Building better non-profit sponsorship packages

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February 15, 2021
by Lori Shecter

Building better non-profit sponsorship packages is an art that can be developed by your organization.

Whether or not your non-profit budget is built on sponsorships, grants or donations, you can build better non-profit sponsorship packages that can increase the likelihood of having a business become involved in your organization. The most important part of this, and often the most difficult, is targeting correctly.  

Finding a corporate sponsor.

Given time and money, everything is possible, but sending out mass emails with your sponsorship levels won’t necessarily give you the high-income sponsors that you would love to have. You need to identify those sponsors whose ideas, mission or that “something” ties your mission to their identity. For example, Reach Out and Read received sponsorship from Boise Paper. Make sense? YES! How do you find that corporate sponsor? First, let’s identify the types of potential businesses there are:

Types of sponsors.

  1. Local businesses
  2. Regional businesses
  3. National businesses

Research similar non-profits in your sector.  

For example, focus on ed-tech? Check out  Digital Harbor. Many of the companies listed on this page are Fortune 500s with dollars to spread among many NP’s. Focus on Homelessness? Check out Warren Village.

Use Google to research.

Here’re links to several websites that show large companies that donate to non-profits.  I found them by Googling for this article.

List 1: Double the Donation
List 2: Fundly Blog Retailers 
List 3: Fortune’s Most Charitable Companies

Use Shareway’s Cool Tool

Check out this list on Shareway – see if any of those companies can help you!

Identify how your organization and sponsors’ needs overlap.

The motivation for a business to become involved with your non-profit varies based on their size (are they local, regional or national.) Each sponsor wants their potential customers to feel good that they are doing good. The concept of mission-based marketing has been around for a long time. The new buzz word is “Purpose Led Marketing“.  But no matter how philanthropic you would like to believe sponsors are, money earmarked for non-profit sponsorships are frequently tied back to a bigger marketing goal. Similar to your mission, sponsors have marketing goals that align with sales goals. I.E. $X spent on advertising need to tie back to Y% increase in sales, or awareness of their brand. The point is to figure out the intersection that works for both your organization and the sponsor. 

Designing a sponsorship package

Powerful sponsorship packages are NOT about offering a logo on a tee shirt or a table of 10 to your gala. They come about by understanding why the sponsor may support you. They want to be able to explain and advertise to their target audience why they are a proud supporter of your mission. Getting truly impactful sponsorship dollars requires investigation into who their target is, what their marketing message is, and understanding how your worlds overlap.  Listen to what they are looking for from your organization. It may not be what you expect. Investigation and conversations are what will help you identify the best way your partnership can align. I’ve gone into corporations and found sometimes the reason they want to sponsor an event is internal marketing. They want something their employees can be proud of and get involved in. Maybe they don’t want to be called on stage and speak about their corporation’s participation at your event. It could be that they want you to come in for an employee meeting and give an award to staff or to the company there. 

Finding the person to contact

Marketing is the first place to start, but not always the place to end. After spending the first part of my career advertising sales, and raising over $150 million in sponsorship dollars, finding the right person is the biggest challenge. Now, for this new type of marketing, there are new titles to research above and beyond marketing director such as:

  • VP of CSR and Sustainability
  • VP of corporate responsibility (Manager, Director of)
  • Director of Sustainability
  • Manager of Culture and Charitable Giving

You can use Google or LinkedIn Sales Navigator to track down people with those job titles.  No one said this was going to be easy, but in the end, finding the right sponsor is the key to achieving your goals.  We Are Immediate offers expert consulting for finding the right sponsors for your organization and creating sponsorship packages.  Please contact me directly to get more information:

I am hopeful that this article on building better non-profit sponsorship packages helps you in your fund-raising goals.  We’d love to hear your opinion!

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