In this article, we’ll explore myths, must knows, and methods related to sponsorship to help you gain clarity and take action in relation to the project you’re working on or dream you are raising.
At Raise a Dream, we dispel the myth that sponsorship is a handout or philanthropy. It is not grant funding or a donation.
Sponsorship is a marketing relationship.
Companies and brands are using their marketing dollars to invest in sponsorship marketing. So just like a company measures the return on investment (ROI) with their different marketing activities (e.g. direct mail, media, digital advertising, print, etc.), they measure how well sponsoring your project met their marketing objectives.
As we help our clients to understand, to learn the marketing needs of sponsors, it’s CRUCIAL to build a relationship with sponsors first.
By getting to know a company or brand, you can explore:
What their objectives are for sponsorship
What type of recognition is valuable to them
How they want to be integrated into your project
How they measure success
If you are still wondering how sponsorship and philanthropy differs, here is another way to look at it. Think of sponsorship like a business transaction whereas philanthropy is like a gift. With philanthropy, the sponsors are not really looking at return on investment.
Sponsorship Must Knows:
If you’re looking at sponsorship as a potential form of revenue, here are some of the foundational elements that you’ll need to consider to make this type of business transaction and marketing relationship work:
Plan where sponsorship will fit into your business model
Understand your value and be able to articulate what benefits you bring to the sponsor
Build trust and relationships
Create systems and processes to keep track of sponsor research, commitments, and fulfilment
We teach our clients these foundations in our Big Dream Primer program. Once such foundations are in place and you’ve done your research to know as much as possible about potential sponsors, the next step is to connect.
Here are some questions that you can ask a potential sponsor:
What is your business all about? Who is your perfect audience?
Why do you sponsor?
What’s your history or experience with sponsorship?
How do you measure sponsorship success and ROI?
What do you seek in a sponsorship proposal? Budget? What is it that you like to see clearly laid out in this type of document?
What other types of marketing does your company engage in?
What is it about my organization/project that interests you? Where do you see the fits?
Check out our Raise a Dream 7-step model (available in our free ebook on our homepage) as it clearly outlines how research and connecting are essential first steps in the sponsorship process. You’ll also see which steps to take next.
As you research and build connections with sponsors, it is important to make sure you have a process to track the information you are learning and a way to keep the information organized.
It is too easy to forget important details.
You might be able to use your CRM system for this or a project management platform like Asana to track tasks, links, details, and follow-up tasks.
When calling sponsors, prepare call sheets templates ahead of time to record information such as:
Date of first call
Direct telephone numbers, e-mail, address
How sponsor prefers to be contacted (email, phone)
Name of assistant (and their contact information)
Any personal information on sponsor
Hot buttons, words, or phrases the sponsorship contact repeats and/or content that generates emotion
We have numerous templates available to assist you in our Big Dream Primer program.
The more prepared you are for the calls and the better you track and maintain information, the more you and your BIG DREAM stand out to sponsors.
When sponsors love who you are, what you do, and how you do it, that’s when you get the YES that leads to sponsorship, increased revenue, and a bigger impact with the work you do.