I grew up in Colorado and was very excited when Bob Burris, former Denver Broncos Executive, offered to write a guest post on sponsorship. Bob has recently started an organization to help nonprofits engage businesses, The Burris Group. You can find more information about the Burris Group and his new book “How to Sell Sponsorships, Tickets and Popcorn” on their website or twitter. – Jason
While corporate sponsorships are a great source of revenues for non-profit organizations, look at the partnership as more of a business relationship in which two entities exchange things of value and support. Selling sponsorship packages to corporations and businesses is motivated by an expectation of a specific exchange for a particular business advantage.
In this recession, companies are taking a closer look at their overall spending and giving before committing to anything. Companies want to know what’s in it for them. The principle of a non-profit organization over-delivering is what most decision-makers desire. Is your organization presenting what it takes to address the needs and benefits that a partnership will bring to a company?
That is why it is very important to listen very carefully to the companies you are trying to sell a sponsorship package to. If during the course of the discussion or negotiation you’ve said “no” to some request, make a mental note to make sure that, if it can be done, to deliver it later, usually later during the event. An extra sign or banner somewhere is an example of how to over deliver by giving more. It is not about squeezing every dollar you can out of someone and their company. In fact, it’s okay to leave a little money on the table, which is very good for the cultivation of the relationship. Renewals are much easier when the sponsor feels that no matter how well the event went, he or she was treated fairly — and they were “over-delivered.”
When companies look at a sponsorship proposal, they are motivated by several factors. Will the sponsorship deliver the following:
- Increase Brand Loyalty
- Increase Visibility
- Enhance Image
- Drive Retailer Traffic
- Stimulate Sales
- Experiential opportunity
- Client Entertainment
Next, companies are going to assess whether the benefits of the sponsorship proposal are attractive enough. Does the sponsorship proposal recognize and address the following:
Demographics of Audience — Does this sponsorship hit our target audience?
Category Exclusivity- What exclusive rights does the sponsor have?
- Hospitality Opportunities
- Media Value
- Charity or Cause
- Product Sampling
- On-Site Product Sales