non-profits Archives - Power Sponsorship

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

The Number One Job of a Sponsorship Proposal (and It’s Not What You Think)

You spend a lot of time crafting your pitch – what you are going to say to pique a sponsor’s interest and the proposal you leave behind. I know you do – particularly as so many of you ask my advice about proposals every single day! There are a number of sponsorship proposal basics that you need to take on board, many of which you can find in my tutorial, Sponsorship Proposal Basics in About 10 Minutes. And if you need a sponsorship proposal template, you can find a good one in The Sponsorship Seeker’s Toolkit 3rd Edition. That’s all well and good, but before you even think of preparing a proposal, you need to […] Read More

5 Reasons You’re Better Off without That Sponsor

Sponsors mean money, so it makes perfect sense to try to retain all of the sponsors you possibly can. Honestly, though, there are times when you will be better off without a sponsor – even if that means you need to do the hard work to replace them. Why? Let me count the ways… They demand too much exclusivity Category exclusivity – exclusive financial services provider, exclusive automotive partner, etc – is not only acceptable, for most sponsees, it is the norm. That exclusivity guarantees a marketing platform to your sponsor that their competitors won’t have and makes the sponsorship more valuable. But there are some sponsors who define exclusivity so broadly that they are […] Read More

Herding Cats: Getting Your Regions to Deliver a National Sponsorship

I have worked with a lot of big sponsorship seeking organisations, and one of the biggest challenges is how to get the regional offices to deliver national sponsorships on a consistent basis. This becomes even more complex when the structure is federated and the offices are operating as independent businesses. They have their own sponsors to look after, and may not be interested in delivering national sponsorships that they see as having limited benefit to them. Or worse, they may be resentful that the national sponsorships mean they can’t sell sponsorship in those categories because of promised exclusivity. While this is a challenge, it is far from insurmountable, and I offer a few strategies that […] Read More

What Time of Year Should I Seek Sponsorship?

I get this question a lot. The expectation is that there will be some magic window where the yesses will be plentiful. The good news is that there is no window – you can solicit sponsorship all year ‘round. The bad news is that there is no such thing as an easy “yes”. There are some who would tell you that you should submit any sponsorship proposals in the few months prior to the start of the financial year. While that would, on the surface of it, seem like a reasonable approach, in my experience, it’s unnecessary and limiting. Some sponsorship managers request sponsorship approaches during a specific timeframe, but this is usually just a […] Read More