Blog Post

Five Questions Non-Profits Ask Before Committing to Sponsorship

Corporate sponsorship works.

Its positive impact on organizations continues to drive this $62 billion industry.

I particularly enjoy helping our non-profit clients because corporate sponsorship offers them the opportunity to “do well by doing good.” Corporate sponsorship generates valuable revenue. It also multiplies the impact of advocacy since the sponsor promotes the non-profit’s message through the sponsorship.

But sponsorship is not for every organization.

As non-profits sort out this issue, I receive questions from organizations trying to determine if sponsorship “fits” them. Here are the most frequent questions I get, as well as my responses.

Q:        Should I pursue sponsorship?

A:         Like any form of marketing, you should understand the time and resource commitment, the pros and cons, as well as the cost-benefit. If you can answer these questions with enthusiasm and optimism, you should pursue a sponsorship platform.

Q:        How much time will it take?

A:         Sponsorship will be as time-intensive as writing grant applications or fundraising—the more time you put into it, the greater the potential payback.  You will need to evaluate sponsorship against the other demands for your time.

Q:        Do I need sponsorship dedicated staff?

A:         You don’t need staff members whose sole responsibility is sponsorship (although that would be ideal). However, sponsorship should be formally assigned to your team members and not treated as a side task.

Q:        Do I have to endorse the sponsor’s business?

A:         Sponsorship is an express or implied endorsement. You’re saying to the world that the sponsor is worthy of a relationship with your organization. For this reason, we recommend establishing a sponsorship policy to pre-determine what types of relationships and sponsors fit your organization’s mission.

Q:        What if we’re not very good at marketing?

A:         There is a direct correlation between marketing and sponsorship success. If you have a strong brand, sponsors will want to affiliate with you. If you are great at marketing, a sponsor can be confident that you’ll carry its message effectively to your audience. If your brand and marketing are weak, it will be more difficult for you to find sponsors.

Many times, non-profits asking these questions want to learn more. That’s why CHARGE wrote its free eBook, “Finding Corporate Sponsorship: What Every Non-Profit Should Know.” We also have several articles on the subject of non-profit sponsorship. However, if you’d like to schedule a call to discuss your specific challenges, click this link.

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