In a shaky economy with cutbacks rampant, many nonprofit organzations, from school sports teams and local events to name-brand 501(c)3’s are sorely in need of outside funding and looking for ways to raise those much-needed funds.
The good news is that there’s an easy fundraising channel you may have overlooked. Whether for marketing purposes, a tax write-off or just out of the goodness of their hearts,, there are thousands of companies out there who WANT to help you out. Yes, coach of the Podunk Junior Pigeons, we want to sponsor YOU! But sometimes you make it tough for us to do so.
Here are a few tips for sponsorship success:
Make your sponsors page easy to find
Unless you’re a “big name” or a cause that’s already familiar to us, guess what? We use search engines to find sponsorship opportunities. Giving your sponsorship page (you DO have one, right?) a name like “Our Helpful Little Bluebirds” is charming but practically guarantees we will never find it.
Stick to the obvious in your page name and page title tags. For example: “Sponsorship Information”, “Our Sponsors”, “Donations Needed”, “Corporate Sponsorship”, “Volunteer Opportunities”, “Our Donors” etc. as appropriate to your needs.
Put contact information on your sponsorship page
Don’t make me go on a treasure hunt to find you. Put the name, phone and email of the appropriate contact person in a prominent place on the site – like the page where you list your sponsors or your upcoming events. Bonus points if you have a phone # AND an email or contact form. I prefer to email because sponsorship contacts change and the information may not be current – if my message unintentionally reaches the wrong person its much easier (and far less intrusive) for them to forward an email than a phone call.
That brings me to point #3:
Keep the info on your web site up-to-date.
Once it gets past the end of January, seeing last years date on your sponsorship info page makes me wonder what has changed, or if you are even looking for sponsors this year. Post your sponsorship tiers and pricing with the effective date and keep them updated. Small businesses have small budgets – knowing in advance that your lowest sponsorship tier is $5000 when we only have $500 to spend is a timesaver all-around.
New sponsorship package still in the works? Make a note to that effect and if possible give me some idea of upcoming opportunities (like your August golf outing or Fall Food Fest) even if you don’t have the specifics nailed down yet.
And please, please, please keep your sponsorship contact info current – I have had emails forwarded twice or more before miraculously reaching the right person. I’ve also sent many outreach emails that fall into a black hole. You could be throwing away much-needed contributions if my inquiry never reaches the right person.
Last but not least:
Links, not lists
If you’re going to post the names and/or logos of your donors on your web site, please link to them. It’s a little thing that means a lot.
Your visitors may want to patronize businesses that support you, but there’s zero chance they will be motivated enough to write down names and seek them out later. If I’m looking for sponsorships that in return offer marketing benefits for a client, a list of unlinked logos or names pretty much ensures that you won’t make my short list. Especially not for an SMB client with a limited budget. Do your supporters a solid by providing a straightforward link to their site.
Confused by the technical jargon? Don’t worry – it sounds much more difficult than it is. Show this page to the person who manages your web site or give us a shout out.
Looking for experienced digital marketing help for your business or organization? Contact us today!