Jan 27, 2022
6 Tips to get Corporate Sponsorships
Corporate sponsorships are the lifeblood of nonprofit organizations. In 2020, corporations donated nearly $17 billion to charitable organizations across the United States.
So how can your organization attract and secure corporate sponsorships?
How to secure corporate sponsorship
Corporate sponsorships are gifts with a monetary value from a company given to help a nonprofit organization further its mission. Sponsorships are a sign that the company supports the nonprofit’s mission, and sponsorships typically benefit both parties in some way. Here are six tips to help you get corporate sponsorships.
1. Do your research
Before approaching any company for sponsorship, it’s crucial to do your research on the company. Thorough research shows your interest and knowledge in the company, which lets the company see that your nonprofit genuinely wants to partner with them — rather than just seeking monetary donations from anyone. Similar to how you want to be knowledgeable about a company you’re interviewing for, doing your research before asking for donations can impress a company.
With information about the company in your back pocket, you’ll be able to better connect with its representatives. A strong initial connection can help your nonprofit foster a long-lasting professional relationship and sponsorship with a corporation.
In addition to impressing the company, doing preliminary research can help you determine whether a corporate sponsor will be a good fit for your organization. You should choose a corporate partner that aligns with your mission, goals, and values. For example, an environmental organization should seek sponsorship from companies that value and participate in sustainability and conservation efforts. Partnering with a company that causes harm to the environment could result in a loss of credibility for your organization.
Start by researching companies online. You’ll likely be able to find a company’s philanthropic history, which will tell you whether they have an interest in charitable sponsorships. Keep in mind that companies with a philanthropic history will likely be more interested in sponsorships than ones without previous interest in making charitable donations. Look for lists of companies that are known to partner with nonprofits, and you might even find some you hadn’t considered before!
2. Ask the right people
After determining which companies will be the best options for your organization, make sure you’re reaching out to the right people within those companies. It’s common for nonprofit organizations to get in contact with a company’s marketing department, though you may want to consider reaching out to the human resources department instead.
The human resources team will have in-depth knowledge about company-wide initiatives and values. They’ll likely have a good idea of the types of nonprofit work their employees would be interested in or feel passionately about. HR representatives will also be valuable in getting the company’s employees to volunteer or participate in your events.
You should also consider how you can leverage points of contact. If your organization’s board members have connections at specific companies, consider having them ask their contacts directly about sponsorships. This is where networking and knowing the right people can be beneficial. Consider where you and your board know people and whether their companies may be receptive to a partnership with your organization.
3. Make your pitch relevant
When making your corporate sponsorship proposal, be sure to make it relevant to the company. When an organization connects with a company’s employees and values, they’ll be more willing to contribute to your cause. This is your chance to show a company what work you’ve done, are planning on doing and how their contribution will help you do that work.
To help the company actually understand what the money will be used for, discuss specific projects you intend to complete under the sponsorship. Providing specifics can help a company see the direct impact they can help have when they partner with you and support your cause.
It’s also important to explain how their values and vision align with your mission. Spell it out for them instead of leaving it up to interpretation. Share how employees can be involved and how they and the company as a whole will benefit from the sponsorship, either professionally or personally. If you’ve done your research on the company beforehand, this step will be easy — as long as their values align with your mission.
4. Set the right sponsorship level
Setting the right sponsorship levels for your event is crucial to reaching your fundraising goal without over or under asking from sponsors. You’ll want to consider the size of your fundraising event and what donors are being asked to sponsor your organization. When setting your sponsorship levels, aim to raise about half of your total goal through sponsorships. Keeping this in mind will help you set levels that will actually help you reach your goal.
So, let’s say your fundraising goal is $100,000 and you want at least half of that to come from sponsors, which means you’ll need to split $50,000 up into different sponsorship levels. Your top level of sponsorship will likely be at least $15,000. Keep in mind, however, that you should consider who you’re asking to fill this spot. If a company usually only donates $2,000, they’ll be unlikely to fill that top slot. Remember to be ambitious with your asks, yet realistic about who you ask.
5. Consider in-kind donations
When seeking corporate sponsorship for nonprofits, many organizations may find that some companies may not want to provide a monetary sponsorship. If you come across this situation, consider asking for in-kind donations. These are non-monetary donations like goods or services. In-kind contributions are great ways to get smaller businesses or vendors to contribute to your cause instead of asking them for large monetary donations they can’t afford.
For example, a company could offer to provide their employees as volunteers to work your event. This kind of contribution gives you staff for an event without having to hire them. Companies could also contribute food or drinks for an event. Or, vendors could donate their services to you for the event. For example, a photographer could offer their services free of charge for your event.
Consider how you can make in-kind donations a level of sponsorship as well.
6. Share information
When reaching out to potential donors, be sure to share relevant information and data that will show them why a partnership with you will be beneficial. For example, if their brand targets a certain demographic, share what percentage of your event participants are in that demographic. Or if they’re looking for more publicity around their charitable acts, share that there will be press releases or social media updates highlighting the sponsors.
Leverage your data and event information to help convince corporate sponsors to partner with you and show them there are benefits to doing so.
GiveSmart makes getting corporate donations easier
Our GiveSmart platform is a fundraising solution that allows you to connect and engage with donors and sponsors while managing every aspect of your campaign, all from one platform. From online fundraising and event management to mobile auctions and data analytics, GetSmart has the features to help you secure corporate sponsorships. Connect with our team to get a customized demo for your organization today!