Many local sporting and community groups spend a lot of time wondering how to get sponsors. It’s an important consideration given that these groups often rely on the funding from sponsors for day to day running of their organisation.
Before worrying about how to get sponsors, these groups would be better suited first learning about sponsorship.
What is sponsorship?
First things first, what is sponsorship not? Sponsorship is not a donation. If you are wondering how to get sponsors or how to keep sponsors this point could be a key factor. When you are worried about how to get sponsors you need to remember that you are not just looking for people to make a donation. (If you do just want donations be clear about this.) You are not just giving money to a sporting group, community group or event with the expectation of nothing in return. That is a donation. There’s nothing wrong with donating money to a sporting group or community group but this is not what sponsorship is. if you are seeking sponsors, you have to remember that a potential sponsor expects something in return. How to get sponsors may be as simple as changing your sponsorship prospectus to be more clear to potential sponsors about what they can gain from sponsoring your group. Remember to tailor your solution by explaining what is in it for them.
Here are some details of what sponsorship is and what it entails.
Sponsorship is an investment – When a business sponsors your group or event they are making an investment. Like all investors, when they put money in they expect a return and, more often than not, they would expect that this return is larger than their initial investment. As such, if you are the group that is receiving this sponsorship you have an obligation to spend some time helping to ensure that the sponsored organisation is receiving some value for money and a return from their investment.
Sponsorship is a two way relationship – Successful sponsorship is a two-way arrangement and requires regular communications. There is a relationship between the sponsor and the sponsored organisation that needs to be nourished. Once you have found a sponsor if you work towards fostering the relationship with your sponsors it will be much easier to keep them and keeping sponsors happy requires much less work than having to constantly go out and find new sponsors.
Sponsorship is more than just ticking boxes on a checklist to make sure you’ve fulfilled a sponsorship agreement – A sponsor and a sponsored group will more often than not have a sponsorship agreement. (If you don’t have one you need to get one drawn up. Having a sponsorship proposal is the first step in how to get sponsors.) Whilst it is vitally important for a sponsored group to ensure the sponsor receives everything detailed in the agreement a successful sponsorship arrangement does not end here. There is some significant responsibility on the sponsoring business to ensure they leverage their sponsorship opportunity and work to achieve its success. Handing over money to a sporting or community group doesn’t guarantee you that your sponsorship will be a success. You have to do some work. Also, the sponsored group should be consistently looking at ways to value add to a sponsorship package (within reason) to keep a sponsor happy. As mentioned, a happy sponsor is one that is much easier to keep.
If you are a business looking for advice on how to best leverage sponsorship opportunities or if you are a group looking at ways for how to get sponsors we are here to help.