August 5, 2021

How to Grow Your Sponsorships Dollars

“We don’t even need to discuss this sponsorship,” the  CFO said. “After all, it brings us three to four times its cost.” A CEO and CFO were reviewing their previous year’s sponsorship commitments.  The no-discussion sponsorship was for a year-long nonprofit relationship that cost $50,000.

The nonprofit offered this sponsor its four distinct opportunities that reduced its marketing expenses. The sponsorship and other benefits of being connected to the nonprofit make renewals nearly automatic for many of its sponsors.

Your nonprofit may not offer multi-event sponsorships packages, but to grow your sponsorship dollars, you, like this nonprofit, must provide value to your sponsors. To help you grow your income opportunities, this article explores the four value components that help nonprofits raise billions in revenue annually.

How Sponsorship Value Helps You to Create Income

1. Ensure that your value exceeds the fee or donation requested.

At a minimum, the value you provide should equal the sponsorship’s cost. To make the opportunity irresistible, provide value above it. For instance, if you request a $1,000 sponsorship, show how the sponsorship is worth three to four times that amount, as illustrated.

Why is so much value necessary? Not everyone will be able to take advantage of all of what you offer, nor in many cases do they care about some aspects of it.
Do you need an example of what that might look like? Read How Can Your Board Help You to Win Corporate Sponsorships? You’ll discover how a board member saw an opportunity to provide value, and that lead to a sponsorship that delivered lots of value.

2. Be sure your customer or donor desires the value.

Yesterday a CEO proudly told me that her nonprofit could turn a $2,000 donation into $62,000 worth of services for disabled people. His statement offers an excellent example of a value that exceeds a gift. However, to obtain sponsorship income, she must find sponsors who value those services. Unless your prospective sponsors value what you offer, you won’t generate revenue. For instance, the CFO valued their sponsorship because he estimated that the sponsorship reduced its marketing expense equal to three times the fee.

3. Make your offer distinctive.

Offer items or services that your sponsors desire but can’t obtain, find challenging to obtain, or that you can do better. Do this by offering services, experiences, or products based on your nonprofit’s expertise. A sponsorship package offer behind-the-scenes tours. Another, a chance to learn cutting-edge breakthroughs in the health arena. A third nonprofit holds top donor events at a sponsors facility.  You might offer your sponsors insider tours, the chance to meet visiting celebrities, and personalized video thank you notes from children using your services that they can share in their waiting area.

Whatever you offer, don’t forget that it must be both distinctive and valuable to your sponsor–not you. Why is that important? You might be overlooking an opportunity. A blood bank realized that people were interested in learning what happens after they donate blood, which was routine to staff.

4. Cement your value with relationships.

So far, you’ve learned to provide desirable value based on your nonprofit’s expertise. To boost your value, add one more element: relationships, which is the chance to know and meet and work with great people. The nonprofit sponsorship package that was an automatic renewal offered interactive experiences, including workshops, an excellence award, and roundtables–all places where the sponsor and their employees were welcome to attend.  These experiences allowed the sponsor to forge new and extended relationships.

To obtain more income and provide more value, use these four guidelines:

  • Make the amount that the sponsor will receive generous for the income requested.
  • Base the value on your prospective sponsors’ perceptions of its worth
  • Make your offers exclusive.
  • Cement the value with opportunities to form in-depth relationships.

Use this formula to grow your sponsorship income. To provide more income, provide more value. How will you do it? Have questions? Email Karen.

More on Obtaining Sponsorship Revenue

How to Succeed Getting Nonprofit Corporate Sponsors

Regain Your Lapsed and Waffling Sponsors

How Can You Increase Your Sponsors’ ROI?

Your Donors, Sponsors, and Funders Can You Keep Them?

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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