How to Land Awesome Sponsors for Your Nonprofit Event

Written by Ashley Walsh on June 7, 2016

Posted in Event Planning, Nonprofits

Nonprofits are always seeking more donations to help their cause. And one way to get a major boost in funds is to host an event and secure corporate sponsorships.

Social responsibility has become an important value for businesses, and consumers love to support caring companies. This means it’s a great time for nonprofits to start looking to corporations for charity sponsorship.  

Nonprofit sponsorship is a beneficial endeavor for both charity and sponsor. The nonprofit organization gets event funds (and/or supplies) and potentially more attendees. And the sponsor gets extra exposure or brand marketing and recognition as a giving business.

So how do you find and engage charity sponsors for your events? Believe it or not, it’s easier than you may think. And online forms can play a big role!

If you work for a nonprofit and are looking to land awesome sponsors for your next event, read on! We’ll discuss how you can make this happen with relative ease (and a few effective nonprofit forms).

Market Your Event

Start by ensuring your event is properly marketed. Create a page on your website that has all the event details and can be promoted via social media, emails, your blog, and other relevant channels. This page can help you get potential attendees to register for your event as well as help you secure corporate sponsors.

You should include a section on the page that specifically targets prospective charity sponsors. If you’ve worked with corporate sponsors in the past, it’s great to include some positive testimonials from those businesses in your promotional materials. And don’t forget to include a sponsor or partner interest form that companies can submit if they are interested in getting more information about sponsoring your event. You can even embed this form directly on your Facebook page to expand your reach.

Contact Corporations Directly

Next, think about the people your organization or event serves—including their demographics, interests or hobbies, and locations. Then consider what kinds of businesses would be interested in serving these same people. For example, if you’re hosting a road race, a sporting goods store would likely be interested in serving the active community that attends your event.

Once you have a strong list of businesses that might share your target audiences, reach out to them directly via phone, email, social sites, or all of the above. Some corporations even have sponsor request forms or fundraiser registration forms on their sites so you can easily let them know you are interested in working with them for your event.

Set Up Clear Sponsorship Levels and Promotions

Once you have a list of definite sponsors, it’s time to nail down the sponsorship details. To start, you might want to set up sponsorship levels so your sponsors can contribute at a level that feels comfortable to them. A smaller business might not be able to donate as much as a large corporation, so nonprofit sponsorship levels can help you secure a wider variety (and more!) charity sponsors.

You’ll also want to figure out what type of promotion each sponsor will receive. Will they each get a logo on the event signage or apparel? Will they be given a corporate table or tent at the event? Will top-tier sponsors get more prominent promotion than lower-level sponsors? These are all questions you need to answer.

Nonprofit Sponsorship - Logos

Once you’ve made all the big decisions regarding sponsorship levels and promotions, send each sponsor a charity sponsorship agreement form. They can use this form to verify their sponsorship level, upload their logo, and even electronically sign off on the event terms and conditions. They can also send their sponsorship donation via the form if it has security measures in place and is connected to a payment processor.

Keep in Touch

The final step to landing and engaging great sponsors is to keep the communication flowing. Make sure all sponsors are on your email list so they receive updates and other communications about your event (before and after). You could even set up a booth at the event with a couple tablets and online forms so attendees can sign up to receive more information or indicate sponsorship interest for future events.

After your event, send each sponsor a follow-up survey to find out if they were happy with their sponsorship experience. Also consider sending them a sponsorship renewal form that allows them to renew their sponsorship for next year’s event (which could save you some valuable time!).

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