If you’re an entrepreneur, having big dreams to raise and bringing projects to life can be inspiring goals. But to fund your projects, you may run into challenges. In fact, lack of funding and support are often what smothers the dream from being brought to life.
Collaboration and sponsorship could be the funding game changer.
Think of collaboration as two or more people (or businesses) coming together to solve an issue they could not have otherwise solved on their own. This is why collaboration can help amplify messages, start movements and create a bigger impact.
This is not a new approach.
More than 20 years ago (before I opened my businesses), I was a contract negotiation specialist for the government. I had a portfolio of funding that was provided to nonprofit organizations, for-profit businesses, and community groups to operate programs and services in the region. The funds supported a wide range of initiatives including early childhood education, parenting programs, community events, group homes, and women’s shelters to name a few.
In 2020, we had numerous opportunities to speak with sponsors from local, regional, and national businesses and brands. This online and virtual world we are living in with cancelled live events and the need to do business differently has also impacted sponsors and their ability to market their brands in ways they are accustomed to.
We heard both challenges and opportunities in these conversations with sponsors. Besides getting to learn about the brands on a much deeper level and build relationships with them, we also were able to hear about some of the common sponsorship mistakes they see sponsor seekers making.
We thought this insider information and the useful insights below could be of benefit to you as you move forward with raising your dreams through collaboration and sponsorship.
What if you could find sponsors and have other businesses pay for your book tour?
What if local businesses purchased your books in bulk for their clients to hand out at events or to gift to charitable organizations and people in need?
What if your book tour didn’t cost you more than the price of a grande latte?
One of the things we LOVE talking about is building a circle of corporate champions, partners, and sponsors…
Professional speaker, bestselling author, and collaboration expert, Charmaine Hammond, has had books be optioned for movie rights, has presented to more than 400,000 people around the world, and has helped authors around the globe make their book a business.
Finding the sponsorship contact in charge of decisions for a particular brand can sometimes be a challenge.
That said, if you as the sponsor-seeker are willing to follow our 7-step collaboration and sponsorship model and invest a little time into sponsorship contact research, you will not only find the right person, you will likely impress them once you connect with them.
Sponsorship decision-makers notice when you have spent some time learning about them before the call (checking out their website, social media, press releases, and media).
Spring is often a very busy time for organizations and entrepreneurs that receive government funding. Contracts may have come to a close on March 31st and new contracts (and funding) often start April 1st.
Unfortunately, it can be a stressful time if those in charge of funds and programs face the challenges that emerge upon learning that government funds may be clawed back or not approved.
With these funding challenges in mind, it’s important to look for solutions, especially involving collaboration, to see if there are funding opportunities that are being overlooked.
As a nonprofit fundraiser, you know the value of government funding, individual donations, and grants, but another source of revenue to consider is corporate sponsorship -- an untapped revenue source for many nonprofits and service clubs.
Many nonprofits have effectively leveraged relationships with corporate sponsorships to increase revenue, further their cause or mission, and make a bigger impact.
Nonprofits, associations, and service clubs can raise more money and boost impact to support their projects and programs when they understand how corporate sponsorship works and how such support differs from what most charities know as philanthropy. When organizations and those responsible for association management know what sponsorship decision-makers want to see, they can build meaningful relationships with brands. Leaders and managers who understand how corporate sponsorship and cause marketing works will stand out and get more yeses!
Many nonprofits, charities, associations and event planners are missing an important step in the sponsorship and fundraising process.
This one step can help you raise funds and attract the interest from brands and businesses you have not yet partnered with.
If you are not asking for references and testimonials from corporate partners and sponsors that you have worked with, you are missing out on attracting new partners and sponsorship to help you raise funds, increase revenue, and help you make a bigger impact in your community.