Finding funding and sponsorships is about building relationships and
presenting opportunities. There is no magic database or quick an easy way to do this.
First and foremost… make sure your non-profit has a business plan. This is paramount to getting support. Is your website and marketing collateral updated? If you are just doing a fundraiser or event, an event plan and outline should be in place with your goals, marketing plan etc…
Now you can begin your approach.
1. Determine who your audience is
Sending “blind” proposals usually does not work well. Knowing your audience helps you figure out who to solicit.
2. Set sponsorship levels
Make sure the benefits at each level are distinct and enticing enough to encourage previous sponsors to move up a level.
3. Make lots of phone calls
The most time-consuming-but ultimately money-saving-step: Get on the phone and pitch your event as a great marketing opportunity.
4. Send proposal letters
It’s important that sponsors feel you are asking money specifically from their company, and they’re not just part of a massive group.
5. Follow up
Don’t be afraid to call potential sponsors to find out their thoughts on sponsorship.
6. Cultivate your relationships with sponsors
Don’t drop your sponsors once they’ve agreed to send you money.
7. Cultivate your relationships with non-sponsors
Perhaps people who weren’t able to sponsor may be interested in attending your event.
8. Give your sponsors plenty of publicity
Publicity is why your sponsors signed on…so make sure they get it!
9. Cultivate relationships with sponsors, Part II
Don’t drop your sponsors after the event.
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