Corporate sponsorship isn’t just for nonprofit organizations. Are you looking to diversify your business or brands financials? Here are some steps to attract corporate sponsors for your small business or brand including articulating your value, preparing a strong proposal, approaching a sponsor and ultimately persuading them to continue support.
- Be able to explain your company’s value proposition. What benefit does it provide to customers in terms of cost savings, increased effectiveness, etc.?
- Do your research and know something about your potential sponsor’s history, vision, and mission, goals and funding criteria. You can often get a sense of how sponsors have supported other businesses by looking at their recent articles, press releases, and events.
- Make a good business pitch that includes: an overview of your history and track record; your product or service and its value to the consumer; a description of the overall market and a detailed description of your target market; the strengths and weaknesses of your key competitors and how you size up against them; your management team and advisors; an accurate picture of your current and future financials; and a clear, persuasive explanation about why your business offers an opportunity for a solid return on their sponsorship.
- Meet in person. Have a connector introduce you to your prospect, arrange and attend the meeting with you. During the meeting, ask open-ended questions about your sponsor’s goals and funding priorities and then listen.
- Be clear about what you want. Use phrases such as: “Here’s how you can partner with our organization,” or “Ideally, you could…” and then insert the action you want them to take.
- Know the next steps and when you should expect to hear back from the sponsor.
- Immediately send a short thank you note that recaps the mutual benefits you proposed. Whether or not you get funding, keep your prospect informed of your work and strengthen your chance of getting their support in the future. Note: Ask for permission and make sure you are not violating email spam laws.