Are you ready for sponsorship?
Yes, if you have:
1. Bandwidth. Sponsorship isn’t just about doing the work to sign a like-minded company. It’s also about going above and beyond to deliver the benefits promised — ensuring the sponsor’s goals are met. That takes staff/volunteer time.
2. Patience. Lead time may be from 6 to 12 months, with implementation after that.
3. Relationships. Board and staff leaders and friends must be willing to introduce you to marketing decision-makers at prospect companies.
4. Data. Prospects want to know who you represent, how many people you reach, and how you reach them.
5. Social media. Sponsors list presence in digital/social/mobile media as one of the most sought-after benefits, the top way to leverage their sponsorship, and a key metric to measure success.
Nonprofits that engage their board members in fundraising are more likely to reach their goals than those that don’t. In fact, 60 percent of organizations in which board members have helped with fundraising met their 2011 fundraising goals, according to a study from the Nonprofit Research Collaborative. That compares to just 53 percent of organizations without board involvement.
The university foundation where I serve on the board of directors is becoming more involved in supporting our fundraising staff. We’re mindfully building on our commitment to 100 percent giving (by itself an important goal and hallmark of an effective board). This past weekend, we voted to incorporate Six Simple Steps for Board Involvement in Fundraising into our new strategic plan.
How did we do it?
As chair of the development committee, I borrowed a story from a fellow consultant. My friend Chuck recalls being asked to lead his church facilities committee. Continue reading