How to Attract Corporate Sponsors


Sponsors: Use these 9 guidelines to do what you like and discover a enterprise willing to foot the bill.

By Eve Gumpel February 24, 2010

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When Linda Hollander came up with the concept of the Women’s Small Business Expo 8 years ago, she wanted a manner to pay for the event.

The expo became not an inexpensive venture. She needed to rent a ballroom, hire a singer and provide  meals for attendees. And she needed to pay for those amenities upfront, earlier than receiving finances from attendees.

Hollander decided to are trying to find out company sponsors to foot the invoice. The effort changed into wildly a hit. She approached corporations along with Citibank, Hansen’s, IBM and Walmart.

“I told them, ‘I can offer you the girls’s market,'” she stated. “They threw cash at me.”

During a latest teleclass, Hollander — a business consultant, speaker and author — presented her advice on securing corporate sponsorships.

“Whatever you are doing, you can get corporate sponsors,” said Hollander, who is referred to as the Wealthy Bag Lady.  “Don’t assume you are too small, and don’t be sidelined through the truth which you do not have revel in. When I got my first sponsors, I had no tune record. But I offered sponsors at the idea, and I surrounded myself with human beings with extra enjoy than I had.”

According to Hollander, businesses will spend extra than $17 billion this yr on corporate sponsorships.

“Wouldn’t you want to get just a bit of the $17 billion?” she asked. “You’re supporting a employer marketplace itself. They can not buy top-time advertising for $10,000.”

Here are Hollander’s pinnacle recommendations to draw company sponsors.

Be clear about your demographic and your platform.

Your platform is your message and your fan base — folks who understand you or who align themselves with people . Your demographic is the marketplace you are after, and you want to have data approximately that marketplace at your fingertips. For example, in case your marketplace is women, be conscious that they make or impact 85 percentage of purchasing decisions, and that they may be beginning corporations at twice the charge of men. Find out the spending power and buying conduct of your target market. Research the median profits and educational degree.

Consider the publications your demographic reads. Then ask for media kits from the ones publications. According to Hollander, media kits will screen incredible things approximately your demographic–all furnished at no cost. Don’t forget reason-associated advertising, either.

“This is so hot that it’s scorching,” stated Hollander. “People want to purchase from groups that provide back to the community. If you convert lives in a high quality way, this is reason-related marketing.” Sponsors could be keen to return aboard, stated Hollander.

Have a outstanding sponsor proposal.

“Without it, do not even trouble,” Hollander advises. “It needs to be absolutely compelling.” The character you show that concept to has to reveal it to accounting to get approval and a check. You need to connect individually together with your champion within the company. In addition, be aware that there’s a certain layout for a way the idea has to appearance, said Hollander. “It has to have certain language and positive sections.”

•Start with a tale. It can be your tale, or the story of a person whose existence you changed. “Whatever you do, inform a story. This will get your inspiration to face out and make an emotional connection.” Hollander factors out that there is a person within the corporation you approach who is going to make your mind up about sponsoring you. “That individual has to make an emotional choice to give you the money,” she stated.

•Describe what you do. This is your challenge announcement. It explains why you do what you do.

•Benefits. You need to have genuinely extraordinary advantages for the sponsor you’re drawing close.

•Describe your demographics.

•Create an advisory board. “If you do not have revel in, surround yourself with human beings who have revel in,” said Hollander. “Show capacity sponsors which you have an A group.”

•Ask for the cash. “They don’t call you to ask how a whole lot money you want,” she said. “A sponsor once stated to me, ‘If I do not see a menu of prices, I throw it out.'”

•Promise deliverables. Don’t simply promise media insurance — promise unique media insurance, e.G.: “I will provide you with media insurance in the fatherland business magazine. It has a movement of 60,000 human beings making extra than $a hundred,000 a yr,” said Hollander.

•Don’t sell your self short. Ask for $10,000 to $100,000 from every sponsor. “I see people requesting $1,000,” she stated. “That’s no longer going to cut it. You’re handling a well-paid person in a employer. It’s no longer well worth their time in case you’re requesting $500 or $1,000.” Hollander also advises requesting a 12 months-long application, now not only a single occasion: “Make it a whole year, because then you definitely do not should preserve going to the nicely.”

•Find the right person to technique within the business enterprise. “Ask for the advertising branch. That’s the excellent location to begin,” said Hollander. She referred to, however, that in some organizations, the ideal branch might be public family members, community affairs, public affairs, supplier diversity or brand management.

•Whenever viable, introduce your self by telephone, now not e-mail. “This is a courting commercial enterprise,” she stated. “You have conversations; you don’t just e mail back and forth.” Besides, a number of organizations have precise firewalls, and your e-mail won’t get through. “Email as soon as you have the relationship,” stated Hollander. Try to keep away from filling out an online form. That’s a screening tool, she stated. “It’s like the black hole on Star Trek in which some thing goes in and never comes out.”

•Be impeccable with your phrase. When you are courting a sponsor, usually do what you say. Sponsors will check you. If you can’t get facts, inform them why. Always be on time or early for an appointment. Let them recognize you are a person of integrity. “You get one risk to make an impression, and in case you burn the bridge, you can not move again,” she stated.

•Always observe up. “So many human beings lose deals due to the fact they don’t observe up,” stated Hollander.

•Be quick, be super and be gone. Ask for what you want, however do not soak up a whole lot of a capacity sponsors’ time doing it.

•You can’t help everybody till you help yourself. Until you are financially relaxed and sturdy, you can not assist all of the human beings you want to assist. Corporate sponsorships are a manner to make you robust and give you the assets you want, said Hollander. They additionally add to your credibility. She additionally advised that you publicize your corporate sponsors for your website to let humans recognise you are gambling at a better level in business.

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