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2019 Tips on How to Ask for Sponsorship – Must Practice Guide.
How to Ask for Sponsorship – When talking about sponsorship, we are talking about the position of being a sponsor. A sponsor is a person or an organization that pays for or contributes to the costs involved in staging a sporting or artistic event in return for advertising.
Getting local businesses to sponsor your event is a pronounced way to boost your event revenue and also strengthen community relationships.
However, Identifying, reaching and persuading the right person in an organization to support your team is a challenge faced by all teams.
In this article, I am going to give you some steps on how to ask for sponsorship.
1. Relationships Matter
The most important thing you can do, as someone who is fundraising, is to build a deeper relationship between your prospect and also the organization you are fundraising on behalf of.
Sure, bringing in a $100 check is very lovely, but building a strong relationship that results in 100 volunteer hours, $1,000 in donations, and also several new contacts, all over three or four years, would be much more appreciated.
Because relationships really matter, don’t rush your fundraising asks. Harvey Mackay excellently wrote a business networking book called, “Dig Your Well before you are Thirsty.”
That is a piece of good advice in non-profit fundraising as well. Raising money is hard enough; it is doubly hard when your first contact with someone is to ask for money.
A better approach is to, as often as possible, make your first a non-monetary asks. Build relationships with your prospects; ask them to come to a free event, read your case for support, sign-up for your newsletter, and also volunteer at your office.
Get them involved or at least have one introductory discussion about your charity that is not based on seeking a donation, then ask them to give. Try to build relationships that last, whenever possible.
2. Planning the Ask
Before you make any ask, whether it is for money or for time, for tickets to an event, or to attend a free seminar, be sure that you are ready:
3. Decide Who You Are Asking:
Who are you asking? Is it an individual, a company, or an organization? What person in the establishment would be best to ask? Should you make the ask to your friend or to his wife? And so on.
4. Decide what you are asking for:
Are you asking for money, how much? Are you asking someone to come to an event or to volunteer? When? And in what capacity?
5. Understand That There Will Be “No’s”:
And that is OK! Fundraising is just like a baseball; even the best, best-experienced practitioners receive lots of “no’s.” Don’t let them weigh you down. They are part of the game.
6. But Expect a Yes:
Attitude really matters in fundraising. If you go into fundraising ask assuming you will get a no, you probably will.
Don’t forget, your organization’s mission matters! Go into every fundraising ask expecting a yes, and asking for a yes.
7. Show People How They Can Make a Concrete Difference or Reach an Actual Goal
People love to know that their donation is doing something definite and concrete. If it is possible, ask them to contribute to assist do something specific, even if it is only to assist you to reach your own personal fundraising goal.
For example, “Would you donate $50 to pay for 25 meals for the homeless?”
8. Learn how to make a pitch.
When it comes to building an excellent relationship with a corporate partner, don’t leave any doubts that you and their establishment are the right fit.
The most important part of asking for sponsorship is ‘how’. Before you can get an appealing event sponsorship prospectus into your potential sponsors’ hands, you need to get them interested in how your event can assist them to achieve their objectives.
Whether by phone or an email, you only have a short-term window of opportunity to ‘hook’ the sponsor before you lose their attention and the window closes.
Give them context with your elevator pitch and then quickly communicate the value you can bring to their marketing objectives.
Ask the potential sponsor what their goals and challenges are and then link your event’s sponsorship offerings with those responses.
Focus on these four things:
Tell them who you are and introduce your mission.
Summarize when your event began, the number of attendees, as well as other unique facts about your event.
Point out specifically why their establishment would be a good fit to sponsor your event.
Describe what they will get out of it. Outline the profits that align with their business goals
9. Know your talking points.
Speak positively and know the facts for sponsors who might be unfamiliar with who you are. Be sure to include the impact you’ve had on your community.
10. Be clear
Let them know what you are offering them in return. Be clear about what you are committing. And make sure you deliver. Suggested deliverable based on the level of sponsorship can be found in the Event Sponsorship Packet.
11. Be open.
Be receptive to any questions they might have. Remember it is a conversation, not a monologue.
12. Think big.
Ask little, get little. Ask large, get large. Don’t sell yourself short or stray away from asking for greater donations. The worst they can say is no.
13. A “no” is not a rejection.
It’s not bad if they say no. Make the most of your meeting by giving them other options to be part of your event.
They could start a shavee team, donate a raffle prize, or set up an office fundraiser. Always leave with something!
And don’t forget: Just because they say no the first time does not mean they will say no the next time. Don’t be shy about asking again and again!
14. Say thank you.
Don’t forget to thank your sponsors. Your relationship with them does not end when your event is over. You might ask them to sponsor your event another time, so make sure you stay connected.
Share some, videos and other information to remind them that their sponsorship was worth the investment.
15. Have fun!
Be happy; be upbeat, friendly, positive and polite. Don’t forget that you are offering them an opportunity to join a worthy cause, and that is a great thing!
To crown it all, don’t be afraid, as part of your planning process, write out a script for yourself so that you will feel more comfortable once you are on the phone with your contact.
And always remember to profusely thank everyone who responds to your ask, and always remember to thank those who say no for their time and consideration.
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