#afpfc Corporate Sponsorship: Making the Strategic Shift


Presenter: Barbara Harrington

Lingo and Trends: interesting crossover in the past few years between philanthropy and corporate sponsorship often navigated poorly. Order that needs to be in place starting with the language. Ties into many other areas of Fundraising.

Need to educate everyone about what is happening between staff, board and executive director.

Focus and core benefits, differentiates sponsorships. Sponsorship equals marketing in their world.

Title/presenting sponsorships – requires naming of event, ABC presents. . . Gala. You will know there is a good fit when they (Corp) want to continue for 3 years or more.

Strategic philanthropy bettering community

Partnerships to corporations usually mean that there is no money involved.

Understanding language very important. Credibility of the nonprofit is the no 1 thing corporations need to be sold on.

Working with Corp sponsors is Relationship based, they are interested in measuring movement. Takes thoughtful integration to respond, benefits. Need some type of plan, not annual report. What are they trying to get out of sponsorship? One of biggest assets is who you know.

3 trends impacting nonprofits all sizes

1 – sponsorships are more than special events. What opportunities do we have?

2 – big committees sell alot of tickets when doing special events. Ask interested volunteers to sit in on planning mtgs.

3 – great collaboration may have no money exchanged but can be transformative for org. If you could get a corporation on your side in the community who would that be?

If you do not know anyone in a corporation, get in with the public relations people to start relationship.

If you look at your list of benefits and you are not excited, go back to the drawing board. Innovate. Rethink. Sponsorship should impact one of your top initiatives when done right.

3 things you need
Ways to get involved brochure, then 4 5 ways to do so, streamlined 2 page proposal prospectus and a full proposal. Comparison grid looking at various benefits will be helpful.

Deeper relationships, long term relationships this is very impt to think about and plan for. Are they a good fit for us? Identify corporations interested in.

Valuing benefits. Why are we doing this? Understanding fair market value. How much will this cost them? Setup special events in a grid level. Do your homework. Better to go in with larger package and able to trim. Corporation usually go mid or low when presented with options.

Pick your level sponsorships and send that info to them.

Doing first time special event, go after third prospect, not top. Reference another successful sponsorship. Have the right policy of how you are going to treat sponsorship.

Making shift

What are our shared values? Corporations want to be viewed as a fan. Give them something to do. Want to have ongoing points of contact with your people.

Shared philosophy. Attendance #s not necessarily the driver. Build relationship.

Asking for opinions is priceless. How are you going to share this knowledge. Create a Sponsorship Toolkit.

How can you build up knowledge of corporate sponsorship with board members?

Apr 8, 15 avail for 15-20 min support, contact Barbara@sponsorshipplus.com.


4 thoughts on “#afpfc Corporate Sponsorship: Making the Strategic Shift

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