nonprofit-sponsorship-packages

How To Implement Sponsorship Packages for Your Nonprofit in 5 Steps

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Julian

For a nonprofit organization, finding new streams of revenue is a constant activity. One potential method is with corporate sponsorship. Corporate sponsors not only amplify your bottom line throughout the fiscal year, they also increase general support for your cause. 

You can attract corporate sponsors of all sizes by offering different sponsorship packages. In this guide, we share more about how these types of sponsorships work to help you create engaging and effective packages for your own nonprofit. 

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What Are Nonprofit Sponsorship Packages?

Most corporations are constantly on the lookout for opportunities to support charitable causes, as their customers like knowing that they care about their communities. However, instead of sitting back and waiting for these companies to reach out to you, take the initiative to contact them first. A corporate sponsorship package is the way to do this. 

nonprofit-sponsorship-packages-determine-goalsTristan is ready to learn all about sponsorship packages!

At a high level, this package gives an overview of your mission and goals. Getting into the details, it typically starts with a personalized cover letter and goes into information about your organizational mission, contact information, and sponsorship levels. It also explains what you can offer in exchange for their financial support. 

In addition to — or instead of — asking for financial aid, you can also offer an in-kind sponsorship or non-monetary sponsorship. With these types of sponsorships, the donor provides goods or services instead of cash.

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Step 1: Determine Your Goals

As with any fundraising endeavor, the first order of business is to create clear goals. These should define your purpose in soliciting sponsors and help measure your progress. There are two types of goals to focus on when you are determining the best companies to approach for sponsorship: financial goals and perceptual goals. 

Financial Goals

Drafting your financial goals starts by deciding how much of your nonprofit revenue you want to come from corporate sponsors. Work with your finance team to make this decision. If you have used corporate sponsorships in the past, this information can help guide you. If your organization is just starting out, you can reach out to nonprofits with a similar scope to yours and ask for advice. 

Perceptual Goals

Perceptual goals are a bit harder to define, but they are just as important as financial goals. Essentially, perceptual goals state how you want the public to view — or perceive — your nonprofit. You must find corporate sponsors that help you reach these goals. 

Start by focusing on your organization’s mission. Then, create a list of companies (or types of companies) that you feel align well with your overall brand. You should also create a list of companies that would not be representative of your values and demographics. This list will save you the trouble of reaching out to companies you would never want to partner with. 

Good optics are essential when it comes to partnerships — you want to avoid losing donors because of misaligned messaging. For example, if your nonprofit works to save ocean wildlife, you should not be sponsored by a corporation that is known for adding to ocean pollution. 

Pro Tip: When you are setting your goals, remember to include companies of all sizes. Oftentimes, small local businesses are even more eager to forge charitable partnerships because they see first-hand how nonprofits help their communities. Snatching up several smaller corporate sponsorships can add up, so do not disregard them. 

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Step 2: Choose Your Outreach Method

Now it is time to talk about how to ask for sponsorship. Outreach refers to how you solicit corporations for sponsorships. You can do this in one of several ways:

  • Email: Use this option as an introduction to your nonprofit to get your name on the corporation’s radar. 

  • Over the phone: A more personal way to invite sponsorship, this method allows you to have a one-on-one conversation with the potential sponsor. Use this option to introduce your mission and answer any of their questions.

  • In person: Though time-consuming, in-person contact is by far the most effective method. It gives you the opportunity to make eye contact, use personal persuasion, and answer any questions. 

The method you choose depends on both you and the corporation. Many companies prefer in-person communication. However, this method may not be feasible for small or start-up nonprofits, as traveling to their offices requires money, time, and staff. 

The second best option is a phone call, but it may backfire, as it can be hard to get the right person on the phone. Email is a solid third option, but you should only use it as a starting point for an over-the-phone or in-person follow-up. 

But what do these solicitations look like? Here are some best practices for crafting these types of requests:

  • Use storytelling: Tap into emotion by sharing a brief story or two that brings home the importance of your mission. 

  • Be concise: This may seem antithetical to the first point, but finding the happy medium between sharing and simplicity is what will engage your audience. 

  • Use data: What value does your nonprofit provide? Share stats, trends, and other numbers that highlight just how your organization helps the community. 

  • Include contact information: There is no point in a beautifully presented sponsorship package if the prospect has no way to contact you. Make sure that you include the name of your point person along with one or two ways to contact them.

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Step 3: Design Your Package Media

Even if you go the in-person or over-the-phone route, you want to leave the company representative with something to look at and refer back to once you leave. That way, they can make an informed decision about whether to partner with you. Therefore, with all three outreach methods, you need an engaging presentation. 

nonprofit-sponsorship-packages-pick-your-numbersSadie is brainstorming on how to design her presentation.

To create compelling visuals and copy, tap into your employee pool. Who do you have on staff — or even as volunteers — who can write messages, create infographics, or take photos? Now is the time to use their help to create a presentation that:

  • Has mission-centric copy

  • Shares data to highlight your value

  • Uses images of your beneficiaries to create a personal touch

Pro Tip: Make an impact by sharing data through infographics. With infographics, you can fit a vast amount of information in a small space. You have literally seconds to capture the reader’s attention, so this quick visual can be a game-changer. 

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Step 4: Pick Your Numbers

Next, your team needs to decide how to break down your sponsorship tiers. Decide how much to charge for each one — enough support to make an impact on your bottom line but also enough range to allow different levels of buy-in. Work closely with your finance team on this step. 

Once you have the basic package prices down, it is time to decide what perks or benefits you will offer for each level. This can include the following:

  • Recognition at events or on social media

  • Exclusive updates

  • Meeting time with leadership

  • Invitations to VIP donor events

  • Branded gifts

  • Tax deductions

The last step here is to give the sponsorship levels inspiring names. These will help prospects easily differentiate between them. 

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Step 5: Create Your Standard Operating Procedures

Finally, you need to take your finished product and streamline your solicitation process. Write down your standard operating procedures so that every staff member knows how to reach out to a company if they are asked to do so. 

nonprofit-sponsorship-packages-final-thoughtsEmily is feeling prepared to implement sponsorship packages at her nonprofit!

Your detailed instructions can even include templates. However, encourage your employees to personalize these templates, as this gives you the best possible chance of attracting sponsors.

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Final Thoughts 

Corporate sponsorship is a valuable avenue for sustaining a steady revenue stream. By creating an effective sponsorship package to solicit these large donors, you can give your nonprofit a better chance of receiving this significant financial boost. 

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FAQ

💡What is a nonprofit sponsorship package?

A nonprofit uses a sponsorship package to solicit a sponsorship from a corporation. The package typically includes a cover letter, mission overview, and tier breakdown. Find out more. 

🔑 How do you design a nonprofit sponsorship package?

Creating a nonprofit sponsorship package includes determining your goals, choosing your outreach method, designing your package media, picking your numbers, and drafting your standard operating procedures. Find out more. 

📝 Why should organizations delineate financial and perceptual goals?

Financial and perceptual goals are different but equally important categories. Financial goals are important for an obvious reason: ensuring that you get enough funding. However, perceptual goals keep your values at the forefront of you mind when you are considering who to seek sponsorship from. Find out more.

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Julian
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