Building relationships with businesses that serve your area can be crucial to your fundraising success. When trying to form a long-lasting relationship with a potential sponsor, there are important things to bear in mind. Doing a significant amount of research and preparing before you approach to request sponsorship are extremely important. Here are some helpful tips for making a request for sponsorship:
• Understand the company. If you’re going to approach a local business, make sure that you understand what they do, who they are, and why they might be interested in sponsoring your charity. It’s important to find some common link.
• Prepare helpful materials in advance. Have all of your ducks in a row, so to speak, before you are approaching a potential sponsor. Your website should be updated; marketing materials should be prepared and polished. You need to make a professional positive first impression.
• Know exactly what you are going to ask for. Make sure you understand how much you are asking for and how you are willing to accept those donations.
• Have a list of benefits at your fingertips. Many organizations like to get involved with local charities, but you need to lay out the benefits that they will receive from becoming a sponsor, aside from the obvious ‘doing good’ benefits.
• Be able to overcome objections. Do a bit of brainstorming to determine what objections a business might have and be prepared with possible responses to those objections.
• Try to schedule an in person meeting. There is no replacement for that personal type of interaction. Schedule the meeting in advance and don’t take up too much of their valuable time. Be brief, easy, and direct and you will gain their respect. Be sure to follow up with some type of thank you.