How to Find Sponsors in Your Own Backyard
This is a guest blog post from ZipSprout.
These are challenging times for nonprofits and organizations. Donations have slipped due to the pandemic plus volunteering is down. The irony is most non-profits provide invaluable services to their communities and your workload has increased due to the factors that decreased your donations.
But be encouraged! There are many businesses across the country that want to support you.
How do you find them? There are many ways to find these potential supporters. This list provides several ways for you to secure donations and cultivate relationships with your donors.
Use online resources: ZipSprout specializes in matching their clients (businesses) with local nonprofits, organizations and events. When they have a client in your area, they will reach out to learn more about your sponsorship levels and potentially match you with their client. Best part, this is completely free to you! To learn more, feel free to reach out to Sallie Clark (Sallie@Zipsprout.com).
Ask your board: many board members are active in your community and are well connected or sit on several boards. Check with this valuable resource!
Stay in communication: regular contact with existing supporters shows appreciation and will strengthen your relationship with existing funders thus improving the chance that they will continue to support you in the future
Review who your potential funders are supporting. A great place to start is to check out local organizations’ websites to see which businesses are supporting them. Next, consider what type of business would benefit from connecting with your audience. For example, if you facilitate a race (Marathon, etc), reach out to Physical Therapy providers to see if they would like to sponsor you.
Network: Be active in your community and let them know the great work you are providing to the community. This could include joining your local Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club or even local business associations.
BE PREPARED TO ACCEPT SPONSORSHIPS!
Local businesses love to support their communities. This checklist will prepare you for their questions, help clarify expectations and encourage retention of their sponsorship.
Create structured sponsorship levels. For example, a little league team might create levels such as:
Homerun: benefits include sponsor’s logo on a team t-shirt, a banner in the outfield and their logo and link on your website for 12 months: $750.00
Big Hitter: banner in the outfield, logo and link for 12 months: $500.00
Fan Club: logo and link on the website for 12 months: $200.00
How can businesses donate to you? Check? Credit Card? Paypal? Are there any fees involved in the payment processing? Many sponsors are willing to add this to their donation, so you can receive the full amount of the sponsorship
Timeline of Sponsorship? Discuss the timeline from when you receive the donation to when you can fulfill the expected sponsorship benefit(s) . Make sure your sponsor’s expectations are aligned with your capabilities.
Thank your sponsors on your website: Provide space for the logos and links of your sponsors. This is a great way to say Thank You to your sponsors. It helps the sponsors connect with you, your audience and shows that the sponsor cares about their community. Additionally, this extra effort can give a boost to your (and the sponsor’s) local Google rankings.
Respond promptly and frequently: Be sure your contributors know how much you value their support.
Invite them to your organization for a special event
Send thank you notes
Create an event where your donors can showcase their products/services
Include your donors in your Annual Report, let them see how their donation is being used