CORPORATE SPONSORSHIPS BY KAREN BLICKLEY

Corporate Sponsorships by Karen Blickley

As a nonprofit, obtaining corporate sponsorships for your event may seem like an intimidating task to take on as it involves research, appealing to companies, and following up to stay engaged. Many nonprofits have effectively leveraged their relationships with corporate sponsorship to be invaluable sources of not just revenue, but also serve as a positive social image and the foundation of important relationships.

Companies often receive hundreds of requests for sponsorships during a year, and at certain times of the year receive multiple requests for the same day!  The more preparation you can do ahead of making an ask the better chances that your request will be received positively.

Do Your Research

Nonprofits should understand the process for each company when making the ask for a sponsorship. Similar to a grant request, corporations will have their own process, timeline, and requirements for giving out money for event sponsorships. Spend time researching this and customizing your ask around each corporation’s needs and requirements.

Planning Ahead

In your research you will find that most large corporations have their own timelines for when to apply. However, in addition each corporation has their own internal timelines to develop their department budgets. Planning to talk to them early so that they can factor you into their budget and process is key as it’s much harder to make the ask after a budget has been set. Additionally, if a nonprofit has other requests of the corporation (e.g. filling a table, doing a video, etc.), planning ahead and making the ask at least 8 weeks in advance is important.

Leveraging your Board

Nonprofit board members are often highly connected and well-respected members of the local community. Additionally, many nonprofit board members hold key positions at the very corporations you are trying to make an ask. When a nonprofit is looking for corporate sponsors, your board is a great first place to start. Board members should be your advocate as well as your connection to the sponsor. In addition to them helping you get the right introductions and foot in the door; they are also your source of information. They should know the process, timelines, and requirements of how to secure their corporations sponsorship.

Don’t forget to stay engaged, communicate, and follow-up! For more information on corporate philanthropy, contact Karen Blickley at karen@cramerfundraising.com.

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