Identifying a sponsor is a challenge for most non-profit organizations, especially in a difficult economic climate. Fortunately, there are many ways for nonprofits to find sponsors. Sponsorship can come from grants from government, donors and private companies. Sponsors often choose to support nonprofit organizations with values or mission statements similar to theirs. Before starting to contact funding sources, organizations need to develop an effective strategy and a calendar for the identification of a sponsor and the cultivation of relationships.
Consider the sponsorship needs of the non-profit organization and set a fundraising goal. A nonprofit organization may request financial sponsorship to support its daily operation, an event or a publication. You can also look for a long-term support fund. Most nonprofits have a mix of fundraising needs. Develop each fundraising campaign around a specific objective, such as obtaining funds for a gala dinner or raising money for capital construction costs. Based on the amount of funds it needs, a nonprofit organization may consider a combination of grants and public and private sector grants.
Research potential sponsors. If you are looking for sponsorships of less than $ 1,000, identify small local businesses and business owners who have a strong interest in the community. Local sponsors are particularly apt to support events or programs that have an impact on the community. If you want the sponsorship to be more than $ 1,000, focus on large companies, both locally and nationally and private philanthropists. When you investigate potential sponsors, look for organizations and companies that have values or missions similar to yours. Also consider the types of non-profit organizations and events that your potential sponsor has supported. Research government grants at Grants.gov.
Use your connections and ask your contacts to give you more sponsorship ideas. If the non-profit organization has an advisory board, hold a meeting to inform members about sponsorship needs. Ask board members to think about the contacts they have in the community that can help by sponsoring or identify potential sponsors.
Develop a fundraising campaign. The sponsorship committee of the nonprofit organization must be familiar with all aspects of the organization, from its mission to the specific needs and objectives of the sponsorship program. It includes an executive summary or brochure on the organization, profiles of key staff and members of the advisory board, recent press clippings and summaries of recent events or programming.
Follow potential sponsors with field materials and a program of follow-up meetings. Ask high-level administrators or advisory board members that they have a thorough understanding of the organization’s mission and sponsorship needs to conduct meetings with potential sponsors. Any person representing the organization at the follow-up meetings should be familiar with the field materials and prepared to answer any questions from a potential sponsor. The representative should also be comfortable asking for financial help. They should be prepared to explain the benefits to sponsors, which could include mention in press releases or name rights.
Send a letter of thanks to potential sponsors after the meeting. In the letter, summarize the meeting, including the questions asked by the potential sponsor and reaffirm the benefits to the sponsor. One week after sending the letter, make a phone call to confirm if the sponsor is interested in participating. Do not be discouraged by rejection, it is always a good idea to keep a potential sponsor updated at least twice a year on the progress of the organization. A potential sponsor may be willing to reconsider support for future events.