How to Gain a Corporate Sponsor for a Fundraising Event

Reaching a larger audience while simultaneously gaining higher fundraising donations are possible when your organization teams with a corporate sponsor. While all fundraising consultants will tell you of the importance of corporate sponsorship, gaining it is easier said than done. Continue reading to uncover the most effective steps to gaining the attention of a sponsor and converting this attention into a profitable partnership.

Step One: Identify Your Demographic

The most important step in gaining corporate sponsorship is learning who your donors are. When you clearly identify your key demographic, you’ll be able to narrow your focus on businesses that appeal to this demographic. For example, you wouldn’t want to be sponsored by a Fast Food chain if your goal is to increase the availability of organically grown food. You may however want to be sponsored by Driven Coffee Fundraiser if your demographic is 20 year old hipsters who drink coffee daily and find craft coffee roasters appealing.

Step Two: Establish Personal Relationships

While it may be easy to simply send a business a sponsorship request email, these will likely be ignored. Outside of identifying your target demographic, you must spend a considerable amount of time networking and building relationships with potential sponsors. Begin this process by asking supports and board members if they have any connections to local businesses and corporations.

Initiate communication with the business by sending a letter describing your organization and following up this description with a request for a meeting. Try to take business owners out for lunch or have a casual meeting in their office. Use this as an opportunity to get to learn about the business and organization. Therefore, you can approach them with a streamlined sponsorship proposal based upon their specific needs as a business and your requirements as a fundraising organization.

Step Three: Cultivate a Thought Out Fundraising Offer

The biggest mistake you can make when trying to obtain corporate sponsorship is simply asking for it. These are busy executives who are used to dealing with specific plans and proposals. Therefore, after taking some time to build a relationship, craft an offer that meets their specific requirements. Include information within your proposal regarding the average number of people you’ll be contacting, demographic information and how the sponsorship will boost the awareness of the business to the general public.

When you’re able to clearly showcase how the business will benefit from sponsoring your event, it simplifies this process. Also, make sure to clearly outline what the sponsorship will entail. Are they going to be providing items or products for an event? Or are they going to make a cash fundraising donation? The most successful sponsorship agreements are those where organizations and business have a clear understanding of what’s expected of each party.