How to get sponsorship from companies? Sponsorship is an activity of giving money or resources from the company for an event or non-profit organizations. This activity can be done by any organization that has a the aim of providing exchanges in the form of promotions for companies that provide financial assistance or resources.
Sponsorship provides supports to the organization and at the same time the organization provides outreach to certain target audiences. For companies, they can get their company name and logo on banners, t-shirts, posters or other marketing tools. Wecan say that sponsorship is not merely giving, but also receiving. Both parties need to feel benefited from this activity.
For people who are still learning about how to get sponsorship from companies, you may think that this is not an easy thing. Sponsorship is usually associated with large funding. But, believe me that there are many companies out there who want to find a place for their sponsor–if the target audience is the same as the target of the sponsored organization. The key is for the company to see the value of the project or event you are working on. Sponsorship is about partnership, reciprocity and mutual benefit.
Steps to Get Sponsorship from Companies
Then what are the steps on how to get sponsorship from companies? Study the following steps as your guide in finding sponsorships. And create a valuable experience for the company as well as for your target audience.
Collect data of your target audience
Product exposure is valuable for sponsors, so your audience data is very important to them. Collect basic demographic data on age, gender, income, education level and employment sector. You can get this demographic from your data history from previous events that you have done.
The audience data you collect requires tools to process it, use a CRM to collect customers’ data so that it is easy to access and use later on.
If your organization has a social media account (make sure you have one, and if you don’t, create one), also use that data analysis from your social media account. Include information about impressions, reach and engagement of your social media followers. Get the data to show the performance of your social media.
Start looking for sponsors
When you start to find on how to get sponsorship for companies, collect assets from your organization that are valuable to your sponsors. Analyze your organizational assets, events and programs. Gather data from successful fundraisers, large donor or membership base, media followers, support groups, large employee base, buzzing locations, strong brands or strong emotional missions.
Often people start looking for sponsors from people they don’t know. Do the opposite, starting with companies you know and companies that will say yes. They can come from supporters of existing organizations. Or, those who have given money, CEOs of companies who are major donors. They are companies that are your supporters who are already on your side. They are open to experimenting and willing to take risks because they know and trust you.
The following groups are the people in your contacts. You know them and they know you, too. They are already familiar with your organization, for example a vendor. It’s just that they haven’t made a donation, yet.
The last group, is a difficult but promising group, we can call them suspects, it sounds cold, but that’s the truth. They don’t know you and you don’t know them before. To engage with them you kneed to research their background and missions to make sure that you have similar audience.
The key is, work from the inner circle first then work the outer circle.
Conduct research on prospects
Gather information and make sure your plan goes well by doing prospect research beforehand. As a large company, they must have a website, from there, learn about the company’s personality, find out also about their social media activities, press releases related to the company, and the sponsors they have given.
From this information, look for similarities between the company and your organization. Show that your organization and their company have the same target audience so partnering with you can bring benefits to them.
Here’s the information you need to prepare:
- Who is your target audience and what is the market value of your target audience?
- How can you tell them about their sales goals for the upcoming year?
- How did you get involved in the sponsorship?
Note: Don’t bring the proposal to the meeting, and say that the proposal will be prepared in a few days to suit their needs. Here you can prepare a proposal that is impossible for the company to refuse.
Establish pathways and track sponsorship data
Set up a system to measure your movement in the sponsorship sales journey. The system includes prospect data, contact with the right people, meetings, proposals submitted, follow-up meetings and follow-up results.
Track how many companies have made it through each step of your system. Set a goal of how many potential sponsors you want to manage each day. Make a chart and move their names through the process so that your path is a living and evolving system.
Contact Management Software (CMS) helps you sell more. Use a CMS to help track sponsors data. Develop a system for tagging your sponsored prospects. For example you can mark them as a prospects +, prospects and vendors (based on companies you already have in your circle). Prospects + are those who have donated or partnered, prospects are acquaintances who have the potential to provide sponsorship, and vendors (can still be grouped according to potential to provide sponsorship). From that group, you can identify and determine the best prospects. Once you’re done grouping the people in your circle, expand again and find new prospects from companies that have a similar target audience.
Group them according to your relationship with them. Record all communications such as sending letters, leaving voice messages or news of new products from the prospect’s company.
Get the prospect’s attention
Similar to selling anything, a sponsorship marketer needs to attract the sponsor’s attention. In your prospect list, determine who you are going to sell to and then look for contact information via the website or LinkedIn. You can contact them by phone or email, depends on your preference. This is an effective way on how to get sponsorship for companies.
For introductions by phone or cold calling, everyone has their own way which they think suits them. There’s the type of person who says they won’t make it if they leave a message—so they never leave a message again and will call until someone picks up. There are also types of people who have more opportunities when they leave messages. Depends on which type you are.
It’s true that cold calling is more difficult because people tend not to answer calls from numbers they don’t know. You can set up a simple script and leave a message. Wait about two or three days and give another follow-up call.
The next way is to use email. Using email, when targeted, can provide you with a great marketing tool. Your email subject is a powerful weapon so master how you create a subject that will get people to open their email. To make a powerful subject, show urgency, offer connection or grab their attention.
Once you have a solid subject, write a simple email that shows your resemblance to them. Then follow up on that email if you haven’t heard back from them.
How to Get Sponsorship for Companies – Conduct meetings
Before starting to meet them, prepare yourself first because public speaking can sometimes give you fear. To overcome this, dress like professional. Make yourself like a part of them. Even though you’re from a non-profit organization, that doesn’t mean you can wear modest clothes like t-shirt and jeans.
At your first meeting with a prospect you can learn more about them and their company. This is where you will find out about the desires and what marketing strategies are suitable for the company. And incorporate what you’ve learned about them before.
When you start your presentation, start with the unexpected. Talk about potential sponsors. Talk about their company, and how you can help them achieve their marketing goals. Remember, don’t start talking about your organization.
Even if you have prepared presentation slides, make your speech as natural as possible. You are the main visual of your presentation, not your slides. The slides just help. Use slides to make things easier and only use them when you can’t get your point across in words.
Determine the pitch
This is indeed our event or organization, on the other hand, prospective supporting companies are our focus in this sponsorship journey. So, you have to know who you are dealing with. Give different treatments based on the main nature of the decision maker. Of all the types of decision makers, we can classify them into three groups. Those we call thinkers, feelers, and deferrers. Find out their nature from your first meeting.
When you are dealing with a thinker, you need to talk about rational reasons. Tell the logic behind the sponsorship they can provide. Give reasons why sponsoring an organization is a sensible thing to do and can be profitable for the business. Show facts, figures, statistics and data that support your reasons. You can provide information about how many people will attend and also the success of the organization at previous events.
To deal with a feeler, you need to keep them interested in narrative and emotion. Feelers respond favorably to the appeal of the organization’s mission. Tell them how their customer experience can be improved through your event. Also talk about the emotional connections of the people involved and their impact on the organization’s mission.
Next, if you are dealing with a deferrer, you need to know that they are the type who wait (but they don’t want to be left behind) and follow in the footsteps of others. To overcome this, point out what companies they admire or their competitors have done. Give them a chance to join the other cool companies. They value the importance of credibility and reputation of the company. You need to talk about how other companies have sponsored your event.
The point is to be prospect-centric by meeting their needs and interests. Instead of asking, make it look like you are offering a solution. Seeking sponsorship requires persuasion that is incremental and takes time. It also takes planning for each interaction.
Get Sponsorship For Companies – Customize the proposal
From the meetings you’ve had with potential sponsors, you’ve found valuable information about them and their company. From that information, adjust the proposal to make an offer. Things to consider in the proposal are the sponsorship package, the value of your package and the proposal template.
Sponsors want experiences, not packages that don’t have a clear purpose. Name the package based on the goals of the sponsor such as brand building, advertising, product placement, content marketing, exhibition space, logo placement, client database development, and so on. The package has a higher selling value because it will support the company’s marketing strategy. Then before you determine the price, first look at the prices of your competitors to offer a fair price according to the system.
The next thing you need on how to get sponsorship from companies is customizing the proposal template. Since you’ll need to make adjustments from every first meeting you’ve had, make sure the following is in your proposal to make the customization process easier: title page or proposal letter, audience description using demographics, statistics, etc., as well as a description of the opportunities that cover your event, package menus and strong calls to action that are not in forms of payment.
Follow up the proposal
There are several stages in the following up a proposal, essentially contacting them weekly via email, phone call or meeting.
The steps you can take to follow up are as follows:
- first contact, send a text message
- ask other questions on new discoveries
- provide proposal updates with new packages available, new venues or impressive new speakers
- share return of investment information
With the methods above, you can do a follow up that is less distracting and more supportive and informative.
How to Get Sponsorship For Companies – Dealing
Being flexible is the key to long term success. Don’t let the company say no, you have to prepare for the possibilities that could happen. For sponsors, one choice will give them more opportunities to say no. So give them some sponsorship options.
Companies are also getting busier from time to time. Offer to lend a helping hand whenever possible for the organization as well as the company. If you’re providing invitations to company executives, say you can help them deliver the invitations and arrange a place for those seniors.
Sometimes we also need to motivate them a little further. We all know that many people like freebies, right? If they have not been able to help us financially, you can ask if they can provide support from their employees, or if possible permission to raise funds from employees, who knows you will get greater value.
While sponsorship is a rational partnership, add some touching points to your organization. Invite them to visit, get them to know more about your non-profit organization. Build relationships.