.
Mission-based marketing is the key to a successful sponsorship program. Corporate leaders across the globe have long been able to garner top dollars for advertising and marketing programs by leveraging their missions to build their brands. Think of NASCAR and now FIFA. We often lose sight of the car or team amid the blur of corporate logos.
Nonprofits can benefit from applying this same principle in a subtle manner in order to increase their sponsorship revenues and build their brands. How you market your mission and promote the documented results of your program and initiatives helps you to better attract support from local and national corporate sponsors. Offering customization and personalization, instead of another boring gold, silver, bronze package, leads to a better variety of corporate sponsor options.