Getting Corporate Sponsorships – 7 Tips from Linda Hollander
You’ve probably heard of people who have received corporate sponsorships to fund their event or project or promote their book.
But how can you secure your corporate sponsorships for the things that matter to you?
That’s the million dollar question, and every so often, I attend Linda Hollander’s webinar on getting corporate sponsorships to pick up tips. Although I would like to secure sponsors for some of my personal projects, such as the reading challenge and some of the books I want to write, I have never taken the time to write a sponsorship proposal.
A few years ago, I applied to the Ontario Arts Council for funding for professional development, and I was declined. It wasn’t a good feeling after the time and effort that I invested into completing their very involved application. No one likes the feeling of being turned down. I have gotten over the negative reaction, and that’s why I attended Hollander’s event to learn about what’s new in the world of corporate sponsorships.
One of the key things I received from the webinar is the importance of including your story in the sponsorship proposal. There is usually a compelling reason for why you do the things you do. Looking back in retrospect, I didn’t include that in my application to the Ontario Arts Council.
Corporate sponsorship is BIG BUSINESS. Sponsors will spend $19 Billion this year in the United States.
Related Post: Corporate Sponsorships: How to Secure Them
These days, it is not as easy to get corporate sponsorships, because a lot more people are trying to secure them. And I know that in Canada, many corporations give to specific causes, so you have to conduct some initial research to identify the companies that support your cause and projects.
Hollander has assisted many of her clients to secure sponsorships, and for their proposals to stand apart, she recommends that they inject a bit of the personal, so they come across as being very human. The sponsorship proposal is critical because it is the one thing that will win you the funding.
The webinar I attended was very good, and its intent is to get people to buy a service. That’s what webinars are used for these days. If you sign up for the program, you will get sponsorship proposal templates that got funding – that you can use. I didn’t sign-up for the program.
The seven tips below are very good. But when you are writing a sponsorship proposal, you should combine that with a compelling story to personalize it. From what Linda Hollander says, that is one of the things that will set you apart from others, who are also seeking sponsorships.
Sponsors Will Give You
- Money you do not have to pay back.
- Access to key influencers.
- Media and public relations opportunities.
- Free stuff.
4 Common Myths about Sponsorships
- Business is too small to fund.
- Need to be a non-profit.
- Need to be in sports.
- It’s for the sophisticated.
Why Will a Company Sponsor You
You have more power that you think you do. You can help sponsors with the following:
- Grow their customer base
- Drive sales
- Connect them to their target market
- Increase brand loyalty
- Corporate social responsibility
Getting Corporate Sponsorships – 7 Tips
- Make a sponsor wish list (What are some companies that you’d like to work with).
- Be very clear about your demographics.
- Don’t sell yourself short.
- Have compelling benefits. Align the sponsorship opportunity to sponsor’s business objectives.
- Whenever possible, make appointments, then listen, to identify the sponsor’s needs.
- Have different ways to promote sponsors.
- Create a great sponsorship proposal.
3 Trends in Corporate Sponsorships
- More risks: It takes time and other resources to secure sponsorships.
- There is more competition to get sponsorships.
- Sponsorship proposal is the key to securing sponsors.
What You Should Ask for from Each Sponsor
Don’t short change yourself by not asking for enough funding. Hollander recommends that you ask for the following:
Elements of a Sponsorship Proposal
- Goals of the sponsor.
- Story of the property (event, project, book).
- Sponsor benefits.
- Media opportunities.
- Sponsor levels and fees.
What’s In It for Your Sponsors?
- Speaking opportunities.
- Signage and promotion.
- Award presentation.
- Branding to test demographics.
Most people will offer the above benefits to sponsors, so take the time to find creative benefits to give to your sponsors.
Corporate Sponsorship Books
The Sponsorship Seeker’s ToolkitThe Corporate Sponsorship ToolkitHow to Get Sponsorships and EndorsementsCorporate Sponsorship in 3 Easy StepsEverything You Must Know About Corporate SponsorshipHow to Craft Your Company’s Unique Story
UPDATE: First Published January 2015