Do your research on who your strong sponsorship prospects are and why they are a good fit for your organisation.
Are your supporters, members, donors, clients or community of followers their target market?
Do their customers care about your cause?
You are ultimately a gatekeeper to a community of followers that is the ideal target market to the right sponsor. Look for that alignment in this research phase.
Take the time to build a strong rapport with a Marketing Manager. If you’ve done your research and you know that there’s an alignment worth exploring, then you need to ask smart questions that reveal what they are seeking to gain out of any sponsorship opportunity.
Every part of their marketing budget has targets and outcomes attached to it. Sponsorship is not different, but unless you ask them about their goals, you might assume they are looking for something they are not.
MOST IMPORTANTLY! Building rapport should involve you telling them poor you are and that you have no money to run your programs. Remember you are a valuable marketing partner for the right brand, not a charity in need of handouts.
Demonstrate that you can deliver on what they are looking for.
You might not be able to answer this one straight away, and that’s why it’s so important to research first and ask questions next. You are simultaneously understanding their needs and screening whether this relationship could work and how you could deliver.
Notice, I have not mentioned sending out a generic proposal with sponsorship levels? The reason is, cold sponsorship proposals are the reason you found yourself faced with responses like ‘sorry, we’ve spent our marketing budget this year’!
Just like a dog with a bone, don’t give up!
And, just like a dog, be open and happy – your next conversation could be something transformational for your organisation!