Updated: 6 days ago
Every February 2nd, a special Groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil throws a party in Pennsylvania. Many come to see it in person, and it is broadcast throughout the United States and Canada.
This furry guy is so famous for forecasting the end of winter that they made a movie about him in 1993.
I am not a groundhog, and I don’t even like fur coats, but today I shall forecast that events will start back up for nonprofits throughout the land as spring arrives.
Why do we do events that need sponsorship?
To raise money to support the mission.
But the way to keep these sponsors as partners is to make sure their goals are met as well.
Let’s start with this: I do not believe in pre-set packages. I know that right now, as you read this, many of you are holding tight to Gold, Silver, and Bronze packages.
I do believe in offerings that are created to support the nonprofit’s mission and a sponsor’s goals—- both at the same time.
Step 1- Figure what you have available to “sell.” For this example, let’s use a 5k
Online (registration page and more)
In email blasts
Booths and other on-site opportunities
Social Media mentions
Press release mentions
Lunch and learn before the event to help your team understand your passion for the mission
Creating a team who wear your shirts and running/walking
This is a shortlist… you can customize/include these opportunities depending on the amount of money they would like to spend on sponsorship to support your nonprofit.
OK, you know what you have to offer…now, you can start making calls and sending email outreach to share the details of your event with potential sponsors.
A few things to remember-
Some potential sponsors will not judge your event as a Philanthropy opportunity but as a marketing opportunity.
They may care about your mission, but mostly they care who is coming to the event and how they can reach out to them before and during the event.
They might be interested in:
Complimentary demographics – of our attendees and their customers
Complimentary psychographics - Income, assets, education, and taste
How many people have come to (or you expect to come to this event)
And, most importantly, what can you offer that NOBODY else can?
Know WHO the decision-makers really are.
Is it the marketing team? The marketing VP?
Is it the community relations department?
Does the sponsorship decision go all the way up the corporate chain of command to the executive offices?
Do the advertising people play a role?
Every business is different, and smart fundraisers figure out who makes the final decision.
I like to have an “internal advocate” inside the company advising and guiding me through the maze.
Create the right offer with specific goals.
Your event prospect will respond better to measurable goals and objectives.
More importantly (many nonprofits miss this) highlight BENEFITS to them.
Like all fundraising, the way you frame your “pitch” has everything to do with your success.
It’s about what THEY want and what they hope to achieve.
Add employee engagement into the mix.
Employee involvement is becoming more and more critical to businesses.
So, help the business kill many birds with one stone: marketing exposure,
community responsibility, PLUS employee engagement.
Make your proposal very SPECIFIC and relevant to their business.
Do your homework. Since you are researching their business strategy, you can emphasize what they are looking for.
I like to use their OWN language (pull from their website or other materials.)
Layout exactly what objectives they will achieve with this investment. Don’t just assume that they know. Spell it out in black and white on the page.
Remember to emphasize what your event can uniquely do for the company.
So, back to making that first call or email outreach…Share details of the event along with the magic of your mission.
Share that you customize all offerings to meet their goals and budget. Then add some details like outreach to customers and other options that you see from their website that might be a good carrot. Then, ask for a time to meet or speak on the phone.
So, I promised you the questions to ask (after they are clear on the details of your event and mission)
Is reaching out to new customers important to you?
We have many ways to reach out to the attendees….We can do this through signage, a booth (where you could do a prize drawing and capture names, or invite people to join your Gym, etc.)
Would engaging your employees to be important to you.
Is an online presence important to your business? We can link your business from our registration page to your business and include you on our social media.
How do we best engage in supporting your business goals?
What is a comfortable amount to spend on this sponsorship designed to meet these goals?
I know this is a bit unorthodox…Try it, I promise it will grow the bottom line events and create sponsors who know you care about their business.
They also renew year after year!
And no matter the THEIR reason for sponsoring YOUR nonprofit event, they are adding funds to your bottom line to support the amazing work of your organization.
Team Kat & Mouse can help you put together what we have to sell list. Reach out today