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Corporate sponsorships are no longer the rare success of the nonprofit world. Thanks to Corporate Social Responsibility, corporations than ever before are getting involved in philanthropic efforts, corporate giving initiatives, and general service activities.
In today’s world, businesses are actively looking for charities to partner with and sponsor. But it’s not a slam dunk! Nonprofits still have to be proactive in finding, engaging, and signing corporate sponsors, which means building the perfect corporate sponsorship package is that much more important.
Creating a corporate sponsorship package isn’t just simply writing a quick email and shooting it off to the company down the street. In order to be taken seriously and respected by your community, larger businesses, and the nonprofit industry in general, your corporate sponsorship packages must be compelling, involved, and engaging enough to catch the eye of a person in charge of corporate partnership or community giving.
In this article, we’ll deep-dive into the five main components of creating the perfect corporate sponsorship package:
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Corporations are approached by dozens (if not hundreds) of nonprofits every single year to receive support (either financial or underwriting). In order to forge a lasting partnership – one that will turn a one-time corporate donor into a long-term supporter you need to create a personal message around why the organization is a fit for your nonprofit.
Corporate sponsorship packages are typically sent to potential corporate sponsors to engage them and offer them the opportunity to become involved with your cause. They are also a great way to get the word out there about your nonprofit, your mission, and the different ways a corporation can help out. They also give an overview of what you’ll provide the corporation in exchange for their support (e,g, tickets, promotion, advertising, public recognition, brand awareness, etc.).
Package components typically include a personal cover letter, an outline of your nonprofit mission, potential sponsorship levels available, and the right content the corporate needs to respond to your request.
Good old fashioned corporate sponsorship letters are still the best way to get your point across to a potential business partner. Letters give your team space to highlight your accomplishments, mission, demographics, impact and partnership opportunities for your potential sponsor.
It might be a small step, but it’s important to personalize your letter, incorporating information about their business, their giving history and why your partnership matters. Make sure you include the name, role, and address.
If there is ever a time to tug on heartstrings, this is it. Tell the story of your nonprofit, how it was started, what services you provide your beneficiaries, the impact of your cause and what you will be doing with these incoming funds.
Sponsorship solicitation letters shouldn’t go on for too long. Get to the point and ask directly, confidently and quickly. State your case and put the ball in their court.
This might be the most important time to say thank you. Follow-up a day or two after they receive the solicitation to see if they have any additional questions or if they have an answer. Be sure to send a small token whether or not they decide to participate.
If you really think about it, corporate sponsorships are unlike anything else your nonprofit will ask for. They are typically large donations that are made with an understanding that this isn’t just a one-and-done kind of relationship. Corporate sponsorships are intended to last, which means they require dedication from both sides.
Instead of rushing through a corporate sponsorship package, take your time and personalize it to help increase your chances of the nonprofit saying yes.
Include pictures of your beneficiaries, the work you’re doing, your team, your board, and more. It’s also a good idea to include some pictures of past events or sponsor signage to give them a glimpse of what they’d be getting in return.
All corporate sponsors aren’t created equal. While some organizations might want signage at an event in return for their involvement, others may want something different. Tailor your incentive programs and benefits to meet the unique needs and giving history of your target partner.
Many times, you’ll be sending this sponsorship solicitation to someone high-up. As a sign of respect for their position and their time, send your package from a person at a similar or higher-up level on your team.
Figuring out a way to articulate ROI can be challenging for nonprofits, and corporate sponsors require even more visibility into this metric than normal. Each corporation is different when it comes to having a clear baseline for ROI, which is something that nonprofits must keep in mind.
While you should have the same sponsorship levels for all of your corporate sponsors (it just keeps it easier for your internal team) you can play around with what different sponsors receive in return for each of these levels.
Setting appropriate sponsorship levels and incentives depends on the types of sponsors you’re going after. If you’re working with smaller organizations, it’s not appropriate to ask for larger donation amounts. Large corporations, on the other hand, might be more ready to meet these expectations. Just remember to provide a scale of sponsorship options for donors of all shapes and sizes.
While building your corporate sponsorship packages themselves is important, it’s also critical to think about what a sponsor will do with the package once they decide to say yes to your proposal. This means giving your sponsors the content they need so they can take action and take those first steps towards becoming a corporate sponsor. In your package, make sure to include:
Now that you have the five tips to help you maximize corporate sponsors, grab your team, your committee or yourself and get started on the path the partnership success.