Silent or live auction fundraising events couples well with sponsorship partnerships. Event sponsorships help cover costs, boosting revenue. Further more, these symbiotic relationships can turn into deep long lasting partnerships, likening the relationship you can build with loyal donors.
But how does one get from “no sponsor relationships” to “long lasting sponsor relationships?”
It begins with understanding what your organization is looking for in a sponsor partnership.
What are you looking for in a sponsor partnership?
And where do you find them?
The end goal of any successful fundraiser is to give your guests a professionally-run event with high energy and good entertainment.
That’s basic Fundraising 101.
So the first question your organization has to ask is this: What is the benefit of an event sponsorship? In other words, what makes this a win-win situation for both the organization and the sponsor?
Event sponsorships can help cover the event’s costs – boosting revenue in the process. But the way in which these sponsors interact with the event can vary tremendously!
For instance, a sponsorship partnership can involve sponsor logos placed on the event’s literature, signage, or paraphernalia. It can also look like product giveaways and the company’s presence in the form of a booth at your event.
The first rule of thumb, when assessing what you are looking for in a sponsor partnership, is considering venue and event type.
Golf outings are a proven success for many nonprofit organizations that are looking for a causal summer fundraiser.
Learn more about the benefits of summer golf-outing events in our recent article below:
Hosting a sponsor in a booth during such an event works wonderfully! Hosting a sponsor booth a formal black tie event that serves a four-course meal might not work as well.
Think about what your organization is looking for and then go from there!
But where do you find the right sponsor?
We’ve found nonprofits have the most success when they look right in front of them. Mining local networks, contacts and businesses for support not only creates a stable network for your organization, but also helps you connect with companies that align with your nonprofit organization and mission. The enthusiasm and willingness to engage won’t be coming from merely a marketing standpoint but also from a vision standpoint.
Sponsors that align with your vision create a strong foundation for a long-term partnership.
But let’s also consider the other side –
Sponsors: What they are looking for?
There are three major components of an event that might be compelling or repelling to a potential sponsor: audience type, event size, and geographic markets.
The audience you attract matters to your sponsors. If the company – say a motorcycle dealer – has a target audience of middle-aged men and your event will be primarily comprised of family-oriented mothers, then the company may not be interested in working with you long-term. There will be less for them to gain from the relationship.
A company may not want to set up a booth at your event if there is no guarantee that attendance will be high. This is where having a proven track record of successful fundraisers in the past helps. But that being said, some sponsors are more particular about this component than others.
Some sponsors may find your audience geographic breadth too small or too large. Larger, more commercial companies may find your audience too small or geographically limited. On the other hand, local small businesses may not be interested in engaging with an audience that could be larger than their target area. (This is particularly true for nonprofits that gain most of their donations and support from their online presence.) For many nonprofits, this one of the great advantages of working with local, close-to-home sponsors: your geographic markets tend to be the similar. Nevertheless, geographic markets are a consideration that may make or break the sponsor relationship.
Taking the first step: How do you reach out?
So you may be asking yourself…
“I see the benefit of event sponsors. We even have some strong candidates to consider! But… how do we reach out to them?”
Consider doing some homework before you make the connection.
Here are some things to consider having ready for your sponsor:
– Compile compelling media – create a portfolio of visual evidence for your sponsors. Show them what an event before they agree to working with you. If you have a strong and organized web-presence, most of this work will already be done.
– Attain accurate attendance records and demographic information – this sponsor partnership should be a win-win situation. It’s best to establish in the beginning if your organization is the right fit for this sponsor and visa-versa.
– Accurate advertising quotes – Let sponsors know (quantitatively) how much they will receive in paid/gifted advertising leading up to and during the event. (This includes your social media and email blast reach.) Here’s a tip: consider offering sponsorship packages in tiers, allowing the sponsor to decide what they would like to receive from you and how much that would cost them.
Sponsor partnerships are just another component to a strong network of supporters for nonprofit organizations. Your team consists of more than your staff! It includes your volunteers, donors, sponsors, and hopefully us! We are happy to support your organization through helpful resources and tips! We also offer our no risk auction items that bring life and excitement to any fundraising event! Contact Charity Fundraising today to see how you can get zero-risk auction items for your next fundraising event!