One of the biggest challenges in the world of fundraising is creating attractive sponsorship packages that will attract quality sponsors to your fundraising efforts. The reality is, companies want to know “what’s in it for them,” for supporting your cause. In exchange for giving you a financial sponsorship, companies are looking for promotion, publicity and new customers. So how can you go about creating these “perks” to catch their attention?
1. Program Ads– If you are holding an actual event, create a black and white program that will contain 1/4 page, 1/2 and full page ads. A good tip is to print more programs then attendees and find ways to hand out programs even after the event so that your sponsors get added promotion. I have seen non profits actually do a mailing of their program after the event is over. Different level sponsorships can include different size ads. The bigger the sponsorship, the bigger the ad! Create a sponsorship called “Program Sponsor” to help pay for the printing, offer this sponsor either the front or back cover as advertising space in full color. Remember to create interesting names for your sponsorships based on your event or fundraising effort. For example, golf sponsorships might have names like “Swing Sponsor,” “On the Green Sponsor,” or “Birdie Sponsor.”
2. Offer a Vendor table to sponsors – If you are holding an event, your sponsors will be interested in promoting their products or services to your attendees. Offering them a free 6 foot table to promote their company is a great way of giving back to the sponsor without money out of your charity pocket. They may even donate a portion of their sales to your non profit.
3. Offer larger sponsors the opportunity to have their company name included in several of your radio PSA’s. Because PSA’s are fairly short, its hard to get your information in along with the name of one sponsor. Offer to include a sponsors name in all PSA’s sent to a particular station.
4. Web Exposure – Offer sponsors ad space on your website, banner ads, links or Sponsor of the Month profiles on your site. You can also create an online newsletter to your supporters and offer sponsors the opportunity to have their ad in so many issues. If you are really savvy you can investigate other local websites that might be willing to donate banner ads to your sponsors!
5. Flyers – Depending on sponsor levels you can offer them ad space on any flyers promoting your event or fundraising efforts.
6. Ad space – Get ad space in local magazines or newspapers donated to your non profit to promote your efforts. Include larger sponsors logos and website in these ads. Hint: if you are able to get a magazine to donate two ad spaces, utilize one for your fundraising effort and get permission to give one away to one of your large sponsors. Companies will see the value in having their own ad in a local magazine that would regularly cost them a hefty price.
7. Price out the cost of a package of radio ads from a local station. Build this price into your higher priced sponsorships. For example, if you are targeting a $3,000 sponsorship, you might be able to designate $500 of that go towards the sponsors radio ads. Odds are the station will give you a good price on the radio ads since you are a non profit.
8. Tickets : offer sponsors tickets to your event, the bigger the sponsor, the more tickets they should get. If you have to pay for food per ticket, build this into the price of your sponsorship. Create V.I.P. badges for sponsors attending your event. Sponsors can also use tickets as give aways for employee incentives or customer appreciation.
9. Perks – Spend some time before creating your sponsorship packages getting gift certificates donated perks for your higher end sponsors. Massage certificates and restaurant certificates are always greatly appreciated by sponsors.
10. Postcard mailing – Another great to promote any fundraising effort is via a snail mail campaign. Create actual ad spaces on the postcard (on a large card, up to 3 spots can be sold). The fees for this can cover the cost of printing and postage. Postcards are best if printed in full color.
Remember, you can build almost any perk into the price of the sponsorship IF you have to pay for that particular perk. Be it a magazine ad or radio commercial, if you can not get it donated, build it into the price of the sponsorship. Make your sponsorship packages attractive and filled with great promotional opportunities and your sponsors will keep coming back for years to come.