Nonprofit fundraising may seem glamorous, filled with galas and events, but ask any nonprofit event team and they’ll tell you it’s hard but rewarding work. There is a lot of time spent trying to wrangle donors and sponsors. The big fish in this ocean are the sponsors, and they’re both hard to come by and hard to keep but developing sponsorship packages can make things a little bit easier for your organization.
Sponsors – especially large corporations – have many charitable organizations approaching them asking for sponsorships. With the right nonprofit sponsorship packages in place, your team can break through the noise and competition, attract new sponsors, and keep them engaged with your charity for years to come.
Hosting fun and engaging events might keep donors coming back year after year, but sponsors are another story. Sponsors must see the return on their investment (ROI) of those charitable dollars donated to your organization. This means there must be a substantial amount of exposure and recognition before, during, and after the event – not just a brief mention or flash of a logo.
The best way to sign and retain sponsors is by building multi-event, bundled opportunities that spread their investment dollars out and engage your donors with their brands. Here are few ways your organization can not only attract the top sponsors, but also keep them coming back year after year:
One of the oft-overlooked areas where sponsorship packages can be particularly lucrative is by designing a ticketing strategy. Nonprofit teams can customize their event ticketing packages and sponsor visibility via their Giving Center site, to highlight sponsors in sidebars, custom pages and logo rotation.
The average nonprofit Giving Center site goes online around 30+ days before an event. With sponsor names and logos included as part of the launch, donors and event attendees engage with sponsors every time they visit the site to check event details or purchase a ticket.
Instead of just a couple hours of visibility at an event or name placement on a sign that might be missed, your sponsors will receive days or weeks of exposure before an event even starts. This also solidifies the connection between the event and the sponsors in the mind of attendees – they are seen as champions of your fundraiser and cause.
On top of traditional event sponsorship opportunities (signage, table collateral, MC shout outs, etc.), mobile bidding has created even more opportunities for unique sponsorship packages. During fundraisers, it’s a good bet that most attendees will be on their phones. Most innovative nonprofits are already leveraging some sort of mobile bidding platform, and this mobile experience provides a perfect opportunity for sponsorships. Donors can securely bid on auction items, make a donation, and engage with other event attendees directly from their phones, so it only makes sense that they can engage with event sponsors from the same place.
Event teams can work with sponsors to highlight logos during the mobile bidding process based on sponsorship level. For example, a Gold-level sponsor might receive 120 seconds of exposure on the bidding page while a Silver-level sponsor may only receive 60 seconds of exposure. Event teams can make this distinction clear when negotiating with sponsors to drive interest and credibility.
Additionally, nonprofits can create click-throughs on their mobile bidding interface and Giving Center sites that allow donors to actually click on a sponsor logo and go straight to that organization’s homepage. This is an added differentiation and can help your nonprofit attract sponsors with digital value adds for their charitable donation.
Scoreboards are a huge hit at nonprofit events, and they’re a great way to highlight sponsors in an innovative way. While most scoreboards show event updates like current auction items, bids, and total proceeds, there is always room for a sponsorship call-out.
Scoreboards are often quite large and visible, which makes them a perfect avenue for sharing logos and sponsor details during key moments of an event. Depending on your sponsor lineup, your team can work with them to donate one-off auction items on top of monetary sponsorships for your event. This way, when specific auction items are up on the block, the sponsor is clearly thanked and recognized in front of your entire audience – and their logo is front and center.
After an event is over and the auction items have disappeared, you may feel like opportunities to thank sponsors and provide exposure are also over. But as both guests and sponsors are riding that post-event high, make sure to call out sponsor support one last time by creating a post-event Sponsor Page on your Giving Center site. Use this page to thank sponsors for their donations, recap goals and achievements, share pictures or videos from the event, and showcase logos (and corresponding click-throughs) one last time.
Be sure to include a link to the Sponsor Page when sending the follow-up emails to attendees! By going above and beyond for your sponsors, they’ll continue to go above and beyond for your nonprofit, which is truly what a winning partnership is all about.
At the end of the day, nonprofit organizations want to continuously engage with donors and sponsors so they want to continue contributing and become even more involved with your cause. With unique, non-traditional sponsorship packages, your team can attract the best sponsors who will be happy to come back year-after-year.