Stop Chasing Short-term Corporate Sponsorship Dollars

Corporate Dollars & Sponsorships Graphic | GroundFloor MediaLet’s be honest, chasing corporate sponsorships or charitable donations is a challenging job for both the nonprofit partner and the corporate partner. Wouldn’t it be nice to secure long-term partnerships that allow for building relationships, additional time for strategic planning, the ability to execute events and/or programs AND generate measurable results? YES!

I love this quote by Stephen Kinzer, “Alliances and partnerships produce stability when they reflect realities and interests.” Getting the stars to align is no small task. However, here are a few tips for moving things in the right direction for corporate giving teams and nonprofit partners:

Tips for Corporate Giving Teams

  • Align partnerships based on your organization’s community giving pillars, such as health and wellness, education, leadership, arts, sports or environmental stewardship
    • Pet projects may need to go back to the owner or rolled into a matching
      gift program
  • Focus corporate investments by establishing 3-year partnerships with key community partners to create a trusting, working relationship
    • This may mean reviewing and paring down the number of partners you currently support. Less is more, especially if you don’t have a large team to fully
      execute deliverables
  • Identify internal champions from your organization’s leadership team to help motivate employees and support partner initiatives
  • Hold quarterly meetings with long-term partners to review challenges and successes, discuss ROI and expand/adjust the giving programs as needed
  • Determine board and committee opportunities with long-term corporate partnerships; facilitate representatives to serve on boards and committees
  • Invite long-term nonprofit partners to participate in an employee town hall or annual meeting to share more about their organization, program needs and volunteer opportunities
  • Develop an employee incentive program and assign a manager to champion the program
  • Celebrate successes through manager meetings, social media, internal newsletters, website and wherever else employees gather on or offline

Tips for Nonprofit Partners

  • Research and prepare a long-term partnership program that aligns with the corporate partner’s pillars. It’s critical to think beyond the annual gala event and instead focus on how you can stretch the partner’s brand and messaging throughout the year
  • Determine board and committee opportunities for your organization and encourage the corporate partner to join
  • Share successes in person, preferably via a presentation to a large employee group to help motivate employees for ongoing support and volunteer opportunities
  • Include the corporate partner in your marketing efforts. No and low-cost ideas include:
    • Post quarterly social media posts thanking the corporate partner for their support with photos of volunteer initiatives or event participation; tag the partner and use appropriate hashtags
    • Highlight a volunteer or board/committee member in your newsletter or include a short guest editorial about why the corporate partner is involved with
      your organization
    • Include a quote from the corporate partner in your press releases; use the quote on your website
  • Invite the corporate partner to other events throughout the year without asking for additional dollars; provide incentive tickets for volunteers
  • Track everything and provide ongoing, proactive reports that are specific to the corporate partner’s support.

Let’s add to these lists! Please share your thoughts and ideas. And if you are looking for more cause marketing and community relations’ resources check out the following blogs:

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