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Tips for Securing Sponsors for Nonprofit Events

event 21Nonprofits thrive on donations, which are often crucial dollars that can determine how successful a nonprofit organization is. One key way to secure those much-needed funds is to host an event sponsored by corporate partners.

Businesses value social responsibility, and so do their consumers. If consumers view your business as socially aware and responsible, you may see an increase in customer loyalty, which ultimately affects the bottom line.

When nonprofits turn to corporations for charity sponsorships, it’s a win-win for both organizations. The nonprofit receives the necessary funds, and the corporation gets greater brand loyalty. In addition, reaching out to corporations for sponsorships can lead to extra supplies or even more attendees at your event, as well as the corporation earning exposure and recognition as a generous business.

But this all begs the question: How can nonprofits find these invaluable corporations to sponsor their event? Two words: online forms. These easy-to-use tools make the process of acquiring sponsors simple and painless.

Below are 4 ways to use online forms to help land sponsors for an upcoming event:

1. Market your event.
Display a webpage on your site that details the event so it can be promoted on relevant channels like social media, email, or your company blog. That way, you can spike interest in your event with attendees as well as corporate sponsors.

On that same page, include a section that specifically targets prospective charity sponsors. You can list out the previous corporate sponsors and include positive quotes from those organizations about their experience with your nonprofit. Be sure to promote that content on all social channels—reading about other corporate sponsors’ involvement with your organization might be the extra push that a potential sponsor needs.

Include a sponsor or partner interest form that companies can submit if they’re interested in more information about sponsoring your event. Add the form directly onto your nonprofit’s Facebook page to expand your reach and visibility.

2. Contact corporations directly.
Think about the types of people you are trying to reach with your event and consider the people your organization or event serves. Identifying their demographics, where they live, and what they like to do will help to create a strong target audience. This audience will, in turn, help you evaluate what kinds of businesses would be best to reach out to regarding sponsorships. If your event is a road race, a sporting goods store might be interested in serving the people who will attend the race. Once again, the sponsor earns brand awareness, and the nonprofit gets assistance running its event.

Consider reviewing corporations’ sites to see if they have sponsor request forms or fundraiser registration forms. This is a quick way to let them know you are interested in working with them at your event.

3. Set up sponsorship levels and promotions.
Once you have that list of sponsors, it’s time to finalize the sponsorship details. Sponsorship levels need to be set up so sponsors can contribute at the level that makes them the most comfortable.

Smaller businesses might not be able to give funds in the same way that a larger corporation would, so setting sponsorship levels creates a greater chance for a wider variety of organizations at differing financial levels to participate in your event.

Also decide what type of promotion each sponsor will receive:

  • Will they all get a logo on the event collateral?

  • Will they get a corporate table or tent on the day of the event?

  • Will the top-tier sponsors receive more prominent publicity than lower-level sponsors?

  • These are the questions that need to be answered in order to give sponsors the appropriate amount of perks to sweeten their partnership.

    Seal the deal by sending each sponsor a charity sponsorship agreement form. This form can confirm the sponsorship levels mentioned previously, be used to upload a logo, or even allow sponsors to electronically sign off on the terms and conditions. The form can also be used for donations if it has security measures and is connected to a payment processor.

    4. Keep in touch with sponsors.
    Keeping the lines of communication open between you and your sponsors is key—before, during, and after your event. Add all sponsors to your email list so they receive updates about future events, both before and after they happen.

    At the event booth, have tablets with online forms for attendees to sign up for more information or indicate sponsorship interest for events in the future.

    Also, send sponsors a follow-up survey after the event to determine if they were happy with their experience. Include a link at the bottom to a sponsorship renewal form for next year’s event. Doing so will not only keep you relevant to that business, but it could also allow you to get a head start on securing funds for next time.

    Ashley Walsh, Director of Marketing for Formstack has worked in multiple areas of the B2B marketing sector and is currently the Director of Marketing for Formstack, an online form building solution based in Indianapolis.

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