- Capacity building
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- Giving day
- Grant management & grant making
- Medical affairs
- Peer-to-peer fundraising
- Educational institutions
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- Foundations & grantmakers
- Life sciences
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- Case Management
As we enter spring event season and as your nonprofit organization plans its fundraising events for the year, it’s essential to secure sponsorships to support your efforts. While you may have a few close partners you can count on, you will likely need to approach new potential sponsors to support your cause.
Let’s dive into four key steps you should take to secure sponsorships for your next nonprofit event.
1. Build strong relationships.
A crucial aspect of securing event sponsorships is building strong relationships with potential sponsors. Take the time to research and learn about their values and interests. This shows potential partners that you have done your due diligence and that you are putting effort into your relationship. In addition, it allows you to save time by identifying the right partners to pursue for funding.
When approaching potential sponsors, be authentic and personal. Share your dedication to your purpose and explain why your event is important and valuable to both the community and the sponsor. Don’t be afraid to show your personality and sense of humor, but keep it professional.
2. Create a solid proposal.
Crafting a well-developed sponsorship proposal is key to capturing the attention of potential sponsors and getting them excited about supporting your purpose. To make your proposal stand out, personalize it for each potential sponsor. Focus on how your event aligns with their specific interests.
Additionally, highlight the specific brand benefits that your event can offer and how they can help potential sponsors achieve their own goals. Brand benefits can include highlighting their support in social media posts, including their logo on event materials, or even inviting them to participate in your event through breakout sessions or panels.
Use creative and inspiring language and visuals to make your proposal memorable and engaging. You can do this by inserting photos or links to videos of your nonprofit in action. Remember, your proposal is an opportunity to connect with potential sponsors and showcase your nonprofit’s values, purpose, and impact. So have fun with it, be authentic, and let your passion shine through!
3. Practice good stewardship.
After you’ve secured event sponsorship, make sure to practice good stewardship. This allows these partnerships to continue to thrive beyond your event and ensures the longevity of the relationship.
Communicate regularly with your sponsors. Keep them in the loop on your progress, share updates on how their support is making a difference, and be responsive to any questions or concerns they may have. This will help build trust and strengthen your relationship with them.
Another way to practice good stewardship is to express your gratitude. Take the time to thank your sponsors personally for their support and recognize their contributions in any relevant materials or activities based on the sponsorship level they commit to.
4. Celebrate your success
The process of acquiring different sponsors can be difficult, so it’s important to celebrate your successes and acknowledge the great work your nonprofit team has done. Some celebration-worthy moments include:
- Sending an email you have prepared to approach a sponsor.
- Securing a meeting and beginning a relationship with a potential sponsor.
- Getting a sponsor’s buy-in or interest in a particular sponsorship level.
- Receiving a notification that your sponsor agreed to your request.
- Hosting a successful event.
Celebrate these important moments with your team. You can even share your successes on social media and in communications with your email subscribers. Recognizing these moments will boost your confidence along the journey of securing event sponsorship and help build momentum and excitement for your next event.
Securing sponsorship for your next event
By focusing on securing event sponsorships, you will ultimately raise awareness for your nonprofit’s purpose within your community and gain a larger, long-term support system for your organization. Remember that these partnerships should be mutually beneficial—consider your potential sponsor’s possible goals to get a better understanding of them and have a more fruitful partnership.
This post was contributed by Mariah Monique, founder and CEO of The Sponsorship Catalyst, where she and her team help nonprofit organizations secure event sponsors by packaging sellable event sponsorship opportunities.