Contact Mazarine: (503) 673-FUND (3863)

Book Giveaway: The Sponsorship Seeker's Toolkit

7 October 2015


 October 7, 2015
Category: Book, Events, Sponsorships

NOW is an excellent time to start asking for sponsorship.

According to, the 4th quarter is when most sponsors start allocating their budgets for next year. The 4th quarter is when 43% of sponsors make decisions. That’s RIGHT NOW.


This week I’d like to share with you a book that has been a good friend as I’ve sought sponsorship over the years. This book is 10 years old, but it still relevant for today. It’s called The Sponsorship Seeker’s Toolkit by Kim Skeldum-Reid and I highly recommend it.

What makes this book good?

Well instead of telling you to just blindly go after sponsorship, it asks you to strategize. To plan.

7 questions to help you get BIG sponsorships:

  1. How can we create win-win partnerships?
  2. What resources have we allocated to make sure we have a successful sponsorship?
  3. Who determines what benefits are available to potential sponsors?
  4. Who can negotiate a sponsorship deal?
  5. Who can approve the sponsorship?
  6. Who would we accept sponsorship from, and
  7. Who would we NEVER accept sponsorship from?

I also liked that this book talks about how to find your demographics and psychographics that will appeal to your sponsors marketing needs.

It helps you do a SWOT analysis. SWOT means Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats.

This book helps you do a competitor analysis.

This is market research. When you research what other sponsorships are out there, it helps you be more competitive with your sponsorship offer.

6 questions to help you offer something better than your competitors

  1. First, ask, Who are your direct competitors for sponsorship?
  2. What do your potential sponsors like about the competitor’s events?
  3. How does your event differ from your competitor’s event?
  4. How much are these competitor nonprofits charging for sponsorship?
  5. What makes them successful? What are they doing right?
  6. Who are your least successful competitors and why?

Another thing I liked about this book is that it goes into great detail on the sponsorship sales process.

It invites you to define your core values and attributes, Take inventory of all of the possible benefits, Define all of your target markets, then create a draft hit list

Then fill out the sponsor information checklist through going in person to the company, or from a phone interview, or through library research.

Then create a targeted hit list

Then create a customized proposal

Then check your costs and price on what other people are charging.

Then send the proposal and follow up within one week.

7 questions to help you know what your sponsor really wants

  1. What are their key brand/product attributes?
  2. What are their objectives?
  3. Who are their key direct competitors?
  4. How have they used sponsorships in the past?
  5. How do they use sponsorships now?
  6. Have they ever sponsored a nonprofit similar to you, or an event similar to yours?
  7. How long should the approval take and what’s the approval procedure?

One downside of this book is that it is written with a large organization in mind, with extremely large, multi-year sponsorships, like a sports stadium or athletic team would have. So you have to kind of look beyond that to get to the good stuff. Still, it helps you get organized around sponsorship. I’d highly recommend it!

Your Ultimate Guide to a BIGGER SponsorshipWould you like to win this book? Just leave a comment below on why you deserve this book! Best comment wins and I will send you this book!


If you don’t win the book, check out my Ultimate Guide to Getting a Bigger Sponsorship Course!

On sale for $40 off until October 25th!

32 responses on “Book Giveaway: The Sponsorship Seeker’s Toolkit

  1. Terri says:

    Sponsorships help our students become the first in their families to graduate from college. That’s significant, because in the San Francisco Unified School District, 8 out of 10 students have parents who did not graduate from college. Today we are coaching 430 students through middle school, high school, and college and into their first careers. In the next five to seven years we want to be coaching 2000 students in San Francisco. When we do that, we will change the trajectory for all students in this city and make college going an expectation for all. This impacts not just individuals, but also their families, communities, and the whole city. Boosting our sponsorship attainment and deepening corporate engagement opens a pipeline of support and opportunities for internships, job shadowing, and employee volunteer commitment.

    Please help us grow bigger, faster, stronger so that we can help Our students. Our Future. #OurSanFrancisco.

  2. nichole says:

    I am seeking a new job. In my current position, I am not responsible for sponsorships. However, I know that having this book would enhance my skill set and provide the confidence for me to take on more than what I have been able to do in the past. I want to add this book to my toolbox of fundraising expertise.

  3. Deni Hirsh says:

    My husband recently accepted a new job in New Orleans, so I will be leaving GPAC soon. I want to leave the organization with as many great resources as I can to help them maintain the excellent levels of support from corporations as we’ve had during my tenure … and then some!

  4. Al S. says:

    I supervise Community organizers who work directly with low-income citizens in 16 economically distressed areas of Miami-Dade County. It is commonplace for the citizens of these underutilized communities to see a parallel connection with the paucity of sponsors for many community activities and events that can improve the quality of life for the residents of those neighborhoods. What is primarily lacking is the knowledge about how to navigate through the community of potential sponsors who would be willing and committed towards helping to support worthy causes and concerns. The acquisition of the “Book” will enable us to move closer to the goal of helping to empower these neighborhoods and communities. The book has immense value and importance for us as we grapple with finding new ways to be innovative in the leveraging of results and producing viable outcomes.

    Thank you for your consideration.

  5. I love reading your post, and always envy the lucky duck who ends up in your classes. How I long to have a budget for educational materials! I work for a non-profit that provides 70% of programs to the public for free – and the remaining 30% is really affordable (charging just 30% of the actual costs to provide the service). We are always hearing and reading that corporate sponsorship is dead – but then we see lots of organizations succeed with them – using lots of logos on their event program booklets, etc. We haven’t raised sponsorship prices since 1993 – and we still struggle to pick up support (attrition is killing us). I’m hoping to diagnosis what we are doing wrong, and I believe you might hold the key. Keep up the great work. You are a weekly source of inspiration. (Though I admit I don’t always get the PS jokes. HaHa)

  6. Katie says:

    Y’know how Tina Fey has said “Just say yes and figure out the rest later”? Well, I’m newer to fundraising (in the game less than 3 years) and advocated to get an amazing opportunity as an events manager for a GREAT nonprofit. I love the job but have huge budget goals to achieve – this book would be an excellent asset in helping me do the whole “figure out the rest later” part!

  7. Gail Cowan says:

    Hi – thanks for this post. Clearly this is an issue that so many of us are struggling with. Last year, as a new Development Director for our organization, which works to prevent teen pregnancy in Iowa, I went through the painful effort of sending out over 100 letters to potential sponsors for our annual conference, only to hear back from….none of them. I knew it wasn’t going to result in much, and yet I did it anyway because, well, I had no better ideas. Assuming many of us have been there. These questions are a great starting place, if I can find the courage to look back again at all the hours I spent searching for sponsorship. And of course, would welcome the chance to read the book. Thanks again!

  8. Sharon Evans says:

    I volunteer for an organization that helps families of persons who have a mental illness. Demand is increasing and our income is static. The Board is motivated to improve our funding mix including developing a strong sponsorship program. The purpose would be to be able to reach into all our communities (we have one small city and several semi-rural communities i.e. we drove 18,000 km last year). We are seeking more financial support from local governments and businesses. The book would help us write a strong case for support!

  9. Sarah says:

    I have just come on board with an organization that has been in the community for 54 years. During the 54 years, they have only fund raised from 4 newsletters and 1 event. There has never been a development team. Now they have created a team for fundraising and we are plugging away at trying to reach our small community. I am searching for ideas and ways to reach our individuals, corporations, foundations and organizations at a deeper level than just give us money. This would be a fabulous tool for my team as we move forward into 2016 and planning our 3 and 5 year fundraising goals.

  10. Joanna King says:

    I am the Director of PR & Marketing at a small non-profit social service agency. I don’t have much training in fundraising, but am looking for all of the resources I can to help our agency in that endeavor. Your book would be an amazing resource to us! Thank you for all you do, Mazarine!

  11. Tanya says:

    I am in the heart of oil country and as we all know the oil industry is suffering, hence our charity is suffering because normally we get a lot of support from the oil industry. Well, like the price of oil it has dropped substantially, so any assistance to get a bigger sponsorship windfall would be spectacular! Our conservation projects around the world need to keep going! πŸ™‚

  12. Arlene Boles says:

    Hi, there!

    I attended a meeting this morning about getting the most from funders and it really concentrated on getting program support. During the Q&A, I asked for tips on how to get sponsorships for events from funders and the answer I got was that most companies are getting away from sponsoring events and it’s only going to get tougher and tougher to get them. A friend of mine who was at the workshop just sent me this email – talk about perfect timing! I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to win the book!!!!

  13. Our library is an amazing, hugely busy, vital and vibrant community resource. We get wonderful media coverage, lots of foot traffic, lots of good will, identifiable impact…Why can’t we crack the sponsorship puzzle? I am desperate for your book to help us figure it out!

  14. Julia Koch says:

    This book sounds just what we need to beef up our sponsorships and events! We’ve pretty much been winging it when it comes to sponsorships, and I think this book would help us to be far more strategic and effective in getting support for The Hope Project and the girls’ home we’re opening for sex trafficking victims.

  15. Sheri says:

    As corporate philanthropic dollars become more difficult to access the skill to develop win-win sponsorship opportunities is critical! Corporate marketing dollars flow more freely – the question is how to access those dollars from the non-profit side of the table. I hope this book helps all non-profits maneuver these waters in a successful manner!!!

  16. Linda Lones says:

    With over 700 non-profits in our service area, business sponsorships are never a sure thing. We have fantastic outcomes, a long history with the community and have a great mission – but still get turned away from funding. I would love to have this book to open our eyes to what are missing in our current equation and in turn – serve more children in need.

  17. Our nonprofit,, has attracted numerous partners who believe in what we are doing, but we desperately need financial sponsors. We are an educational resource for teachers around the world, designed to bring ancient history alive for students. Our unique interactive approach opens their eyes to how ancient cultures made today’s modern life possible. We deserve to win this book because it will teach us how to effectively target sponsors who share our commitment to preserving antiquities and valuing the lessons they embody. With this book we can enable future generations to learn from the past.

  18. Melinda says:

    This is my first “real” job and we just had our fall fundraising event two weeks ago. It went well but we are in the middle of a capital campaign where next year’s event will hopefully be in the new space. This will give us a chance to grow and mix up the event. One of those is gaining sponsorships. This hasn’t really be pursued in past years for this specific event but I would love any information I can get to help not only this event but also our Spring festival. I would love to have this for not only my job, but my volunteer organizations.

  19. My organization trains service dogs for individuals with a wide range of disabilities. The more money we raise, the more lives we can change!

    I’m still relatively new to the field and looking to learn as much as I can. This post was great. I had no idea the 4th quarter was when most sponsors make decisions. I’m learning a lot already!

  20. Jeff Pinzino says:

    It’s our 30th anniversary at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, and we’re going bigger with our gala than ever before – and we need help! If we’re successful, this means that thousands of immigrants could get new protection under the law. This book means you’re helping keep families together.

  21. I’ve been in the world of fundraising, but sponsorships are still relatively new to me. It’s the same in that people are still people and relationships are still key. That said, it’s a different world. Having the true tools for success would be invaluable!

  22. I’d love this book. I’m new in my role as the head of our development department and major gifts & sponsorships are at the top of my to do list. This would be a great book to learn from and implement strategies.

  23. Hi Mazarine, This is very timely for me! I am in the process of sending out sponsorship solicitations now, and we are hoping to develop this part of our revenue stream much more. Then, we are having a gala in Feb. and gala sponsorships are an important source for us to fundraise, companies of course like the exposure, sending their folks to the event, and we are hoping to really develop our corporate sector of donors. Which is super important to me b/c my title is CORPORATE and foundation relations manager. πŸ™‚ Thanks for your consideration!! And for your fun newsletter!

  24. I work as a Site Leader for an after school program called Heart House Dallas which serves refugee and underprivileged children. Our mission is to provide safety, education and opportunity. My background is in engineering and I am helping to bring STEAM- Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics into our programming. This book would be incredibly useful to me as we grow and expand we need major sponsorships to integrate more up to date technology to our students. We are raising leaders in order to do so we need the resources and tools that help our students compete globally.

  25. Anna says:

    I attended your Virtual Fundraising Career Conference and utilized what I had learned to apply, interview and negotiate my salary for my new role as Special Events Coordinator! I’m so happy I utilized your resources and would love to win this book to help me dominate in my career in event planning. Thanks for everything, you’re a valued resource to fundraisers everywhere!

  26. RaeLynn Gochnauer says:

    Two words: job security

  27. Mark K says:

    We have dabbled in the world of sponsorship on a local level, but are on the brink of going to the big leagues. We have experienced heavy growth recently and our marketing-partner potential has never been greater. This book would help propel us into uncharted territory.

  28. Lauri says:

    I need this book! We are a faith-based nonprofit, and we dance between two market areas. Trying to figure out how to appeal to sponsors in both areas is a challenge. And figuring out timing for the ask is also a challenge.

  29. We are a small but powerful non-profit serving families with children experiencing homelessness. I would use this book to continue providing tools for my board to fund raise with the staff in a more effective manner. Thank you!

  30. Courtney says:

    I recently started in a corporate relations fundraising role (after working with foundations and individuals) and have found it to be a completely different world in regard to relationships, donor motivation, expectations, etc. I just read about this book yesterday and then saw your post today–what crazy timing! I know it would be incredibly useful to me as I fundraise for upcoming events and programming.

    • As the Resource Development Officer for the Township of Edison, I provide free technical support to local and regional CBOs and NFPs (e.g.: Center For Non Profits NJ) for their resource development and management needs, as well as annual Township of Edison free public events (e.g.: Edison Earth Day Celebration; Edison Family Day) It is a one-person shop, with very limited resources. This book would help me to assist a number of local and regional organizations serving neighborhood, community, cultural, environmental and animal needs in the Township of Edison. I have shared information from WWF with a number of them. Edison is a demographically, ethnically, culturally and economically diverse (50% Asian/Minorities) community of 104,000 — the 5th largest in the State of NJ. Thank you for considering this request and for WWF’s valuable fundraising advise.