Events are one way to create income in your nonprofit.  They can be expensive but if you are in your second year of operation or longer, they can be profitable. Sponsorships are the key to that profitability. Let’s talk about obtaining corporate sponsors for your next event.

What Does Sponsoring an Event Mean?

Sponsoring an event is the act of supporting an event by financial means by the business, called the sponsor. This is usually a contractual relationship where the sponsor gives money in exchange for some considerations at the event.

Why Do I Want Sponsors for My Event?

Simply put- more money for your organization. Sponsors help offset the expenses and help you bring in more revenue. Events with sponsors consistently raise more money, which is probably at least one of the reasons you want to organize an event. Another consequence of sponsorships done right is that they can strengthen relationships with the sponsors. When you follow through on your promises and communicate with your sponsors, you send the message that you can be trusted and opens the door to other opportunities.

How Do I Get My Event Sponsored?

The first step is a Sponsorship Package. This package lays out the benefits of partnering with you. It also talks about your organization and your event. Once you have the package, it’s time to make a list of the companies you will approach. You will then ask and follow through on your promises. That is the process in a nutshell. Today, we are going a little deeper into ways to find your sponsors.

Ways to Find Corporate Sponsors

Create a list of potential sponsors. You may want to use a spreadsheet to record your list, contact, followup, and outcomes. Here are the eight things to consider when putting your list together.

  1. Who is your event geared to bring in? What companies cater to those groups?
  2. Which companies have complementary services for your target market?
  3. What companies are related to your target audience? i.e. Employers
  4. Who are your vendors?
  5. Any businesses that are interested in your target audience? i.e. Insurance Companies
  6. What corporations are looking to volunteer at charity organizations?  This is good especially if you include volunteer opportunities into your sponsorship package.
  7. Businesses in a 5-mile radius of the venue.
  8. What companies does your cause appeal to? Think social responsibility here.

Corporate sponsorships take work to create and procure. Being prepared will help you make the most of your time. Delegate the steps with your Board (if you have a working Board) or with your staff to make lighter work. Sponsorships are worth the effort.

  • If you would like to see more event resources, check out my resource page at http://www.mathisnps.com/events.
  • If you are a Nonprofit Nation Founding Member, check your email for your Sponsorship Blueprint. This 13-page resource walks you through creating a sponsorship to what to do after the event. Not a Founding Member? Sign up for the Wait List to join the membership the next time it opens and receive all the goodies!
  • Download the Sponsorship package template mentioned in the article.


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