February 9th, 2013
Don’t Let Your Sponsorship Plan Fail Due To Lack Of Thought
My views on how to pitch sponsorship were completely vindicated this week, when a client told me there was ‘nothing that leapt out’ at him from an off-the-shelf sponsorship proposal (not mine, I hasten to add!). I call it the “Atticus Finch” rule of sponsorship. If anyone has read ‘To Kill A Mockingbird”, you will recall that lawyer Atticus Finch advises that “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view – until you climb into his skin and walk around in it”.
How very true this is, in life as well as in sponsorship. Unless you tailor what you have to what a potential sponsor might want, you are not likely to succeed in your quest to bring welcome sponsorship money through the door. I would suggest that the best way for anyone to sell sponsorship is to not start to tailor things when someone makes a tentative enquiry, but to draw up a target list of potential sponsors and then write a tailored proposal for each one.
There are two other things I would advise:
1) Build your profile with PR. Perception is everything for a sponsor. If you can show how many column inches your programme generates, you will stand a much better chance of being taken seriously.
2) Think outside the box. Don’t just think: “We do this”, or “This is what we are about”, do some blue sky thinking and see how you can translate this and align it with a potential sponsors goals, by thinking in a much wider way about what it is that your scheme actually does and how you can achieve the same programme delivery, but just packaged in a very different way.
There is a sponsorship guide available from Catapult PR and also free PR of at least £600 available to charities, with a selection round adjudging requests being held every three months.
Don’t produce a proposal from which “nothing leaps out”. If you use the brain cells a bit and do some creative brainstorming, you CAN turn this around.