Succeeding With Sponsorships
Whether you define the mission as the “overall mission of your organization” or simply the “goal of a specific initiative at a specific point in time,” no endeavor should be undertaken unless it can be directly traced back to the mission of your organization and tied to a specific call to action. How can you create a sponsorship program for every aspect of your program or organization?
Ask yourself, “Why do companies sponsor?” In my experience the top reasons are:
- To build brand and drive sales — launch a product or service and increase sales
- To generate good will — improve impression of brand/company in the community
- Due to personal experience — a person's life at the company has been changed by this organization or cause
The first three we can all usually agree on. Here are some additional reasons corporations provide sponsorhips:
- Their competitors are supporting the cause.
- Their competitors are not supporting the cause.
- Their customers have requested it.
- Their spouses, children, board members or other constituents tell them to.
- There is extra money in the budget at end of the quarter or year.
There are also spontaneous motivators — like buying a magazine at the counter of your local grocery store. Some sponsors are motivated by things we cannot ever begin to track.
Take your mission and place it side by side with the missions of your corporate prospects to create a value position proposal that includes case studies to highlight examples of how your program and events can help them achieve their goals. Feel free to reference other programs they have sponsored to show that you did your homework and fully understand what motivates these corporations.
Who are your targets?
A great area to consider is small-business owners who are likely to consider a combination of financial and in-kind options. They are driving our current economy and are known for being socially responsible.