Demonstrating ROI for a grant or a sponsorship is critical for nonprofits to maintain and build long-term partnerships with businesses. There are some foundations that require their own lengthy reporting, but if they don’t, read on.
Whether we’re talking about a $1,000 or $100,000 sponsorship program, nonprofits should track everything and provide a follow-up report specifically tailored to the grant/sponsorship’s support. This report doesn’t have to be a massive document; it actually should be a simple 1-5 page report, or better yet, a PowerPoint. These can be thought of as mini annual reports.
Here’s what to include:
- A short thank you note from the executive director about how the grant/sponsorship made a difference to your programs/services (think testimonial)
- Include data points of how many people, programs or services their dollars supported
- Use this as another opportunity for storytelling – share a personal story from someone who benefited from your program/service (again, think testimonial and include a photo of the person if you can)
- If a partner provided employee volunteers to your organization, include photos of the employee volunteers in action and any data points of what was accomplished (e.g., ABC Corporation provided 20 volunteers to plant 100 trees at our annual park cleanup this spring)
- If a partner attended an event, include photos of the partner attendees at your event; and if they spoke at your event, include a photo of this too!
- Include screenshots of social media posts highlighting/thanking the partner for their grant/sponsorship; include analytics (reach/engagement, etc.)
- Include screenshots of any website placements, newsletter mentions or stories of the grant organization/sponsorship; include analytics (reach, comments, etc.)
- Include photos of any signage at an event or at your organization specific to the grant organization or partner
And remember, “Visuals are worth a thousand words.” We live in the age of Twitter so the shorter and to the point the more likely this report will actually be read and shared. Send the report to your partner via email (make sure it is under 10 MB) and take hard copies to your next planning meeting. Having this type of recap document should help when you request support again, plus it’s a great reminder for the partner of the ROI they received. It will also provide a great roadmap for future planning and expanding the partnership.
If you are looking for more cause marketing and community relations’ resources check out the following blog posts: