Feb 4, 2021

How to get sponsors for your virtual event

Man using a laptop to reach out to sponsors.

Virtual events became necessary during the COVID-19 pandemic and will probably continue. These types of events offer nonprofits, charitable organizations, schools and other foundations a unique way to conduct their fundraising. They also require less of a commitment from guests and are cheaper to plan and organize.

Finding sponsors for your virtual event can seem challenging, but you may be surprised how many sponsors are interested in getting involved. Use these tips to connect with sponsors for your next virtual event.

1. Reach out to previous sponsors

Have you held other events that included sponsors? Try reaching out to these people or businesses before you approach others. Many may want to continue supporting your organization, even if that looks different from the past. Make sure your sponsors know their involvement is just as vital for your virtual event as it was for in-person events. When you contact past sponsors, have information about what they spent with you last time and what their money will buy this time.

2. Advertise sponsorship opportunities

Many people don’t realize that virtual events still need sponsors. Take any chance to educate your audience about your needs. You can include information in many locations, including:

  • Mailers.
  • Blog posts.
  • e-newsletters.

The more places you advertise your need for sponsorship, the more people you will reach. Decision-makers often act after seeing something new, so you have a better chance of connecting with a potential sponsor if you spread your message far and wide.

3. Explain how the event works

Your potential sponsors need to understand how they fit into the event. That means having a clear picture of what the sponsorship looks like. You should explain the role sponsors will play and why they are essential to your mission. Also, clearly define what they will receive from the sponsorship, whether that means time to address the participants during the event or a “sponsored by” banner on the online platform.

4. Offer fun and creative options

Virtual events are different from in-person ones, and you can use your imagination to ensure your sponsors have an equally rewarding experience. Think outside the box and talk to your sponsor to get ideas.

A virtual event is the perfect time to try something new because everyone is experimenting. No one has perfected what a virtual event should look like, so new twists remain welcome and expected – take advantage of that.

5. Approach sponsors of similar events

Many companies tend to stay in the same niche when it comes to sponsorships. Looking over the list of sponsors from a similar virtual event may give you an idea of companies or categories to approach that you never considered. Emphasize the unique attributes of your event and the select audience it will reach when making your pitch.

Do you still need ideas for virtual sponsorships?  Join us for our upcoming webinar on fostering sponsor relationships!

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What our clients say

We needed a platform to make sales online and to track and display ads for our sponsors. GiveSmart was perfect. We ended up making close to $15,000 more than we had hoped for. Definite better ROI than we anticipated. The interface is easy to use and provides plenty of options to get help if needed.

Michelle M.

The Rotary Club of South Whidbey Island

Using GS has created ease in auction bookkeeping, payments, and generating post-event thank you/tax letters. While we were online during COVID, our interactions with our GiveSmart via phone, email, and zoom were seamless. A representative always got back to us within the day. I would recommend GiveSmart to anyone doing a large online event.

Julie G.

MicroFinancing Partners in Africa

GiveSmart is highly flexible - you can use it for [a] simple registration and check-in, to full-scale galas with complex order forms, onsite upsells, live auctions, seating management, and more.

Jamie F.

Hope Chest for Breast Cancer

GiveSmart is easy to use and ideal for virtual events and can be used for in-person events to manage the silent auction, seating charts, and check-in to the event. Being able to use the platform for unlimited events within the contract year is very useful and being able to add other users and volunteers for different levels of access is helpful as well.

Dawn L.

Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County