non-profits Archives - Power Sponsorship

Is First Right of Refusal the Sponsorship Equivalent of a Ball and Chain?

First right of refusal is a valuable defensive benefit for a sponsor, guaranteeing them the opportunity to review and take up a new sponsorship at the end of the contract, before it’s offered to a competitor. The parties involved often assume that means it needs to be a similar offer to the one currently contracted – no matter how under-priced or badly structured it may be, or inappropriate it has become – making first right of refusal the sponsorship equivalent of a ball and chain. Thankfully, that’s not actually true, and you don’t have to live forever with a portfolio full of sponsorship mistakes. There are instances where you do have to offer a continuation […] Read More

How Do You Sell Sponsorship to an Old-School Sponsor?

There is no question in my mind that the Global Financial Crisis was great for our industry. Note, I said “great”, not “easy”. It was great because it dramatically increased the sophistication level of sponsors, as they had to deal with a new level of accountability. What we are seeing now is that, generally, sponsors are ahead of sponsorship seekers in sophistication. As a result, much of this blog and The Sponsorship Seeker’s Toolkit have been focused on helping those sponsorship seekers to effectively sell and service this new era of sponsors. There are also a lot of sponsorship seekers who “get it” – more every day – and when they come across a potential […] Read More

How Do You Get a Fire-Sale Sponsor to Renew at a Realistic Level?

You shouldn’t have. You know you shouldn’t have. But you did. You sold a sponsorship at way below market value because time was getting short and so was your budget. Most sponsors won’t take up a fire-sale sponsorship. They know that their results come not from the sponsorship itself, but from the leverage they do around it. That takes time, so they don’t invest when they don’t have enough time – no matter how cheap. The sponsors who do take up fire-sale sponsors tend not to be very sophisticated and they expect the property to deliver their results, and can be some of the worst sponzillas around. That’s not the worst outcome of a fire-sale […] Read More

Should You Accept Sponsorship from a Controversial Brand?

Australia has a refugee problem. More to the point, we have a problem with refugees packed onto overcrowded, unseaworthy boats, leaving Indonesia and making for our northernmost island outposts. While nearly all of those people are eventually found to be genuine refugees with a right to settle in Australia, what happens between their dangerous sea journey and that decision is fraught with controversy. And in the past couple of months, it’s become a sponsorship controversy, as well. Our Federal Government has decided that the best course of action is “offshore processing”, so these asylum-seekers are transported to detention centres on the Pacific Island nation of Nauru and Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. Whether this […] Read More

What Should You Do When Your Board Sets Unrealistic Sponsorship Targets?

If you’re a sponsorship seeker, at least one of these will sound familiar: Your organisation is planning an expansion or other costly activity, so your board increases your sponsorship target, or Your government funding is cut, so your board increases your sponsorship target, or Your donations have dropped, so your board increases your sponsorship target, or Your attendance has dropped, so your board increases your sponsorship target, or One of your competitors scores a big sponsorship, so your board increases your sponsorship target We have all been in this position at one time or another, but the current economic situation has everyone under pressure, and when many boards don’t understand how sponsorship works, and that sponsors […] Read More

Six Signs a Sponsor is Just Not That into You

Okay, so I’m sitting on the couch watching the fun chick-flick, “He’s Just Not That Into You”. I’m loving it. Too rare. As usual, I can’t stop thinking about sponsorship. So, I think to myself, there are a few signs that sponsorship seekers consistently miss that could tell them that a sponsor just isn’t that into them. So, brace yourself for the cold, hard truth about how to read the signs so you can let it go, and move on to something more fruitful. They tell you to “just send in a proposal” This is a sponsor saying “leave me alone”, without being rude. In actual fact, it’s unintentionally cruel, because it gets the sponsorship […] Read More

Action Plan: What to Do when a Big Sponsor Exits

This is the nightmare for much of our industry. I’m guessing some of you may develop a facial tic just thinking about it! And yet, it happens. Sponsorships end, and if it’s unexpected or done without a lot of lead-time, you need an action plan and you need one fast. So, it’s time to stop with the misery and crying in your beer. It’s time to stop with the wishful thinking and desultory casting about for ideas. It’s time for action, and I’ve got few steps to get you going. Get feedback If you didn’t see this coming, you’ve got to do an exit interview right now. Find out: What led to the decision? Whether […] Read More

Can We Target Multiple Sponsors at the Same Time?

This is a question I get at least a couple of times a week. Generally, it refers to approaching multiple sponsors in the same category – ice cream, insurance, sporting goods, etc – at the same time. Sometimes, the question is about a naming rights sponsorship, and whether they can approach multiple sponsors in any category for naming rights at the same time. My answer to all of those is “yes”. It is totally reasonable to approach multiple sponsors at the same time. In fact, it’s usually the most realistic approach. Your sponsorship sales window is only so long, and it can take sponsors weeks or months to make a decision. Waiting for one bank […] Read More

Attention Non-Profits: Your Mission Statement is Irrelevant

I have lost count of the number of sponsorship proposals that feature – even open with – the sponsorship seeker’s mission statement. These are the same proposals that usually follow up the mission statement with fifteen pages of why you’re so worthy of sponsorship. I’m really sorry to have to break it to you, but your mission statement is not a useful marketing tool. Sponsors don’t care. This is not to say that your mission statement is irrelevant to your organisation. But when it comes to sponsorship, it’s not helpful. Nor is positioning yourself as needy, worthy, or a “good cause”. What sponsors want see from you is very specific – it’s about their needs, […] Read More

Managing the Hardship of Seeking Sponsorship

I got an email a few weeks ago that was just heartbreaking. The subject line read simply, “The hardship”, and the email went on to detail how difficult it is to be a sponsorship seeker. The exhaustion and disillusionment was palpable, and the saddest thing about it was that I know he’s far from the only one feeling that way. This is a very tough business – there is no denying that – but there are a few strategies that may help you get through the tougher times. Change your job description Chances are, you see yourself as a salesperson and look at your job as a numbers game. You measure your workload and results […] Read More