5 Realities of Corporate Fundraising

Whether you are considering cause sponsorship, “pin-up” or point-of-purchase campaigns, corporate volunteering/employee engagement or cause marketing, your corporate fundraising will succeed if you remember five critical points advised Chris Baylis, president and CEO of The Sponsorship Collective in Ottawa, Canada, in a session “Developing New and Stronger Corporate Relationships” at an Association of Fundraising Professionals Toronto Congress.

Corporate fundraising reality No. 1: Corporate partnerships are not philanthropy (even when they are … ). You have to know and define your audience and understand the value of your brand and what you offer beyond being a good cause. Determine the interests and buying power of your audience and ask “Who cares about this audience?” or “Who cares about whom you help?”

No. 2: Your cause is irrelevant! What? Your cause is important—but to your audience. Your audience is important to your prospects. Use your cause to attract (and define) your audience and your audience to define and attract prospects. Together, find ways to bring your prospects to the audience, using your cause.

No. 3: Prospects expect you to know your value. Make a list of every single asset you have to offer. Look at how much it will cost your prospects to get the same exposure or service elsewhere. Understand your audience and its value. Know what do you bring to the table beyond just a “good cause” and understand what it is worth.

No. 4: It’s not about logo placement. You probably think logo placement is the most important aspect of cause partnership because it is the most visible component to the public. It is actually one very small aspect of cause partnership.

No. 5: You must report back (in a way that is tied to your partner’s goals). Do a fulfillment report that explains what you said you would do—and prove it. The report gives your partners a tool to prove to their internal decision makers that they got the ROI they expected and it sets you up for renewing the partnership within weeks of end of your campaign.