How to Build Relationships with Sponsors

How to Build Relationships with Sponsors

A major part of planning and executing an event is gaining sponsors. These businesses and individuals will contribute money and sometimes in-kind donations to support your event and potentially a cause it’s benefiting. Yet, it can be a tough process to snag enough sponsors, especially when you have multiple and annual events. But when you know the key to successful event sponsorship, you can gain a built-in list of supporters you can turn to again and again.

What’s the key? It’s about building positive sponsor relationships. So how do you create sponsor relationships that keep them coming back to your brand?

Search for the Right Sponsors

If you want long-term sponsors, don’t reach out to just anyone. Instead, do research on potential sponsors to see if they’ll be a good fit for your organization and event. The best chance you’ll have of building a strong relationship and keeping a sponsor is to find one that is in line with your mission. Then, you’re both staying true to your brands and can cross-promote -- plus, you're giving more value to the same audience.

Discover Ways to Incorporate the Brand Into the Event

Instead of only putting your sponsor’s name on some event marketing materials and programs, try to come up with methods to integrate your sponsor into the experience – at least for a small number of top sponsors. You could work with interested sponsors to figure out how to make their products or a presentation part of the event. For example, serve a sponsor’s food or have a station where event goers can try products. When you find ways to include a sponsor, you encourage lasting trust and loyalty.

Offer Varying Sponsorship Levels

By creating different sponsorship price points and benefits, you can make everyone happy. You’ll be able to satisfy smaller brands with a limited budget while providing better perks to the big guns. Brands will be happier to work with you when they can choose from different types of sponsorship to best fit their needs and goals. You could even consider customized benefits to ensure that certain brands have the right sponsorship experience.

Focus on What They Get Out of It

On the hunt for sponsors, it’s smart to focus on the benefit to a brand rather than making a plea for help. Sponsorship tends to be a mutually beneficial concept, which you should embrace. Tell potential sponsors about how they’ll be supporting your event while gaining perks in the process. Make sure you create strong benefits to becoming a sponsor for your event, and then promote those benefits.

For example, the sponsor could gain brand visibility by having its name printed on materials and included in advertising and social media promotion. Try to offer different types of promotion to help your sponsor achieve prime exposure out of the deal. Maybe you could allow brands to make a presentation or give away products at the event. If possible, you might be able to offer a top brand the chance to be the only sponsor out of their competition. To have the most success at this, it’s important to try to understand what the sponsor would want to achieve and help the brand do that.

If you can make brands happy that they sponsored your event through benefits and positive results, they’ll want to return on their own for next year or the next event. Put effort into finding the right sponsors and providing the right perks, and you’ll gain repeat sponsors that are exciting about working with you year after year. 

How to Maximize Your Donations With an Amazing Fundraiser

Whether you’re a nonprofit or a small business, one universal truth shouldn’t be forgotten: Donations are tough to land. That said, 2017 has presented a slew of donation-centric solutions. If you’re creating a fundraising platform, you needn’t stick to age-old approaches. There’s a lot of fundraising ‘white noise’ out there, but you can still get donations by following the advice below:

Hold Raffles and Auctions

Auctions, raffles and games are excellent moneymakers. The best auctions and raffles, however, offer feature items, services and experiences which reflect your community’s interests. Tap into your local networks, and align your marketing goals with in-house fundraising resources. This year, Mercedes-Benz showcased a car via the 2-17 Heart Raffle. The result was an extra $46,332.36.

Get Wild with Lighting

You can boost brand recognition, as well as overall donations, by designing an event around your brand’s logo. Get wild with the lighting, and don’t be afraid to use black lights, either. Event producers like Julie Hanson crafted awesome interior designs to assist the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s campaign, helping them garner a massive $1 million overall.

Hire a Comedian

We’re all tired of the age-old keynote speaker approach. Get wild, and hire a comedian instead. If you can boost your event’s entertainment factor, you’ll give your eventgoers something to talk about—primarily, your headliner. Even if it’s a last-minute plan, it’s an effective one.

Create a Lounge Area

While your eventgoers might not empty their pockets over a couch, a lounge area can give them a much-needed breather. Get crafty with the pillows, the flowers, the signage and the accents. If you can give your guests a respite from the events, you’ll give them more time to consider your donation needs.

Take Advantage of a Check-In Area

Check-in areas are effective for maintaining eventgoers. They’re also great resources for gathering guest information. A large number of donations are procured from memberships and return visitors. By installing a donation station, a kiosk or a membership VIP lounge, you can make the donation process as easy as possible.

Showcase Your Brand’s Work

If donors know how their gifts will be used, they’ll donate more. Don’t be afraid to showcase your brand’s efforts. Events offer a highly unique opportunity to present your motives to your community. Skip statistics-based speeches. Instead, illuminate your foundation’s positive impacts. Share stories, give live demonstrations and give hands-on education opportunities.

At the end of the day, donations are procured from a positive outlook on a foundation’s motives. Use technology, if it’s available, and connect your guests to social media. You should, however, never forget why you’re seeking donations. Make sure your guests don’t’ forget, either.