Small sponsorships evolve from big ideas

May 7, 2014       The NonProfit Times      

Every starlet dreams of having a Sugar Daddy, because it’s way better than some of the other possibilities.

Nonprofit leaders might not welcome the analogy, but landing a sponsor can make all the difference in the world for an organization, especially one that is small and struggling.

During the Association of fundraising Professionals (AFP) International Conference on Fundraising, Shaun G. Lynch of Adventum Philanthropic Marketing said that it is not necessary for a nonprofit to be huge and internationally known to secure a sponsor. There are sponsors out there, but they must be found, approached and nurtured.

Lynch said that small organizations looking to land sponsors must take the following into consideration:

  • Know the audience. An organization must know its own audience and be able to prove the audience has the same profile as the sponsor’s target market.
  • Think like a sponsor. That is, “If I were a business trying to improve my relationship with this target market, what would I do?” Sticking a sponsor’s name and logo on things is no longer enough.
  • If the organization is small, be realistic. It probably won’t attract serious interest from big national brands, because of a small target market, unless the organization serves a community that a national brand is interested in attracting.
  • Don’t forget that it might be just as valuable to a sponsor to put the organization’s logo on its stuff as to put the sponsor’s logo on the organization’s stuff.
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