3 Ways to Get Sponsors for Your Event

November 10, 2021

So you've got an event coming up, but you don't quite have the funds to pull it off the way your planner brain envisions it. You'll need more money! You'll need sponsors.

It's not always a simple process. Pitching sponsors might seem a lot like going on numerous job interviews, since both are about selling yourself (or your event) and making your proposal stand out over all the others. It involves persuading your crush to select you. Because, of course, you'll be the one to fulfill all of their (commercial) fantasies... or anything along those lines.

Here are a few things to think about in order to get sponsors to join on board with your event.

It should be about them

Your prospective sponsor will not give you money just because you ask politely, no matter how kind they seem to be. There's got to be something positive in it for them! Sponsors are seeking for possibilities that can help them achieve their marketing objectives. Is it possible for your event to provide certain rewards that correspond to their present marketing campaign?

Before you make contact, do some research. Find the sweet spot where your event fits within the organization's community outreach objectives, mission statement, and important areas of investment. And be sincere—making promises you can't fulfill won't help you if you can't establish a realistic relationship or channel for your event to genuinely benefit the sponsor.

Let's return to the topic of job searching. You're not going to submit the same generic cover letter or résumé to every firm that comes your way. Just as you must adapt your sponsorship proposal to match the demands of your possible sponsor, you will modify it and describe explicitly what you can give for that potential employer. The same standards apply, so make yourself and your company stand out and be relevant!

Provide a lot of information

It is critical to include all pertinent elements and data while creating the proposal. The sponsor will be looking at your event as a chance to advertise, so they'll want to see some numbers before deciding whether or not it's a good investment. Here are a few pieces of information you should have on hand:

Provide details on expected attendance as well as the demographics of people who will be there. It's ideal if your brand's target market matches that of the potential sponsor. Are there any members of your audience that could be interested in becoming consumers for your new sponsor? What can you do to make it more likely that they are, or will become, such people? Allow them to see how donating to your event will allow them to reach the proper audience.

You should also have social media engagement numbers. Demonstrate that your audience is attentive and sociable, and that your possible sponsor would profit from being the focus of all of this attention. Encourage your audience to do the same! #mutuallybeneficial

Show how you'll evaluate your event's performance and, as a result, how your sponsor will quickly see that their investment was a sensible one.

Obtain references from previous sponsors. Specific responses from prior supporters of your event will provide something to which your prospective new sponsor may connect.

It's also a good idea to be specific about the amount of money you'll need. Dissect the key portions of your budget and where the money from a possible sponsor would go.

Consider a variety of sponsorship opportunities and make the most of the non-monetary benefits.

Give your donors a variety of ways to express their gratitude. While some may have a monetary budget to work with, others may only be ready to contribute in exchange for products or services. Be adaptable! Is there a method to make the most of an in-kind contribution?

Perhaps a sponsor's gift might be used as a door prize, providing value to your audience. Maybe they'd be willing to perform a certain service at your event, which would save you money. In the end, you want to form long-term relationships with your sponsors, so have an open mind. You never know what can happen, and it might be the start of a wonderful and long-lasting connection.

If the agreement is for a monetary donation, be sure to offer sponsors a variety of sponsorship levels and make it clear what they will get at each level. Make a list of everything, even if it seems apparent to you.

If you're having a professional photographer at the event, for example, you may request that they capture the sponsor's logo or an event-attending representative in action. Then make sure the sponsor receives emailed copies of the images, which may be quite useful when reporting back to their superiors on how they spent their sponsorship funds.

For instance, maybe your sponsor runs a trade fair stand and is seeking publicity. Why not give them some real estate if your event has the space? It's a bonus for your sponsor that you don't have to pay for. You've just increased the value of your proposal without having to invest any money.

What additional ways might you provide value to your sponsor's business? Don't be scared to ask them straight questions.

Your attention to detail here can make all the difference: not only will it determine whether or not a sponsor views your event as a worthwhile investment that they want to repeat in the future, but if you use all of your resources to their full potential, you might be surprised at how much extra value you can provide to that sponsor.

At the end of the day, it's all about developing connections. Your nonprofit is searching for funds, and your prospective sponsor is likely looking for visibility and/or marketing and public relations possibilities. You may create a mutually advantageous arrangement with the correct match and a little imagination that makes both parties feel like they've won the lotto!

Thanks to Justin Wong at Business 2 Community whose reporting provided the original basis for this story.

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