Sponsorships & Nonprofit Events

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How do you get support for your event?

It is a common business practice for companies to use sponsorships and nonprofit events.   Creating an image of success and authority for your business is a smart way to win more customers. With Sponsorship and nonprofit events people are comfortable doing business with companies they trust to meet their expectations. 

Nonprofit organizations could also greatly benefit from doing the same thing.

First, let’s define sponsorship.  Sponsorship is a form of affinity marketing that provides certain rights and benefits to the buyer or “sponsor.”  It is usually in conjunction with a property, venue, personality, or event.

What does a sponsorship do for nonprofit events, it establishes branding and visibility!   The ‘right’ sponsorship could boost a larger audience to your charity or fundraising event.  As a result, you are attracting good press and social media attention.    

5 Tips to be successful with a sponsor:

  • Find Your Niche:

Know your audience and plan accordingly.  Sponsored events often cater to niche audiences or member organizations. Have your sponsors and sponsorships be relevant to your charity and nonprofit.  

  • Positive Image in the Community:

Would you prefer to go to a restaurant that is always empty, dirty and has a sad atmosphere?  Chance is no.   A packed restaurant, with a fresh look and fun ambiance, would be more likely a successful pick.    Nonprofits should be no different, think about the image you want to portray in the community. An excellent image and brand will attract sponsorship support.   Make sure your nonprofit has the right storefront and curbside appeal.   

  • Make a Connection:

Influence The Cause touched on this in the recent blog, Are Nonprofits in the Dark Age, donors have a face, so do sponsors.   When sponsors feel that your nonprofit took the time to get to know them, they are more likely to feel appreciated, and more likely to want to support your nonprofit charity or fundraising event.

Sponsors also seek recognition:

  • Acknowledge them in public speeches, board meetings and interviews with the press.
  • Invite them for a private tour of your facility and take photos for the local business journals.
  • Place a stewardship ad in their industry trade publication to thank them for their generosity.
  • Ask your staff to thank the sponsor on their individual social media platforms.
  • Give sponsors VIP tickets to your event.
  • Promote Goodwill:

Strengthening your business image is one of the most valuable benefits of event sponsorship.  Communicate with the sponsors on what a positive message their company sponsorship will have in the community.    Attendees, hopefully, donors, become walking logo advertising for the event sponsor(s).   Example:  A ‘Big Name’ Restaurant sponsors a major food drive fundraising event for a nonprofit focused on feeding the homeless, event t-shirts made with Feeding the Homeless Walk A’ Thon SPONSORED by ‘Big Name’ Restaurant.    The swagger from the event is a great marketing tool for sponsors and promotes goodwill.   

  • Return on Sponsors Investment:

In a recent survey, 55 percent of sponsors said their return on investment increased from 2016 to 2017.  This is excellent!  With 2018 to 2019 to be likely the same, if not improved.    The post-event contacts can also measure return on investment success.   It is all about the relationships established and the feature business through those contacts.

Sponsors and charitable events have so much to gain by working together to better a cause and the community.   The benefits are endless!  Now it is time to plan that next event with a perfect sponsorship in place.  ‘Do Good’.


Incorporating New Strategies For Non-Profit 2019: [Change is a Good Thing]

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Out with the old in with the new

Out with the old and in with the new, change is a good thing.  Adaptive Strategy may not be what it once was, and it too has had to occur adaptation.  The shortcoming of a traditional approach to strategic planning is the tendency to ‘set it and forget it.’  This is not the case anymore.  From the Stanford Social Innovation Review, “New development from the disciplines of innovation, data science, and implementation management is teaching us that good strategy isn’t just about setting your destination and path, it’s also about how you execute and adjust over time.”

New Strategies

Now, incorporate this to how it applies to Nonprofit organizations. Change is a Good Thing so think of the whole ‘new strategy’ as a blueprint to build a house.  First, an architect needs to draw or build the plan.  After that, it takes a lot more to execute until you have a finished, successful product (hopefully a new home).  It is one thing to ‘just’ draw it out and hope for the best, those days are gone.  Be prepared, as electricians, plumbers, framers or you name it, make changes.  It is ineffable, and Nonprofit organizations are no different.  

Some key suggestions to take into consideration:

(1) Just because it worked in the past does not mean it will work or apply to today.  Do not limit your horizons, widen your aperture.  The world is full of indefinite possibilities.   Assuming that what worked in the past will still be successful today or in the future may hold your organization from growth.  

(2) Management is imperative to success.  Using the house building       analogy, what would a construction site look like without an effective Contractor guiding the way?  Leadership is a must.  What we have learned from the innovative space is about the importance of designing and managing experiments.  Leadership then can assess and adapt for ultimate results.  

(3) Analyzing Data Science can be something very mundane, all too often nonprofit organizations simply pass data about their performance straight from evaluator to funder.  The data is vital but what would also be critical is real-time management.  Information that is needed to be more effective on a day-to-day base and to adjust decision making accordingly.  

(4) Communication and execution are optimal to fuel productivity.   In working with our clients in recent years, we have seen time and again that it is one thing to develop an adaptive strategy, and quite another to successfully execute one.  Become familiar with your current operational reality.   The blueprint may be relatively easy to draw out; however, you must know how to implant and ultimately execute.  

(5) Think of the word strategy as a verb versus a noun.   Even in the fast pace demands of today’s business, this can be a hard adaption for some to make.   It’s just as much about how you implement and adjust your direction in an ongoing way as it is about setting your vision and initial plan.  

Embrace Change

In summary, embrace change. Change is a Good Thing for Nonprofit Organizations who need to continually adapt, have strong leadership, keep open to new ideas, use technology for growth, communicate and make your strategy active.