Attracting corporate sponsorship for your event can significantly increase your fundraising ability. Many businesses have a corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative that encourages them to get involved in their communities and to consider their business decisions’ social and environmental impacts. One common way to do that is by providing sponsorships for charity events.
So, how do you get those corporate sponsorships to benefit your charity event? Keep reading to find helpful tips.
What sort of charity event are you holding?
A charity event has two primary objectives: raising awareness about a cause or issue and raising funds. Event creators typically focus on one or the other. Before contacting potential corporate sponsors, it’s a good idea to decide on what type of event you’re hosting. Sponsors like to know how charities will use their money.
Don’t forget to remind potential sponsors about the tax benefits they can receive for their charitable donations, including sponsoring your event.
What is a corporate sponsor?
A corporate sponsor is a business or organization that supports your charity event. The amount and type of support vary and they can donate funds, time, or other resources. Some examples of what a corporate sponsor may provide include the following:
- One-off donation
- 1:1 donation matching
- Resources like chairs, flyers, or a venue
- Company volunteers
- Donating products or services to raise money
It’s also not uncommon for more prominent sponsors to work together to ensure the charity event has everything necessary for its success.
Contacting potential sponsors
Asking for corporate sponsorship for charity is often tricky. Most organizations receive several requests throughout the year; your goal is to make your upcoming charitable event stand out and contact the right organizations.
How do you identify potential corporate sponsors?
Don’t start by randomly emailing multiple organizations — instead, list potential sponsors and go from there. Every organization on the list may not be an ideal fit for your event, but the list allows you to weed out the businesses that aren’t suitable for sponsorship. It also helps ensure you don’t miss an organization that can become a major sponsor.
Here are a few ideas of where to start looking for potential corporate sponsors:
- Local businesses that have a similar goal to your charity
- Firms that can offer you a service/resource that is needed for your event
- Companies that have previously sponsored similar events
Don’t be afraid to look for sponsors close to home, especially if your charity event benefits the local community.
When should you begin contacting corporate sponsors for your charity event?
You want to give corporate sponsors plenty of time to decide if they’re a match for your charitable event. It’s a good idea to start contacting potential sponsors about four months in advance, which gives them plenty of time to plan their budgets and give you a response.
What are the steps to contacting potential corporate sponsors?
You can set up an appointment for a corporation CEO or CFO, but unless you are a well-known name in the event and fundraising industry, busy corporation heads may pass on meeting with you.
You’re more likely to receive a positive response when you follow these steps to contact a potential corporate sponsor:
- Identify the sponsorship contact at the organization. Most corporations have an employee or department dedicated to supporting the community and other charitable causes. These are the individuals you want to contact.
- Create an opportunity to discuss your event. If you can’t meet the sponsorship contact in person, arrange a personal phone call. You may need to set the appointment with their assistant, but it also ensures you have the contact’s undivided attention.
- Personalize your pitch. Plan your pitch to match their level of support. For example, some organizations are better suited for supplies, while others can provide financial or support staff resources.
- Send emails with all of the details. It doesn’t matter if a corporate sponsor provides supplies or finances — they’ll want to know all the details. Your email should therefore include all the information about your charitable event.
- Expect to send a follow-up email. Corporations may want to help sponsor your event, but if they’re especially busy, be prepared to circle back with a follow-up email.
- Keep the sponsors updated right before the event date and afterward. Your sponsors like knowing how their resources are being used, so keep them updated with regular emails. Clear and thorough communication can help ensure they are willing to sponsor another event, too.
- Provide post–event analysis to keep them onside for the next event. It’s a good idea to let the sponsors know how the event went. You don’t need to send the post-analysis within hours of the event ending, but do send the follow-up email within a few days.
Developing your sponsorship pitch deck
Your sponsorship pitch needs to grab potential corporate sponsors’ attention. The goal is to stand out from the other requests. Here are a few tips on how to develop a successful sponsorship pitch:
- Always include details about your charity event. What group, cause, or issue are you supporting? Your potential sponsors will want to know if it fits with their brand.
- The demographics of your attendees are something else you want to include in your sales pitch. Most prefer sponsoring events that match their customers’ age groups and target audiences. Remember, your charitable event is also an advertising opportunity for corporate sponsors!
- Including images from previous events is a great way to get potential sponsors’ attention. Visuals can be powerful tools.
- Don’t forget to include data and analytics from your previous events. You are reassuring sponsors your charity will put their support to good use and showing that you’re capable of hosting successful charitable events.
- Always provide potential sponsors with details on the event’s website. You also want to include access to social media profiles and your contact information.
Sponsorship packages for your charity event
Creating sponsorship packages for potential donors is an effective way to attract attention to your event. It can also encourage sponsors to donate more than they are initially planning.
Another way to incorporate sponsorship packages is by creating various tiers. You can have silver, gold, and platinum tiers, each requiring a more significant donation. The multiple tiers also help ensure small and large businesses can participate.
An example of sponsorship tiers includes offering naming rights to the event — think of sporting events where there’s often a sponsor’s name headlining. If you don’t want to rename the event, consider using the sponsor’s name on a booth instead.
Working with your corporate sponsors
Once you have your sponsors locked in, it doesn’t mean you should stop communicating with them. You want to include your sponsors in all future communications about the event and let others know who they are.
Marketing campaigns and social media posts should contain the names of your sponsors. It’s also a good idea to allow sponsors to include your event on their websites. This helps build their community profile while also generating interest in your event.
Don’t forget to give your sponsors free or reduced-priced tickets to the charity event; after all, they are part of your success!
Social media collaboration
Social media is a valuable tool for multiple reasons. You can use it for advertising your event and getting your sponsors to do the same. Having your event appear on various online sites generates interest and raises awareness about your cause or issue.
Corporations often have social media influencers with thousands of followers. Encouraging your sponsors to enlist their services is another way you can generate interest in the charity event.
After the event
Even though the event is over, don’t lose touch with your sponsors. Sending an email detailing the event’s success reassures sponsors their donations are worth the time and effort. You can even reach out to organizations that declined sponsorship to ask them to support your next charitable event.
Analyze and share your data
Analyzing your data after the event will help you plan the next one. Even if everything ran smoothly, there could still be areas where improvements can be made.
Sharing the data with your sponsors does more than reassure them — it can also provide them with a new customer base. Sharing attendee information, while following privacy laws, is often one of the motivating factors behind your sponsors’ support. Eventbrite makes it easy to share event data with our suite of tools.
Now you’re ready to get corporate sponsors for your charity event
You now have the information to secure corporate sponsors for your charity event, but you’ll still need some helpful tools.
Eventbrite has a host of tools for every type of charity event. We can also assist with attracting corporate sponsorships. See how Eventbrite can put your event on the right track.