Sponsorship Lessons from the Arts

Word About their Sponsors story

Sponsorship is becoming more important than ever, particularly for the arts. So it was rewarding to open the Sunday newspaper and see an article devoted to how arts organizations and companies are coming together in a deeper way. Since sponsorship is my sweet spot, I perked right up. Here are my key  take-aways. (Click Article A Word from Their Sponsor 07 23 17 to read the whole Star Tribune story.)

The article says:

“Companies are devoting more dollars to causes that match their missions…”

“Typically, 75,000 people will see our summer musical, so that’s just a smart business decision…”

Kim says:

Audience is king. The better the match between your audience(s) and the people your prospect wants to reach, the better your chances of sponsorship success.

The article says:

“As companies’ philanthropic portfolios shrink or shift… makes it necessary that arts groups become more accomplished and adept at truly forming partnerships, not just holding out a tin cup.”

“Companies want meaningful engagement.”

“Corporations are much more concerned about the bottom line. They want to see a return on investment – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.”

Kim says:

Sponsorship dollars come from the marketing budget – and are spent to help accomplish a marketing goal.

 

The article says:

“US Bank is not only sponsoring the artist-designed mini-golf, it’s inviting employees to play and offering discounts for cardholders…”

“It’s about… creating communities where we know our guests, our team members can thrive.”

Kim says:

The arts and education, in particular, can help sponsors meet goals about recruiting and retaining talent.

 

Does this spark new ideas for you? As always, I’m available to answer questions, or for “thinking out loud” about your sponsorship efforts.Article A Word from Their Sponsor 07 23 17Article A Word from Their Sponsor 07 23 17

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5 Signs You’re Sponsor Ready

sponsors welcomeAre 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.

 

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Say the Magic Words for More Corporate Sponsorships

In previous posts, I’ve encouraged you to ditch the “Olympic medal” mentality and focus on creating corporate sponsorship benefits that meet the prospect’s goals. Here to echo the theme – and provide two really helpful phrases you can use right away Continue reading

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A Winning Formula for Prospect Meetings

Quote

Hi, my name is Kim and I like to work with nonprofit organizations, travel, read (especially mysteries), try new … yada… yada… yada…

 Overwhelm you yet?

That might be what it sounds like when you meet with a prospective corporate funder for the very first time. The challenges your nonprofit is trying to solve are complex. (If they were easy, you would have solved them already, right?) So it’s understandable that you are tempted to paint a detailed picture of what your organization does and who it benefits.

Clear the clutter by turning that thinking upside down. Instead, try this formula for your next prospect meeting: Continue reading

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Six Simple Steps for Board Involvement in Fundraising

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

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