Summary: In today’s Nonprofit MBA podcast guest, Ken Ungar from CHARGE speaks with Stephen Halasnik from Financing Solutions about the role of corporate sponsorship in a nonprofit’s marketing and revenue mix. They talk about what nonprofit corporate sponsorship is and why it is important. They also talk about things that are very important for your nonprofit to have such as an audience and a platform with followers necessary to get a nonprofit corporate sponsorship.
What is a nonprofit corporate sponsorship and why is it important?
Corporate sponsorship increases a nonprofit’s opportunity to enhance its impact. Besides donations and fundraising, another source of revenue for nonprofits is sponsorship. With a little bit of experience with sponsorship and some background, any nonprofit can enhance its overall revenue by obtaining a nonprofit corporate sponsorship program.
A sponsorship is a collaboration where the sponsor supports the property which is the nonprofit in exchange for recognition and promotional rights. A corporate sponsor is expecting recognition, unlike a donor who donates to a nonprofit. The relationship between a corporate sponsor and a nonprofit is very important. It is a two-way mutual relationship where the sponsor is promoting the nonprofit and the nonprofit is recognizing the sponsor so they are both helping each other achieve their goals. This is what makes sponsorship stand out and look different from advertising.
How to get a nonprofit corporate sponsorship?
It starts by asking questions to the sponsors, questions like what challenges the corporation or the company faces. What is the goal of the company? And what current events are happening in the company that a nonprofit can help with? Asking these questions is a great way to start connecting with the corporation. As a nonprofit, you have to think if there is something you can do to create exposure that would help the corporation solve its problem. As a result of helping them out, the nonprofit will achieve the resources and promotions they need in exchange for it.
Corporations and their brands
They want to gain exposure for their brand and improve the consideration for their brand. Reputation and brand opinion are also important because they want people to think good about their products and services. This is a prime conversation many nonprofits should be having with their corporate sponsor if that nonprofit wants a nonprofit corporate sponsorship
Important things for Nonprofits
The first thing a nonprofit should understand regardless of size is who their audience is. Who are you talking to with your nonprofit? This is broken down in two ways, in terms of demographics and psychographic. Demographics may include age, ethnicity, and location. These are things people can’t change about themselves. These are the customers the sponsor is trying to find.
The second step is what tools can you offer a sponsor to help them reach their goals. It can be something as simple as recognizing the sponsor on social media or including them in an email campaign. Nonprofits should make a sponsorship policy that identifies that perfect type of partner. This allows you to work with your ideal partner so everything goes smoothly.
What does a nonprofit need for corporate sponsorship?
The first way you can tell that you are ready for a nonprofit corporate sponsorship is by taking the free sponsorship readiness assessment which was made by Ken. It is a survey that a nonprofit takes to see if they are ready for a nonprofit corporate sponsorship. It shows you the categories which you do good on and the categories you need to improve on.
The second thing it depends on is the quality of your marketing. The sponsor wants to get their message across from your audience and that depends on your social media. You need an audience on social media to deliver your message to an audience as well as the marketing. For example, if you have 50 followers on Twitter that would not want to make a corporate sponsor you, you need a decent amount of followers like 5 to 10k.
How long is the process to get a nonprofit corporate sponsor?
The process would take no less than 30 days which can be 60 or 90 to really get a nonprofit corporate sponsor. You need to get your sponsorship readiness assessed with the tool Ken told you about. You also need to make sure you understand your audience and pull the tools together which includes a nice presentation.
About Ken Ungar from CHARGE
Ken Ungar is the president of CHARGE, a national sponsorship consulting firm based in Indianapolis. Since 2006, CHARGE has served clients including Honda, Acura, NASCAR, the Los Angeles Dodgers, NBA Players Association, American Motorcyclist Association, and over fifty professional athletes in the NFL, NASCAR, and INDYCAR. Ungar is a sponsorship marketing consultant, as well as an attorney with certifications including Player Contract Advisor from the NFL Players Association and Professional Certified Marketer from the American Marketing Association. He has published two books on marketing, including his most recent, Sponsorship Strategy: Practical Approaches to Powerful Sponsorships. Ungar has worked with marquis brands on sponsorships and endorsements, including Bridgestone-Firestone, Coca-Cola, Disney, General Motors, Honda, Microsoft, Nissan, Pepsi, Tag-Heuer, Toyota, Sirius-XM Satellite Radio, and more.
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