Ever wonder if the pursuit of sponsorship makes sense for your organization or cause? In this climate, burning precious time and energy selling sponsorships may or may not be for you. How do you decide? To help you out, I’ve created this punch list. It’s a reality check, really. Gather a few colleagues and ask away. If there are more positives than negatives–sally forth and conquer. There are still deals to be had.
1. Think about your organization’s reach. Do you have an established marketing effort? Is your organization Web 2.0 savvy like this http://www.pledgetoendhunger.com/? Because if your are a good marketer, you can also be a great partner to a corporate sponsor.
2. Do you know who’s who? What do you know about your organization’s demographics? Have you collected recent information on who participates and why? Where they live? How far they drive to participate? Whether they are repeat users? Whether they are young families, empty-nesters, or teens? Your demographics dictate the sponsor categories on which you should focus your efforts and the ones you shouldn’t waste time and energy on.
3. Have you worked with sponsors before? Do you have any testimonials from a corporate executive about the value of your organization to its community of users? Do you feature those in press kits and other marketing materials for the organization?
4. What is the competitive environment like? Look around. Are other organizations of your organization’s type and in its region getting sponsorships?
5. Got prospects? Create a list of companies headquartered in your area. What do they produce, and to whom do they sell? Are there cross-promotions you can work up that will help them sell to one of your existing sponsors or team up with an existing sponsor?
6. Are you a member of civic organizations made up of businesspeople, so that you can gain insight and entrée into the business community?
7. Is there an entrepreneurial spirit in your organization? Are new ideas welcomed, and do they receive thoughtful consideration? Have other commercial or revenue-generating initiatives been realized over the last five years?