NOW is an excellent time to start asking for sponsorship.
According to Sponsorship.com, 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:
- How can we create win-win partnerships?
- What resources have we allocated to make sure we have a successful sponsorship?
- Who determines what benefits are available to potential sponsors?
- Who can negotiate a sponsorship deal?
- Who can approve the sponsorship?
- Who would we accept sponsorship from, and
- 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
- First, ask, Who are your direct competitors for sponsorship?
- What do your potential sponsors like about the competitor’s events?
- How does your event differ from your competitor’s event?
- How much are these competitor nonprofits charging for sponsorship?
- What makes them successful? What are they doing right?
- 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
- What are their key brand/product attributes?
- What are their objectives?
- Who are their key direct competitors?
- How have they used sponsorships in the past?
- How do they use sponsorships now?
- Have they ever sponsored a nonprofit similar to you, or an event similar to yours?
- 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!