April 17, 2018

How Can Your Board Grow Your Corporate Sponsorships?

couple watching a movie Board members can help nonprofits to grow corporate support in many ways. To develop and sustain corporate sponsorships, boards provide these three essential types of support for leading successful organizations and growing sponsorships.

  1. Provide oversight and balance to protect the nonprofit’s long-term interest.
  2. Identify opportunities.
  3. Create connections that lead to and build relationships.

This post focuses on how board members can create innovative and practical connections that you can use to build sponsorship revenue by identifying an opportunity and creating a connection.

What does this look like? Here is an example.

A Film Festival Example of Board Sponsorship Support

A film festival’s board includes members with extensive home entertainment systems who favor a particular specialty store. One member knows the owner of three local stores and has heard him talk about his marketing needs. Together, the development staff and board members develop a proposal with several sponsorship opportunities at different price points.

The board member sets an appointment. The three meet. After learning more about the owner’s needs, the film festival crafts a sponsorship package for $50,000. It includes festival advertising, plus an exclusive in-store event.

Here’s the creative part. Platinum film festival members will be invited to an intimate experience for $75 per couple, share refreshments, view a new film, learn from the film producer, and be introduced to a “cool” new piece of home entertainment equipment. Besides directly marketing to the right potential customers, the store owner gains the opportunity to meet and continue relationships with platinum members and share one of his sites, his enthusiasm, and expertise. This organization gains new funds and an enthusiastic sponsor whose interests align with its mission.

How do your board members help your nonprofit to secure corporate funding? Can you share this example with them and ask them to think about where they shop for similar activities? If you do, I’d love to know how it goes.- Karen

For more answers, check out this Nonprofit CEO Library.

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Karen Eber Davis

Karen Eber Davis provides customized advising and coaching around nonprofit strategy and board development. People leaders hire her to bring clarity to sticky situations, break through barriers that seem insurmountable, and align people for better futures. She is the author of 7 Nonprofit Income Streams and Let's Raise Nonprofit Millions Together.


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